The mission of the Environmental Action Committee (EAC) of Village Church is to be a bold witness by advocating environmental justice for all creation. We are committed to making Village Church more environmentally aware and sustainable as an institution by reducing its environmental impact and by practicing, modeling and teaching faithful and responsible stewardship of God's Creation. Our call is to promote earth-keeping within and beyond the walls of our church. Our hope is to raise people’s awareness and to stir their conscience so that they might incorporate creation care into their daily living.
Throughout the year, EAC oversees the ongoing recycling efforts of the church and offers environmental education opportunities through Village U, Sunday school classes and displays.
Under the leadership of EAC, Village Church has been certified for eight consecutive years as an Earth Care Congregation. Earth Care Congregations is a program sponsored by PC(USA)'s Department of Environmental Ministries. Certification means our church is one of over 200 Presbyterian Churches nationally that have integrated environmental practices and thinking into its church life by completing projects and activities in the four fields of worship, education, facilities and outreach. The purpose of this program is to inspire churches to care for God’s earth in a holistic way by incorporating earth care into their mission and ministry.
The Environmental Action Committee welcomes your participation. We are always looking for new members to join our committee as well as volunteers to help with activities and events. We typically meet at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month at the church. Contact Jerry Rees or Rev. Dr. Rodger Nishioka for more information or to learn how you can get involved.
PC(USA) Overture 08-06: The Earth is the Lord’s
In June, in response to the accelerating environmental crisis threatening God’s People and God’s Creation, PC(USA)'s 223rd General Assembly (2018) unanimously approved Overture 08-06 entitled The Earth is the Lord’s—Not Ours to Ruin: Priorities for a New Moral Era. With this Overture, the national leadership is calling upon the whole church to raise its prophetic voice on the urgent issue of climate change and to participate in healing the earth, our home and God’s gift for the future of all life. More specifically, it calls for the clergy to accept the mantle of moral leadership and to speak from the pulpits what must be done. CLICK HERE to read this Overture.
In July, the Environmental Action Committee decided to promote this Overture, making it its major initiative and focus for the foreseeable future. EAC calls upon Village Church to join the national church in its call to prayer and action to initiate a new moral era. During and between recent meetings, EAC has discussed multiple ways to turn the General Assembly's words into action at Village Church:
In 2016, PC(USA)'s 222nd General Assembly endorsed a Resolution entitled the Collaborative Agenda on Environmental Stewardship, a 10-page document that can be considered a companion piece to Overture 08-06. In addition to providing Biblical Principles and Historical Witness, it is a "how to" document that suggests actions for individuals, congregations, mid councils and other mission and ministry groups wishing to join in the effort.
The Collaborative Agenda is designed to call attention to ongoing efforts by PC(USA) to confront the underlying causes of climate change and to suggest resources available through its six agencies. It is a statement of the church’s environmental policy from Environmental Ministries. CLICK HERE to read this Resolution.
Using these two resources in tandem along with others, EAC’s goal is to promote and practice effective and faithful strategies that will overcome denial, disinterest and inertia and move people toward awareness, hope and action. This includes invoking the 2006 General Assembly Resolution strongly urging “all Presbyterians to immediately make a bold witness by aspiring to live carbon neutral lives.”
EAC committee chair Jerry Rees says, "Climate Change is now and getting worse. Climate Change is the overarching moral, social, theological, economic, environmental and national security issue of our age—an issue that will determine how we live, where we live, and if we live. Climate Change is an accelerating scenario, fueled by GHGs, destined to become biblical in its scope, magnitude and consequences, affecting the entire arc of human history. Climate change disproportionately hurts first and worst the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable among us—the least among us who are least responsible for its causes and least able to cope with its consequences. Significant and concerted actions on climate justice must be taken on multiple fronts sooner rather than later."
“The Gospel’s good news of redemption applies to the earth, as well as the earthling.” (Dr. Bob Meneilly, June 14, 1992). Another way to care about people is to care about our environment—the natural world that surrounds and sustains us. Heed the call. Dare to pray, speak and act to heal God’s Good Green Earth!
If you have questions, if you share EAC’s sense of urgency, if you would like to join us in addressing climate change, contact Chuck Gillam at 816-942-9495 or email Jerry Rees at email@example.com.
Monarch Waystation & Pollinator Garden
For the third year in a row, EAC is overseeing Village Church’s Monarch Waystation & Pollinator Garden west of the Food Pantry. This has involved clearing deadwood, planting milkweed and nectar flowers, caging, staking, watering, mulching and weeding during the spring, summer and fall. A watering rotation of five volunteers has been recruited. Annual flowers have been planted by the Village Church Child & Family Development Center children so they can watch them sprout, grow and bloom.
During Youth Week on June 5, the Village Church youth weeded and mulched the the north end of the garden path. Thank you to our youth!
If you are interested in helping with this garden, contact Jerry Rees or Rev. Dr. Rodger Nishioka.
EARTH CARE CONGREGATION RECERTIFICATION
Village Church has been certified as an Earth Care Congregation for the eighth year in a row! Earth Care Congregations is a program sponsored by PC(USA)'s Department of Environmental Ministries. The purpose of this program is to inspire churches to care for God’s earth in a holistic way by incorporating earth care into their mission and ministry.
To become certified, a church affirms an Earth Care Pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into all aspects of its church life and to complete projects and activities in the four fields of worship, education, facilities and outreach.
Certification is based on a scoring system that counts sustainable practices and earth care actions. Re-certification requires 50 points with a minimum of 5 points in each category.
Using a scoring sheet, the Environmental Action Committee (EAC) performed an environmental audit of activities and projects between April and December 2015. Village Church earned the following points:
With 272 total points, re-certification is recognition of what has been accomplished by various groups within the church (not just EAC). The Earth Care Congregation certificate hangs above the drinking fountain between the Chapel and Friendship Hall.
Since the program's launch in July 2010, 191 Presbyterian churches across the U.S. have become certified as an Earth Care Congregation. Four of them are from Heartland Presbytery: Village Church, Grace Covenant, Rolling Hills and Second Presbyterian.
Certification honors churches that make the commitment to be stewards of God’s Good Green earth and encourages other churches to follow their lead. Also, congregational members are invited to participate as individuals by completing similar actions in their homes.
Contact Jerry Rees at 913-568-4250 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION HISTORY & IMPACT
FAITH-BASED ENVIRONMENTAL WEBSITES
Earth Keepers of Heartland Presbytery:
Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition of Greater KC:
PC(USA) Environmental Ministries:
Presbyterians for Earth Care:
http://www.eco-justice.org/ and http://www.eco-justice.org/tips-w.asp
Web of Creation: