Our church applied for and has been awarded the distinction of being a Certified Wildlife Habitat. A sign to that effect will be placed on the property. To receive that certification the area is required to provide a water source, plants for a food source, places to shelter and raise young, as well as the use of sustainable practices. The new rain garden, the use of native plants, composting and soaker hose irrigation helped us qualify for this distinction. As stated in a letter from the National Wildlife Federation:“We are so proud to recognize you as a friend of wildlife who is helping birds, butterflies and other local wildlife. Your efforts also contribute to a growing corridor of hundreds of certified habitats in your state through our partnership with New Jersey Audubon Society”.Congratulations to our congregation for our continued efforts to the environment!
Ocean Heights Presbyterian Church is Certified as an Earth Care Congregation
The Earth Care taskforce is part of the Mission/Social Justice Committee. The Earth Care Congregation certification is designed to recognize churches that make the commitment to take seriously God’s charge to “till and keep” the garden. Started in 2010, the goal of this program is to inspire churches to care for God’s earth in a holistic way, through integrating earth care into all aspects of their church life. “It is exciting that Ocean Heights Presbyterian Church is one of the 276 churches that chose to dedicate themselves to intentional care of God’s Earth.... We believe that Ocean Heights Presbyterian Church will inspire others to respond intentionally to God’s call to care for the earth..."The Earth Care Task Force submitted a proposal for the creation of a rain garden at the back of the church parking lot, and in September 2021, an environmental landscaper was hired to create a culvert to control rain water, create a water storage area for the water runoff, and prepare the soil for planting . In addition to becoming a rain garden that will collect rain water and avoid flooding, it will also be a pollinator meadow; which is comprised of indigenous plants and flowers that will attracts birds, bees and butterflies, all of which are all important to the environment. Click the link to see the guidelines: Guidelines Environmental Stewardship.pdf
WHY SHOULD WE CARE FOR THE EARTH?
Our faith urges us to strive for eco-justice: defending and healing creation while working to assure justice for all of creation and the human beings who live in it. This call is rooted in the human vocation of “tilling and keeping” the garden from Genesis 2:15, as well as Christ’s charge to work with and for the most vulnerable. Because of their love for Christ who is firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15), churches are challenged to live in a manner consistent with God’s call to not only care for creation, but commune with creation.For more information on the Earth Care Congregations program visit:https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/environment/earth-care-congregations/
Peace and justice is God's plan for all creation. The earth and all creation are God's. 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. As God offers all people the special gift of peace through Jesus Christ, and through Christ reconciles all to God, we are called to deal justly with one another and the earth.WHY SHOULD WE CARE FOR THE EARTH? Our faith urges us to strive for eco-justice: defending and healing creation while working to assure justice for all of creation and the human beings who live in it. This call is rooted in the human vocation of “tilling and keeping” the garden from Genesis 2:15, as well as Christ’s charge to work with and for the most vulnerable. Because of their love for Christ who is firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15), churches are challenged to live in a manner consistent with God’s call to not only care for creation, but commune with creation.
1. Our worship and discipleship will celebrate God's grace and glory in creation and declare that God calls us to cherish, protect and restore this earth.
2. In education, we will seek learning and teaching opportunities to know and understand the threats to God's creation and the damage already inflicted. We will encourage and support each other in finding ways of keeping and healing the creation in response to God's call to earth keeping, justice and community.
3. Our facilities will be managed, maintained and upgraded in a manner that respects and cherishes all creation, human and non-human, while meeting equitably the needs of all people. In our buildings and on our grounds we will use energy efficiently, conserve resources, and share what we have in abundance so that God's holy creation will be sustainable for all life and future generations.
4. Our outreach will encourage public policy and community involvement that protects and restores the vulnerable and degraded earth as well as oppressed and neglected people. We will be mindful that our personal and collective actions can positively or negatively affect our neighborhood, region, nation and world. We will seek to achieve environmental justice through coalition and ecumenical partnerships.