NRS Genesis 9:9 “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.”
PEC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES
The volunteer Steering Committee consists of a Moderator, Vice Moderator, Treasurer, Regional Representatives and at-large members. They are nominated and elected by the membership. All PEC members are eligible to serve on the Steering Committee. Terms are two-years in length, with the possibility of being re-elected twice. The PEC Coordinator is a part-time contract position who helps to coordinate the work of the Steering Committee. The PEC Steering Committee gathers annually for planning, usually at one of the camp and conference centers of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Bruce Gillette wrote the overture approved by the 2016 PC(USA) General Assembly that amended the Book of Order by adding the phrase “caring for God’s creation.” He also wrote the “Creation and Unity” report approved by the World Communion of Reformed Churches’ 2017 General Council meeting in Germany. Additionally, Bruce helped found Delaware Interfaith Power & Light
Bruce and his wife, Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, were the co-pastors of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Delaware when it installed 180 solar panels on its sanctuary roof and built community and rain gardens. They earlier served the First Presbyterian Church in Pitman, NJ, a community that was once the number one clean-up site for the EPA Superfund. Bruce & Carolyn are the pastors of the First Presbyterian Union Church in Owego, NY.
Jane Laping started on the PEC Steering Committee in 2010 and then served as Vice Moderator of PEC from 2012-2014. In 2015 she became PEC’s part-time Coordinator and held that position for six years. Jane is also active at the local and state level, leading the Creation Care Team at her church in Asheville, NC, heading the Earth Care Team of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina (WNC), and is on the Steering Team of the Creation Care Alliance of WNC.
Life-long passionate environmentalist – educating the need for earth care since 1972. Presbyterian by choice and PEC member since 2013. Jo has served with PEC on the advocacy committee and the 2021 Conference planning team. She is a member of Heartland Presbyterian Earthkeepers and the Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition in the KC metropolitan area. As a member of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, KS, she encouraged and completed all the requirements for GCPC to become an Earth Care Congregation in 2011 and it has been approved yearly as a PCUSA ECC. Wife of 45 yrs, mother of 4, gigi (grandmother) of 5.
Mark’s particular passion is coral reefs but he is very concerned that we need to move quickly to a fossil fuel-free economy. Mark recently retired after 30 years with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, focusing on climate change and its impacts on marine ecosystems, especially coral reefs. He was Chief Scientific Advisor for the Sundance- and Emmy-Award Winning film “Chasing Coral”. Mark lives in Silver Spring, MD.
Rick Person was Program Administrator, waste and recycling for the City of Saint Paul MN, environmental planner and energy manager before retiring in 2009. Rick has been very active in his church and community. At Westminster Presbyterian, he has been a Deacon, Elder, and a founding member of Westminster Eco-Justice Ministry Team. He has volunteered for the St. Louis Park Planning Commission and Eureka Recycling Board since 2009 and coordinates the MN Retiree Environmental Technical Assistance Program, conducting energy/waste assessments throughout the state.
Sam Hamilton-Poore is pastor of the Montevallo Presbyterian Church in Montevallo, AL. His church is a long-time Earth Care Congregation in the PCUSA. He is also the author of “Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for God’s Creation” (Upper Room Books) and a spiritual director. His wife Terry is also a Presbyterian minister and serves as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, AL.
Scharmel was a founding member of Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light a decade ago and serves as part-time executive director. Ark. IPL is involved in local food and energy efficiency projects – two subjects she is passionate about. Scharmel serves on IPL’s Network Steering Committee and also serve as co-chair for Ark. Citizens First Congress, which includes an environmental caucus.
Bill was the first PCUSA staff for the environmental ministries program beginning in 1988. He remembers well PEC’s foundational meeting, and initial conference at Ghost Ranch. Now retired, Bill has remained involved in the World Council of Churches Climate Change Steering Committee, and has continued to attend the UN negotiations. In Utah, he is participating in a Wilderness Stewards program to help monitor wilderness areas for signs of vandalism, missing signage or tracks of motorized vehicles, etc., which keeps him out in the beautiful red rock canyon country.
Courtenay’s passion around environmental issues is the third leg of a stool that also includes family and God. She moderated her church’s Environmental Justice Committee, founded a local interfaith green group, and partners with PA IPL to share resources with regional faith institutions. A recent seminary graduate with a certificate in environmental theology, she currently serves Tree of Life Church in Springfield, PA as a transitional pastor. And, for her, there is nothing like a sunrise walk on the beach!
Mindy serves as the supportive staff for PEC. She holds degrees in forestry/wildlife science and natural resource management, and has experience in urban forestry as an ISA Certified Arborist in both state government and the non-profit world. She has coordinated the various aspects of the functioning of environmental non-profit organizations’ outreach and educational programs, including conferences and other large workshop-style events. Mindy currently serves as an elder at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church in North Carolina, and enjoys running and exploring national parks with her family.