April 7, 2021 earth care news

Each year, in the weeks leading up to April 22 (Earth Day) people across the U.S and the world  join together to encourage action and participation in initiatives that focus on the urgent need for environmental justice, sustainability, and climate solutions.  In this moment in our country’s history we are experiencing three great overlapping challenges: a pandemic sparking an economic downturn causing more families to go hungry, racial injustice awareness rising, and the climate crisis worsening. We have an opportunity to address all of these issues with one focus – our food practices.  Food is the place where each of us intersects daily with God’s gifts of sun, water, soil and microbial magic.  We have a sacred duty to be stewards of the Earth that supports all life, for all God’s creatures and for future generations. Supporting food justice, reversing climate change, and protecting God’s gifts of clean air and water are central to this duty. 

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 

NIV Genesis 2:15
Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 
NIV Matthew 25:37

This week around Earth Day, we are going to start exploring how our food systems and practices contribute to injustice and to climate change.  The Earth Care team invites you to join us in the following during Faith Climate Action Week (April 19-25):

  • Register for a free home viewing of the film Kiss the Ground.  Kiss the Ground is a new film about how regenerating the world’s soils has the potential to rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems, and create abundant food supplies. This film explains why transitioning to regenerative agriculture could be key in rehabilitating the planet, while simultaneously invigorating a new sense of hope and inspiration in viewers.  Watch the trailer and register to view the film here.  Watch it with your family anytime between April 10 - 25. 
  • Join us for a Zoom discussion about the movie "Kiss the Ground" Monday, April 19 at 6:30 with guest panelist from Ollin Farm - Project 95.  They are joining us to share about regenerative farming here in Boulder County.  Register to receive your link to the Zoom discussion here.
  • Join us for one of our small group field trips to visit our neighbor store Simply Bulk Market (right across the street from CENTRALongmont).  Learn why buying in bulk is good for you and the planet.  Receive a $5 coupon to use at the store to start you on your buying in bulk journey. Multiple times available April 19 - 23.  Email Jennifer if you are interested in joining us or sign up for one of the time  slots here!
  • Commit to growing an extra row or two in your home garden to share with the food insecure for our new Giving Gardens initiative, or support the new congregational Giving Garden.
  • Join us for a special Earth Care worship service on Sunday, April 25.

To learn about small changes that you can make in your daily life that will make a difference or to learn more about the movie Kiss the Ground, please expand the offerings below.

  • Join us for our movie discussion on April 19th and let's talk about this!  What specific actions can we adopt that might help address food insecurity, food waste and negative climate impacts from our food choices?  Register to receive your link to the Zoom discussion here.

  • What if there was a simple solution that could help balance our climate, replenish our freshwater supplies, and feed the world? That solution is right under our feet.

    Kiss the Ground is a new film about how regenerating the world’s soils has the potential to rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems, and create abundant food supplies. This film explains why transitioning to regenerative agriculture could be key in rehabilitating the planet, while simultaneously invigorating a new sense of hope and inspiration in viewers.

    Watch the trailer and register to view the film here.

    Thanks to a special arrangement with Kiss the Ground and Ro*co films, Interfaith Power and Light will offer a free online viewing period for home viewing from April 10 through April 26. All viewers must register with IPL.  Once you register you will receive a link-to-view for three different versions—the full-length film (84 minutes), a grower version (45 minutes), and an educational version for schools (45 minutes.)

march 10, 2021 earth care news

Congratulations CENTRALongmont!  We have been certified by the PC(USA) as an Earth Care Congregation.  But what does this mean? Earth Care Congregations are congregations that have committed to the “Earth Care Pledge” and accomplished a specific number of actions toward caring for God’s earth in four categories: worship, education, facilities, and outreach.  In 2020, we began this work and received enough points in each of the 4 categories to obtain this certification.  Click here to read the Earth Care Pledge and to learn more about being a PC(USA) Earth Care Congregation.

Our work in this ministry is just starting.  As the Earth Care Pledge states, "God calls us to be careful, humble stewards of this earth, and to protect and restore it for its own sake, and for the future use and enjoyment of the human family."  

Learn more about our Giving Garden outreach, how to commit to a Lenten Carbon Fast and read an inspiring short essay from the Earth Care Lenten devotional by clicking on each topic below.

  • Join us this Sunday as Robin shares with us a Moment for Mission on our Giving Gardens initiative.    The Round Pantry has confirmed that they look forward to receiving and sharing any produce that we can provide during Pantry weeks!  We have also registered them to receive from other "grow and giver's" in Boulder County through the Grow and Give CSU Extension project.  Good things are happening!  Reach out to the office if you would like to get involved in this outreach at the congregational giving garden or by starting your own giving garden at home!  If you would like to support the start-up costs for the congregational giving garden, a donation can be made at this link.  Thank you.

  • In last month's Earth Care CENTRALPost, we challenged ourselves to commit to an Earth Care Lenten practice.  One of the suggestions was to consider trying a carbon fast. A low carbon diet means making lifestyle choices to reduce greenhouse gases.

