For more than ten years now, First Presbyterian has been incorporating creation care into its life and ministry. In this time, the Creation Care Team, the session, church members and staff have made many improvements in energy efficiency, recycling, resource stewardship, environmental education, and the spiritual connection to caring for God’s creation. Several of these improvements are now integrated into the life of the church – Creation Care Sunday, recycling pick-up, and on-line environmental communications. With all the progress we have made, it seems appropriate to step up to the next level of environmental ministry– advocacy.
Many opportunities exist in the public policy and political realms to influence how society views God’s creation and how policy makers can protect it. This year, the Creation Care Team will explore national issues such as mountaintop removal, new carbon pollution standards, the Keystone XL pipeline, and renewable energy. We will also offer ways to get involved including signing petitions, visiting your legislators, and writing letters to the editor.
On February 16, Creation Care Team members will be asking interested members to participate in Interfaith Power & Light’s Religious Response to Global Warming campaign by signing 50 valentine postcards addressed to senators asking them to support the EPA carbon pollution standard for new and existing power plants in 2014. The proposed standards for future power plants are the first uniform national limits on the amount of carbon pollution that can be emitted and are consistent with clean energy technologies in the power industry. The Creation Care Task Force will continue to inform the congregation about local environmental news, including the ongoing developments at the Duke Energy Skyland Power Plant in Asheville.