Mission and Social Justice

Local, National, and World Mission Efforts

Throughout the year we are involved in ongoing efforts to support the lives of those in need locally and around the world. Mission is at the heart of most everything we do. 

Locally we support Sister Jeans Kitchen, GLSEN of Southern New Jersey, PFLAG Egg Harbor Township, The Leadership Studio of Atlantic City, The Food Bank of South Jersey. We also have one of the highest producing Equal Exchange Fair Trade Product ministries in the nation designed to support small farmers around the world. These are a few of the mission efforts we are involved with. 

Nationally and Internationally we support More Light Presbyterians, The Mustard Seed Academy/Uganda and the national missions of the Presbyterian Church (USA) 

Carolyn Finney: Black Faces, White Spaces
Drawing from her book, Black Faces, White Spaces, her relationships "in the field" and her lived experience, Dr. Finney explores the complexities and contradictions of our past, the realities of our present and the possibilities of our future as it relates to green space, race, and the power to shape the places we live in our own image. By engaging in "green" conversations with Black people from around the country, she considers the power of resistance and resilience in the emergence of creative responses to environmental and social challenges in our cities and beyond.
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzOzzpNap14&t=1727s (1 hour 24 min talk for the NY Botanical Garden)
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i58ayzQf4wc (18 minute TED Talk)

2021 Taking Nature Black Conference - Archived Video Highlights
Sponsor: Audubon Naturalist Society, Maryland
The Taking Nature Black Conference celebrates and seeks to expand the role that African Americans have played in protecting the environment.
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nik3Y9CmppU

Sustainable Landscaping for Butterflies
Monday, June 21, 2021 7:00 PM

Sponsor: NJ Native Plant Society, Southeast Chapter
New Jersey hosts more species of butterflies than most people realize (130+), but they need our help. Any interested homeowner can help support these fascinating creatures through all stages of their life cycles – from eggs to adults. Learn which native trees, shrubs, perennials, and vines are best for them and which butterfly species you can attract and support in your own yard. This talk will also cover what we can do to transform our backyards into healthier, more sustainable landscapes, incorporating practices aimed at reducing our carbon footprint.
Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jSFZhS2hR8mzoohRJb9WAA

The Wondrous World of Fireflies
Date: July 1, 1pm

Sponsor: Xerces Society
Fireflies are surely among the greatest ambassadors for Earth's natural magic. For centuries their ethereal beauty has sparked wonder and inspired poets, artists, and children of all ages. Yet they also hold so many mysteries! Join guest speaker Sara Lewis, an expert on fireflies, to learn how they got their bright lights, explore their remarkable lifestyles, hear how human activities put fireflies at risk, and learn what you can do to help protect these charismatic insects.
Registration Link: https://xerces.org/events/oregon/wondrous-world-of-fireflies

Ocean Heights Presbyterian Church is Certified as a PC(USA) Earth Care Congregation


To become an Earth Care Congregation, this congregation affirmed an Earth Care Pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into their worship, education, facilities, and outreach.

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 by the PC(USA), 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.  The Earth Care Congregation certification honors churches that make that commitment and encourages others to follow their example.

 “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 this year. Particularly in a time of much uncertainty and worry about the future, this congregation’s activities and commitment even in the midst of navigating limitations brought about by COVID-19 brings hope to their community. We believe that Ocean Heights Presbyterian Church will inspire others to respond intentionally to God’s call to care for the earth,” says Jessica Maudlin, Associate for Sustainable Living and Earth Care Concerns for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

For more information about Ocean Heights Presbyterian Church’s earth care program contact Sharon Cresse at gdcsgc@verizon.net  or (609) 641-5004.

For more information on the Earth Care Congregations program visit www.pcusa.org/earthcarecongregations.

Earth Care Preliminary Plan for 2021

To qualify as a Earth Care Congregation, we earned points in four areas: Education, Facilities, Outreach, and Worship.
To maintain our new status as an Earth Care congregation, the Earth Care Task Force proposes the following activities:

Arrange a speaker on a topic related to environmental justice as an Adult Education offering
Arrange for art displays on environmental topics
Continue to identify and share Green Learning opportunities via E-News and OHPC website
Continue to share issue spotlights via email on a quarterly basis
Partner with Citizen’s Climate Lobby on a movie night during summer or fall, hybrid and/or in person
Continue to update OHPC website on Earth Care issues and opportunities

Explore possibility of establishing a rain garden (arrange a site evaluation with the PFW program)
Explore possibility of establishing a certified wildlife habitat (arrange a site evaluation with the PFW program)
Plant milkweed to attract and help Monarch butterflies
Plant plants that will attract pollinators
Develop a community garden (arrange a site evaluation with the PFW program)

Write letters/sign petitions related to environmental justice and other environmental issues
Organize a trash or stream clean-up

Do a Minute for Mission on Earth Care on a Sunday near Earth Day (April 22)
Explore possibility of putting up an Earth Care banner (in the church and/or at the roadside)
Incorporate Earth Care into a worship service