Comprehensive Digest of Social Witness at the 220th PC(USA) General Assembly


Environmental Justice

Item 09-08: Commissioners’ Resolution on a Green Church Ecumenical Network

Approved by the Assembly. This resolution requests the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations to explore the creation of a network of “Green Churches” seriously concerned with global climate change and its danger to future generations, building upon the Environmental Justice Working Group of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and building also on college and university campus ministries. The Committee is also tasked to explore the appeal of such names as “Green Church” for young people in U.S. culture, while also examining the relations of the NCC and CWS environmental ministries subsequent to administrative separation of the two groups.

This effort fits well with current PC(USA) policy as stated in The Power to Change: U.S. Energy Policy and Global Warming. The PC(USA) Environmental Ministries program has established a network of Earth Care Congregations and the creation of this proposed network will complement existing work.

Item 11-03: On Endorsing “A Fifty Year Farm Bill”

Approved with amendment by the Assembly. Recalling the church’s longstanding and regularly reiterated commitment to environmental protection, this overture sought the endorsement of a fifty-year program, proposed by the Land Institute, to improve progressively the sustainability of American agriculture and food supply. The Assembly added a new recommendation to orient advocacy and programs by principles such as sustainability, resilience, minimized carbon emissions, strong local food economies, security of food supply, ethical treatment of animals, and the fair and dignified treatment of laborers.

11-07: On Support of the Environmental Protection Agency

Approved with amendment by the Assembly. Among other things, the amendment urges Congress to restore the EPA’s full oversight authority under the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts (which are currently restricted), and directs the Office of Environmental Ministries to produce or identify resources regarding extraction of natural gas (i.e. fracking).

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