A simple message earmarks the FHC mission of Earth Care:
Agitate, Educate, Advocate.
Forest Hill Church became one of the first two church congregations in Ohio to earn the Earth Care distinction from the Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA) nearly 14 years ago. During the initial application, and subsequent yearly renewal to achieve the title of Earth Care Congregation, a number of tasks in Worship, Education, and Outreach needed to be completed. These tasks focused on various ways to care for the environment as a church family, in our own homes, the community, and the wider world.
Earth Care “Ministry” while not an official ministry, does have a constituent-listed membership for the purpose of reporting to PPCUSA. But in reality, each one of us in the FHC congregation must take it upon ourselves to become an active disciple of Earth Care. The listed membership has no meetings and no action plans like other Ministries in the FHC governing organization.
Two of our constituent members, Kemp Jaycox and Steve Sedam, have launched a small group program to acquaint participants to commune with nature through study and outdoor experience. Over these past 14 years we’ve focused on recycling, judicious usage of our natural resources, improving care of our land, air and water, reducing fossil fuel usage to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and working to reduce degradation of air and water in stopping pollution.
Especially, much information has been brought forth by several of the prominent non-governmental organizations (NGOS) such as Natural Resources Defense Council, Earth Justice, Rainforest Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and World Wildlife Fund. There are many others worth our awareness and support. Here’s where advocacy comes in. While financial support of such organizations is very important, they are the “muscle” working in Washington to support legislation favoring the environment or to fight against actions which disfavor the environment. Their call for petitions results not only in a few voices, but often hundreds and thousands of voices. It’s often very easy to go on to those organization websites and merely check a box or sign an already-crafted petition. It’s the easiest way for an individual to take action on a national basis.
So, the mission statement of Agitate, Educate, and Advocate has been manifested mainly through monthly Tower newsletter messages. As families we’ve already done what we can on a local basis. What else would YOU like to do. I would appreciate your response and critique.