Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Restore Office of Environmental Justice

The Session of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton has recommended that Holston Presbytery concur with Heartland Presbytery's overture to instruct the 2008 General Assembly to restore the Office of Environmental Justice. Here is the recommendation in a nutshell:

Direct the Director of the General Assembly Council to reinstate the Office of Environmental Justice in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a vital and integral part of the ministry and mission of the Church to help protect and save God’s creation.

The session of First Pres., Elizabethton is requesting that Holston Presbytery concur with this overture at the March 1, 2008 meeting. Hopefully, other presbyteries will also concur with Heartland's overture.

This is from the Presbyterians for Restoring Creation website.

What did the Environmental Justice Office do?

The EJ Office was the force that provided the focus and funding for the denomination's efforts in this area. They provided critical small grants to Presbyteries seeking to do this kind of work, and created new resources for congregations to use. The staff provided the support to the Stewardship of Creation Enablers, and helped to maintain that network. In addition, the office also provided a face and a place for advocacy on the creation, something that we are sadly lacking at this moment, in spite of great support from our Peacemaking and Hunger partners.

How much money would it cost to restore the office?

Bill Somplatsky-Jarman, the previous half-time staffer, is still working full-time for the Presbyterian Center, so the only additional cost at this time would be the approximately $35,000 in grant and other costs, if funding were to be restored back to the previous level.

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