    One way to do that, is to commit to low or no waste grocery shopping.   Some ways to reduce the waste when shopping for groceries are to buy unpackaged fresh fruits and vegetables, bringing your own container to a bulk food store, investing in some produce bags to transport fresh foods, avoid prepared foods, and bring your own grocery bags.

    You can also watch where the food you purchase is grown or raised.  Products that must be transported from across the country or world have a much higher carbon footprint than locally raised and harvested options.

    This one seems hard, but consider limiting your meat intake.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture's recommended dietary allowance for most adults is 56 grams of protein per day for men (an 8-ounce burger made with 85 percent lean ground beef) and 46 grams for women (a small skinless chicken breast). But Americans typically consume twice that amount. So try buying half as much protein-based foods and opt for pasture-raised meat and dairy. 

  • An excerpt by Rev. Bill Somplatsky-Jarman:

    "High on the mountainside about 10,000 feet above sea-level, we climbed steadily upward. The top of Mt. Wheeler loomed above, a sheer face dropping down toward a glacier and the talus slope of a glacier moraine. Before long, occasional gnarled trees appeared, bleached white or gray because of the wind. We had reached a forest of bristlecone pine, the oldest living things on earth dating back 4,500 years. The oldest grow in the harshest of conditions, forced by wind and water to grow slowly with a density of wood that resists invading disease. Tenacious trees.

    We stopped near a tree. A fellow hiker paused as well, staring at the tree. Before long he reached out to touch the weathered wood, and exclaimed, “This tree was living when Jesus lived. Can you imagine that?” I thought about those trees. How old were they before the first human ever touched them? How long were they here converting carbon dioxide back into oxygen before the first human breathed in that oxygen? Here was a living tree whose life spanned centuries. I felt in the presence of something holy, enduring, and precious to God."  Please click here to read this moving essay found in the Second Sunday of Lent Earth Care Devotional.

february 10, 2021 EARTH CARE NEWS

Welcome to the Earth Care team's first entry onto CENTRALPosts.  We hope to inspire, educate and share information about this initiative monthly in this space.  We invite you to join us as we strive to tread more lightly on God's creation and work in hands on ways to make a difference in our community.

Announcing our new outreach!  CENTRALongmont Giving Gardens: As we work to fight hunger in our community in conjunction with caring for the Earth, Session has approved our new Giving Gardens initiative.  According to the organization Feeding America, fresh fruits and vegetables are one of the most requested food items at food banks that are often in short supply.  Also, according to Feeding America, one in 11 of our neighbors in Boulder County struggles with hunger — including more than 6,000 children [based on 2018 data, just think what this number might be after 2020].  We would like to join this fight to end hunger in our community by both creating a new congregational giving garden at a member's property (thank you, Ann!), as well as by encouraging a home giving garden army to aid us in this effort.   We are just getting started.  How can you help? 

  • How can you help?  Join us.  Reach out to Jennifer Haratsaris to be part of the team working the congregational 20'x40' plot at Ann's property.  We will be breaking ground soon.  Or find a spot in your yard, planter boxes or containers to "grow a row" or two to share with our community.  The fruits of our labor will be donated through The Round Pantry at Westview, other mission partners or through Boulder County Grow and Give outlets this summer and fall.  We are still defining our gathering and distribution methods.  As we continue in the midst of the pandemic, people have rediscovered the joy of gardening and cultivating the earth.  This is an outreach we can do now and join others in Boulder County to create a small army working together to feed our community. [see Grow and Give Program]

    Our very own Home Grown Tomatoes Circle is available to share tips and suggestions to assist you (see their post above).  We will learn together how to grow food with sustainable practices, caring for bees, our soil and water supply while working to feed our neighbor and ourselves with a low carbon footprint.  Watch for these each month in our Earth Care CENTRALPosts!

  • Commit to an Earth Care Lenten PracticePresbyterians for Earth Care have shared a beautiful Lenten Devotional for 2021. "Let the voices in this devotional move your heart, and accept their invitation into joining in communion with all creation."  Or choose the daily action calendar written by the Presbyterian Hunger Program called Tread Lightly for Lent.  Both devotionals can be found at this link.  You may also consider trying a carbon fast.   Not a low carb fast, a low carbon fast.  A low carbon diet means making lifestyle choices to reduce greenhouse gases. Such a diet minimizes emissions released from the production, packaging, processing, transport, preparation and waste of food.  Just google the phrase "low carbon diet" to find all sorts of suggestions online.

    Change your lightbulbs to eco-friendly types: CFL and LED bulbs can emit 25-80% less energy than traditional incandescents, plus they last longer!  Consider this greener alternative when it comes time to replenishing those bulbs.  We did!  CENTRALongmont found an LED bulb that works in the 12 uplights around the cornice in the sanctuary. Thank you Mike for installing them!   The total wattage will drop from 3600 watts to 360 watts.  Next up, the can lights in Fellowship Hall! 

  • During this month of Black History, we lift up our National Youth Poet Laureate,  Amanda Gorman, as she shares another poem from her collection called "Earthrise".  Enjoy her inspiring words.