Stewardship of Creation
The Creation Care Committee meets every second Thursday of the month at 6pm. Our meetings contain a brief committee business agenda and an education/discussion component that rotates on a quarterly basis. New faces always welcome!
Sunday April 23rd, 2023 – Earth Day Creation Care Service
Saturday April 29th, 2023 – 11am – Duke Forest
Forest Bathing – We will be guided by certified forest bathing facilitator and member of Duke’s Clergy Health team Laura Hamrick. Space is limited to 10. Sign up here.
Saturday April 29th, 2023 – 2pm Shepherd Nature Trail, Duke Forest
Family Hike – Join us for a family-friendly hike at Shepherd Nature Trail in Duke Forest. Sign up here.
Sunday April 30th, 2023 – 9:45 am Watts-Hill Hall, First Presbyterian Church
ALL AGES CREATION CARE FAITH FORMATION – Everyone is invited to learn about the ways we can continue to care for God’s good creation. Play Creation Care Bingo for fabulous prizes. Learn how to properly sort your recycling. Make a reuse craft. Eat low carbon footprint snacks. Learn about what our Earth Care Congregation is doing and how you can get involved!
Faith Climate Action Week : April 14-23, 2023 – Theme: Living the Golden Rule: Just Transition to a clean energy economy. Join Interfaith Power and Light’s Film Screening of Current Revolution – Screen anytime at this link.
History and Current Work:
The Creation Care Committee of FPC was formed in 2020 as an arm of the Stewardship Committee, underscoring the link between environmental sustainability and our charge to care for all of God’s creation. Our church has been actively engaged in conservation, recycling, and other environmental stewardship projects for many many years, but as the issues continue to pile up, an intentional focus and commitment from the governing body and congregation is necessary. Susan Dunlap and Sharon Hirsch led a series of Sunday School classes on the environment in early 2020. Meanwhile Emily Wilkins spearheaded FPC’s signing onto an overture regarding PC(USA)’s divestment in fossil fuels to the Presbytery. The committee’s first order of business was assessing the church through PC(USA)’s Earth Care Audit and by forwarding a motion to the Session to affirm the Earth Care Pledge (below). The pledge was affirmed and signed by our clerk of session in October 2020, and we were recognized as an official PC(USA) Earth Care Congregation in February 2021.
The committee used Presbyterian Mission’s Earth Care Audit for 2021 planning in the areas of worship (David Smith), Christian education (Johanna Bernhardt), facilities (Barbara Buckley), and outreach (Tom Bacon). Sunday morning faith formation series were held in 2021 & 2022, and we are planning for 2023. We are actively seeking volunteers to assist on this website and CC newsletter updates. The committee also actively seeks input from the community on local, state, national and global actions.
In conjunction with the Service & Mission Committee, we have joined other congregations and RAFI in a seasonal CSA. See the church bulletin for more info about sign-up and details.
Saturday, 4/22/2023 – Earth Day – Litter cleanup and garden workday.
Friday, 4/21/2023 -Bluestem Workday – For more information, check out their website: https://www.bluestemcemetery.org/friday_workdays.htm
Faith and Community class Sunday March 5th, 2023 – Learn about RAFI-USA, their work with Black farmers, and our CSA partnership with Sankofa Farms.
Thursday, March 9th, 2023 – Zoom Discussion on Durham Recycles, with Dawn Keyser of Keep Durham Beautiful
Sunday, March 19th, 2023 – Visit and Blessing of the Farm – Join us and other participating congregations in the blessing of Sankofa Farm.
November 2020 The Story of Plastics (1hr. 22min) – Virtual Film Screening and discussion with Crystal Dreisbach of Don’t Waste Durham. Please screen film prior to discussion: The Story of Plastic FPC Screening Link. RSVP for password.
February 11, 7pm: Business meeting; annual planning
March 11, 7pm: Presentation by David Smith on Biodiversity
Supplementary video: “How Wolves Changed Rivers”
April-May-June 2021: Sacred Ground: Cultivating Connections between Food, Faith, and Climate Using Interfaith Power & Light guide for Faith Climate Action Week April 16-25
June 10, 2021 – Presentation by Michelle Osborne, senior program manager of RAFI’s Come to the Table program on the intersection of environmental and racial justices and connecting non-farming communities to faith communities
July-Aug-Sept 2021: Intersection of Racial Justice and Environmental Justice
Earth Care Pledge:
Peace and justice is God’s plan for all creation. The earth and all creation are God’s. God calls us to be careful, humble stewards of this earth, and to protect and restore it for its own sake, and for the future use and enjoyment of the human family. As God offers all people the special gift of peace through Jesus Christ, and through Christ reconciles all to God, we are called to deal justly with one another and the earth.
1. Our worship and discipleship will celebrate God’s
grace and glory in creation and declare that God calls us to cherish, protect
and restore this earth.
2. In education, we will seek learning and teaching
opportunities to know and understand the threats to God’s creation and the
damage already inflicted. We will encourage and support each other in finding
ways of keeping and healing the creation in response to God’s call to
earth-keeping, justice and community.
3. Our facilities will be managed, maintained and
upgraded in a manner that respects and cherishes all creation, human and non-human,
while meeting equitably the needs of all people. In our buildings and on our
grounds we will use energy efficiently, conserve resources, and share what we
have in abundance so that God’s holy creation will be sustainable for all life
and future generations.
4. Our outreach will encourage public policy and
community involvement that protects and restores the vulnerable and degraded
earth as well as oppressed and neglected people. We will be mindful that our
personal and collective actions can positively or negatively affect our
neighborhood, region, nation and world. We will seek to achieve environmental
justice through coalitions and ecumenical partnerships.