March!  Seasons change. Lent.  Eagerly I look for indications that SPRING will soon appear in melting massive snow piles,  tiny bits of green peeking out of the earth and on trees.  It will happen and soon just not yet.  We are on a journey.  A Lenten journey.  Together and apart.

March is also another Albany Presbytery meeting  –  together and apart.  Zoom again.  Perhaps you remember the theme for March is CREATION CARE.   No accident there.

Creation Care was chosen because we look forward to a season change, an awakening, one step at a time.   Additionally, the 51st Earth Day will be celebrated Thursday, April 22.  How are you preparing?  In what way will you and your church observe Earth Day? Most churches in our Presbytery have been and continue to address in small and large ways, the care of our environment, of God’s creation, of our home.  We applaud the achievements of individuals and church groups making a difference, looking for ways to save God’s precious and beautiful gift of earth.  Look around.  Lift your eyes from earth to sky.

“I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people.”         

Rosa Parks

Ruling Elder Nancy Braaten stated in her annual report,

An Earth Care Task Force was formed at Delmar Presbyterian Church.  Working toward becoming a zero-waste facility, developing a more ecofriendly kitchen, composting, increase focus on waste streaming, increasing natural pollinator plantings, involve children in beeswax wrapping, review heating and appliance efficiency, electric car stations, and education of us and our congregation. “ Session committed to the Earth Care pledge from PCUSA.  Collaborating with the Christian Education Committee, the congregation has engaged in a book study.

Elizabeth Meehan, Chair of  the Peacemaking Taskforce of Albany Presbytery, shared “The taskforce has a goal of 100% buy-in from the churches in Presbytery to obtain electricity from renewable energy.”

The Earth Care Team of Westminster shared their 2021 next steps for maintaining the PCUSA certification in each of the four major achievement categories.

Worship:  continue frequent environmental Sermons and Moment for Mission.  Explore the activity of tree plantings to commemorate baptisms, confirmations, new members, weddings.

Education:   Investigate the possibility of a community-wide/Presbytery event featuring a  speaker of renown speaker.

Facilities:    Continue to work toward the installation of an electric car charging station.

Outreach:   Plan a congregation-wide field trip to Radix Center and to Fox Fire Farm in Rensselaer County.

Ruling Elder Margaret Randall, Westminster, if your church wants to become a certified Earth Care Congregation just go HERE for information, application forms, and guidance if your earth care team.

“We must be creative. We must be collaborative.  And we must exercise our compassion on behalf of all species.  Empathy moves us to action.” 

 Terry Tempest Williams

Remember when it comes to the environment,  Everything is connected.  Everything matters.

Judy Hartley, Moderator

About Judy Hartley

Judy Hartley is Albany Presbytery's 2020 Vice Moderator. She has served on Session in a total of eight churches, most recently at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Albany. Judy enjoys spending time with her two grown sons and her two granddaughters who also live in the Albany area. When she's not with family, other interests include bike riding, hiking, gardening, playing Bocce ball, live music, friends, walking, sewing, exploring NY history and volunteering.

The purpose of the Albany Presbytery Blog is to share information, tell stories, and promote the mission and ministry of the presbytery, synod and beyond. While the breadth of this medium is intentionally broad, it is not a platform for opinion pieces related to business coming before the presbytery unless designed as part of an initiative to provide a diversity of viewpoints at the direction of the presbytery. Exceptions to this policy may be brought to the presbytery officers who will determine appropriateness of submissions.