Sunday, April 23, 2017
Supporting Thriving Faith Communities in Northern Illinois
Earth Care Network
This is a network of members of churches of Blackhawk Presbytery who have a passion for celebrating God’s grace and glory in creation and recognize God’s call to cherish, protect and restore this earth.
How does this network address the vision and values of Blackhawk Presbytery?
The values of Blackhawk Presbytery are intrinsic to the earth care endeavors of this network. While we act in accordance with the principles established in the vision of the Presbytery--trust, open communication, and genuine relationships, we seek to fulfill the values.
We have answered the PC(USA) “Call to Restore the Creation”.
We strive to “till and keep” the garden in Genesis 2:15. We focus on this mission and attempt to be faithful stewards. We recognize that “the least of these” in God’s creation often are affected soonest and most seriously when the environment is degraded. We are accountable in the sense of bearing responsibility for our impact on the Earth.
How is this network organized?
This network has been initiated by members of Oswego Presbyterian and Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian. These are both Earth Care Congregations, certified by the Environmental Ministries office of PC(USA). RCLPC has been re-certified each year since 2011, and OPC just received its initial certification for 2016.
Current network members from RCLPC are Pat and Terry Dieckhoff, Ann Legg, Karen Ray and Lois and Rick Johnson. Members from Oswego Pres. are Ken and Kathy Mozingo.
We are eager to have other churches join us in this “caring for God’s good earth” ministry.
We do not have a regular meeting schedule. We have had several meetings in person and have communicated as needed via email and phone.
Current network projects/activities
We have shared information about our churches’ earth care efforts and worked together on fossil fuel divestment presentations to Blackhawk Presbytery in February 2016. As stewards of God’s earth, our congregations’ Earth Care Teams complete activities and projects in the fields of worship, education, facilities, and outreach. We encourage all congregations to consider becoming an .
Our key networking project has been to jointly advocate for Blackhawk Presbytery’s concurrence with the to General Assembly 2016. This overture proposes divestment from fossil fuel companies by the Presbyterian Foundation and Board of Pensions.
In the February 2016 presbytery meeting, we did a Learning Opportunity presentation on the Fossil Free PCUSA Overture in which our key points were:
On April 12, 2016, Blackhawk Presbytery will decide whether to concur on this overture to General Assembly 2016 in Portland, Oregon. It asks that the Foundation and Board of Pensions stop buying directly held fossil fuel stocks, while selling what they currently have within 3 years. It directs the denomination to invest in renewables, helping to create the solution. It allows for keeping a "seat at the table", so we can participate in shareholder action. It also encourages the continuation of advocacy and programs to educate all levels of the church about these issues.
We believe that divestment is an essential tool that institutional and personal investors can use to influence the course of climate change. We pray that Presbyterians will join the faithful chorus of the UCC, Unitarians, Methodists, and Episcopalians in denominational divestment.