Earth Care Team
This is a group of members at OPC 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. We operate as an extension of the Missions Team. We held our first meeting in June 2015.
We are answering 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.
We (and OPC Session) affirm the PC(USA) Earth Care Pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into all facets of its church life. We use the PC(USA) Earth Care Congregation Audit as a guideline for selecting projects and activities in four fields - worship, education, facilities, and outreach.
We have regular meetings on the 1st Sunday of each month just after 2nd service (or single service during the summer) in Classroom 4. We welcome anyone to drop in!
Earth Care projects completed as of May 2016
- Applied for PC(USA) certification of OPC as an Earth Care Congregation. Click here to see application form. ECC certification was achieved March 15, 2015. Click here to see press release. Click here to see a scan of the certificate.
- Started polystyrene (foam) recycling at OPC. Also joined with the Village of Oswego to provide foam recycling for the community at the Oswego Reuse and Recycle Extravaganza.
- Started Christmas lights recycling at OPC in December 2015.
- Worked with worship team on plan to reduce stage lighting in services when full lighting not required.
- Ken and Kathy Mozingo attended Presbyterians for Earth Care Convention in September 2015.
- Involved youth in Adopt-a-Highway trash pickup in August 2015.
- Offered class series on “Climate Change and Its Moral Issues” in October 2015.
- Offered “Merchants of Doubt” documentary movie viewings in December 2015.
- Worked with Worship & Music in planning a worship service with Earth Care theme on April 24, 2016. A potluck lunch was held and the Earth Care Team provided several vegetarian/vegan dishes to share.
- Co-sponsored, with Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, the Fossil Fuel Divestment Overture recommendation at the April 2016 Blackhawk Presbytery meeting. This action was approved by OPC Session on Jan. 14, 2016 and a “Learning op” presentation was done at the Feb. 2016 presbytery meeting. We are very pleased that, in April 2016, Blackhawk Presbytery voted to concur and the overture is going to the 2016 General Assembly.
- Received approval for Blackhawk Presbytery Earth Care Network and installed web page on the Blackhawk Presbytery web site.
- Developed Earth Care bulletin board in March 2016 using board in Upper Room.
Current Earth Care projects
- Develop Monarch Waystation butterfly garden, involve youth, include learning about Monarch butterflies and native plants. Session approved this in Feb. 2016 as a Boy Scout Eagle project. See more...
- Develop Earth Care Team pages on OPC website, quarterly eNewsletter?
- Develop Earth Care section in OPC library.
- Include ‘Earth Care reminder or did you know?’ in announcements monthly. Started Mar. 2016
- Install a bike rack at OPC, perhaps as another scout project.
- Have OPC team of adults and youth help in Oswego ECO Commission clean-up along the banks of the Fox River on Saturday, August 6, 2016.
- Work with House & Grounds to use EPA Portfolio Manager to track OPC energy usage.
- Work with House & Grounds to install motion sensor light switches in OPC restrooms.
Possible future projects:
Click here for more information.
Networking with other churches
Along with the Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, we have formed the Earth Care Network of Blackhawk Presbytery. We have shared information about our churches’ earth care efforts and worked together on fossil fuel divestment presentations to Blackhawk Presbytery in the February and April 2016 presbytery meeting. 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 Earth Care Congregation and join us in earth care advocacy projects.