PC(USA) EARTH CARE POLICY

Summary of PC(USA) environmental policy from Environmental Ministries that includes excerpts from “Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice” and links to “Social Witness Policy Compilation,” “Carbon Neutral Policy,” and “The Power to Change.”

2010 Recommendation on Uplifting the Call to Restore Creation. On the 20th anniversary of the 219th General Assembly’s adoption of the 1990 Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice policy, the General Assembly (2010) reaffirmed its findings, celebrated what it had spawned in the life of the church, and recommitted to the calling that remains as valid and necessary as it was in 1990.

PC(USA) Environment and Energy Policy Brief. Presbyterian General Assemblies have been speaking on issues of environmental protection and justice since the late 1960s. Their witness ranges broadly from drinking water safety and acid rain, to protecting endangered species, to cleaning up dirty power plants, to climate change and U.S. energy policy. The Assemblies’ major policy statements on environment were in 1971 and 1990, and on energy in 1981.

The Power to Change – U.S. Energy Policy and Global Warming. This policy, approved by the 218th General Assembly (2008), is the first major update of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s energy policy in more than 27 years. This General Assembly policy offers moral guidance and provides practical steps individual Presbyterians, groups and communities may take to change unhealthy energy practices to ensure that there is an abundant supply of God’s good energy for future generations of the whole creation to enjoy.

Resolution for Presbyterians to Live Carbon Neutral Lives. Approved by the 217th General Assembly in 2006, this policy calls on the PC(USA) to prepare a working paper about personal responsibility and carbon neutrality, including concrete action steps for Presbyterians to take to reduce their energy consumption. The Guide to Going Carbon Neutral is that working paper.

Hope For A Global Future: Toward Just And Sustainable Human Development. The 208th General Assembly (1996) approved this policy statement that gives renewed definition to Presbyterian understandings of the way in which we are called to be stewards of God’s creation, touching upon issues of economic justice for all persons, concerns about population, and ecological degradation. It calls for a renewed emphasis on the Reformed norm of frugality and presents the norm of sufficiency, so that all may participate with abundant living in caring communities that are less materialistic and more frugal. It includes a study and action guide for personal and class use.

Hazardous Waste, Race, and the Environment. The 1995 General Assembly approved this resolution that amends the 1990 Restoring Creation policy, calling for advocacy on environmental justice concerns on behalf of and with the poor and people of color and the development of public policies that result in reducing the generation of hazardous wastes and reduction in the use of these substances.

Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice. Adopted by the 202nd General Assembly (1990), “Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice” was the first major PC(USA) policy to address environmental concerns. It provides a thoughtful review of the deteriorating ecology of the entire world at the time, and also provides guidance for ways in which churches and individuals could participate in God’s redemption of the creation. Includes the Call to Restore Creation.

Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice (DVD). A 15-minute DVD that may be used alone or as a helpful companion piece to the “Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice” General Assembly report. Positive responses of faithful people are set amid scenes of the beauty of nature, contrasted with examples of environmental damage and social justice. A Leader’s Guide is also available.

The Power to Speak Truth to Power. A Public Policy Statement on Energy, Its Production and Use, Adopted by the 121st (1981) General Assembly,?Presbyterian Church in the U.S., and by the 193rd (1981) General Assembly, United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.;?with a Background Analysis, by Robert L. Stivers, Commended for Study in Connection with the Public Policy?Statement.

Presbyterian Social Witness Policy Compilation. The Presbyterian Social Witness Policy Compilation is a compendium of social witness policies adopted by the General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its predecessor denominations.  The Presbyterian Social Witness Policy Compilation presents each policy statement, resolution, or commissioners’ resolution in groups of similar actions. Its excerpts summarize the teaching ministry of the church on given topics and connect them to the church’s larger vision of social righteousness.