EARTH: A New Creation in a New Year
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EARTH:

Earth Action, Reflection, Theology and Hope
Greetings Friends,
 
The Steering Committee of PEC is pleased to share our new EARTH newsletter.  It is an evolving piece of literature, art and faith...Below you'll find photos from winter and an update from Eco-Stewards. 
 
We are very happy that beginning with this issue, there is another exciting feature to add to its evolution. Once a month, we will feature an EARTH-Keeper. This person will have modeled exemplary ministry in eco-justice and have worked to help increase understanding or appreciation of God's precious gift of Creation, seeking eco-justice. We are excited to share the good news of how we, one at a time, step by step, each continue the work of Earth-healing and Earth-Keeping.
 
Thanks to Holly Hallman who has written the first in our series of EARTH-Keepers in this issue about her friend, Abby Brockway. As you hear in Abby's sermon, she says, "We are the ones we've been waiting for."
 
Indeed, we agree, Abby. We thank God for you and indeed for all of you who are models of this vital ministry in Earth care. Heartland Presbytery’s Environmental Committee is Earthkeepers. Thanks to Earthkeepers, and specifically to Chuck Gillam, a faithful member of the committee who originally suggested the name.
 
AMEN. 
 
Diane Waddell, Moderator
Presbyterians for Earth Care
 
Eco-justice means social and economic justice and, by combining it with ecological awareness an appreciation, profoundly affects the way it is to be achieved. Eco-justice means justice to all of God’s creation.”  Keeping and Healing the Creation by the Presbyterian Eco â€“Justice Task Force
The Eco-Stewards are going to Seattle!
 
Please help us spread the word. This year’s Eco-Stewards’ trip will take place in Seattle Washington, June 13-18, as we focus on the theme “Creativity and Power: Theological Reflection and Action on Climate Change.” Our week will focus largely on considering how local faith-based communities are responding to the challenges of energy in creative ways. We will also explore our own Eco-Faith journeys as we study Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. This year’s trip will take place a week before General Assembly in Portland. Many of our leaders plan to participate in GA. We hope churches will consider sending young people to these two events in an effort to strengthen the support surrounding PCUSA’s fossil fuel divestment. If you know of any 20-30 year olds who might be interested, please encourage them to apply by downloading our application.

If you are interested in helping a young person get to Eco-Stewards Seattle, you can donate to PEC. Please specify your donation is for the Eco-Stewards Program.
 
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. 
Contributor and EARTH Committee member Vickie Machado lives in Florida and is on the Steering Committee for the EcoStewards program, a grassroots community that shapes young adult leaders (ages 20-30) through place-based experiences that connect faith and the environment. For more info visit: https://ecostewardsprogram.wordpress.com
EARTH-Keeper: Abby Brockway
by Holly Hallman, Northwestern Regional Representative to the Steering Committee

 
Let me introduce you to the Amazing Abby Brockway.  She is the first of our new Earth Keepers and here is how that came to be.

It was January 2014. Seattle Presbytery was considering an overture that would support the Lummi Nation in their efforts to stop the Army Corps of Engineers from building the largest coal terminal in the United States. The discussion went back and forth until a young woman came to the microphone and said, “I support this overture and I will be advocating for the Lummi in the months ahead. When I do I want to know that the whole Presbyterian Church has my back.”
 
    











Nine months later four people cabled themselves to a railroad track building a tripod 18 feet high above them.  That same young woman sat atop that tripod blocking a train at the Delta switching yards in Everett Washington. The five of them were arrested and spent the night in jail. They were charged with trespass and delaying a train. January 11, 2016 their trial began. The day before her trial Abby Brockway, ruling elder, gave the sermon at her church, Woodland Park Presbyterian.

While she was speaking, John Fife, founder of the sanctuary movement in the 1980s, was across town addressing another Presbyterian congregation. John said that the Presbyterian Church is very good at reform. He said that the Presbyterian Church is amazing at charity. Who does a better bowl of hot soup and a warm blanket? He said that Presbyterians are articulate and energetic advocates on issues that span all of our global concerns. He said that isn’t enough.  In order for the  Presbyterian Church to be relevant to those who are inheriting our damaged earth and to make the issues move forward in a gridlocked Congressional world the church must resist. The fourth step, the next step, is resistance.

What would that look like?
 
Well, it might look like Abby Brockway sitting at the defendant's table during a recess with her almost-as-big-as-she-is daughter on her lap.  It might look like recess in a courtroom filled with chattering people and that same young woman standing and asking that all who are present join her in a silent time of reflection for the defendants.
 
When asked why she does the things she does Abby will tell you it's because she loves so much. She loves God and the Jesus that she follows. She loves her husband, daughter, parents, and her church. She loves the beauty of the Northwest in which she lives. She resists but she resists nonviolently. She resists in a way that caused three of the jurors, after they gave their verdict and were dismissed, to wait quietly outside in the hallway in order to embrace the defendants--Abby in particular. It looks like the judge Anthony Howard saying to the court you have changed everyone in this room including myself. He went on to say that the trial might have devolved into a circus. There was no chanting and there were no challenging posters--just 5 people showing the northwest how powerful and relevant resistant is.  Abby was the spokesperson, the one the media looked to, the one who spoke with the “whole Presbyterian Church at her back.”
 
The resistance that John Fife proclaimed and demonstrated in his work with the sanctuary movement is the resistance, in love, that Abby Brockway is teaching us in Seattle.
Visions of the Season
Snow marks the winter season in many climates. Kate Preston shares these images from her home in Maryland. Where and how do you see your part of the world laying in wait and in winter?
Contributor and EARTH Committee Member Katie Preston, M.Div, is a candidate for ministry currently working for Mizuno USA in New England. While not a "traditional" post for ministry, Katie views her role encouraging people to run as a way to help people focus on their physical health, while also using runs as a time for meditation and reflection. She also likes working with a company that focuses on sustainability practices, even creating shoes out of recycled plastic bottles! 
want to join the newsletter committee and help PEC reflect on God's creation? email EARTH Coordinator abby mohaupt to join us.
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