DCC’s Green and Getting Greener!
Davis Community Church Certified as a PC(USA) Earth Care Congregation
Davis Community Church has been certified for the sixth year as an Earth Care Congregation by the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Presbyterian Hunger Program, a testament to the commitment that the church has made to care for the earth.
Under the leadership of the congregation’s Compassion, Peace and Justice Ministry, Davis Community Church affirmed an Earth Care pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into all aspects of congregational life. Earth Care is a frequent theme of worship services, educational opportunities, children’s curriculum and boy and girl scouting programs. The pandemic, of course, meant a steep reduction in energy and paper use as the congregation moved to online worship services on the Davis Community Church YouTube channel and, more recently, on the Zoom platform. Long before the pandemic though, the church began a robust recycling program and has shifted to reusable, recyclable, and compostable materials whenever possible. The empty campus this past year has allowed the congregation to make efficiency improvements to energy and water usage. A solar energy installation continues to provide low-cost energy efficiency to the entire downtown block.
In the community, Davis Community Church has focused on food insecurity and reduction in food waste, a major contributor to environmental degradation. In conjunction with the Yolo Food Bank, the congregation hosts a weekly Eat Well Yolo food distribution, which includes fresh produce from the Davis Farmers’ Market. The food distribution is on Saturdays at 1 pm at 412 C St., downtown Davis, and is open to all who need food.
The church works locally, nationally, and internationally in environmental activism, including a monthly coffee order of organic, shade-grown coffee from Chiapas, Mexico which directly supports coffee growers who are frequently cut out of the profits from coffee sales and reduces the need for emigration.
“Davis Community Church joins 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 DCC 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 (USA).
Living Our Values – Going Solar
We are in the midst of going solar! DCC has committed to an investment in solar energy. Look for progress during the upcoming months! The material has been delivered and is stored in a storage container on the north side of Fellowship Hall. We are working with contractors to install the panels and generate solar energy! The project will generate long-term savings and be ecologically-friendly to our planet home.
Davis Community Church (DCC) was selected by the City of Davis for an Environmental Recognition Award in the Non-Profit category, based on our external and internal efforts to impact issues related to climate change. The award was presented 4/18/17 at City Council. DCC participates in broad city-wide discussions about climate change and climate justice, opens our facility to host meetings and workshops by community groups, and welcomes immigrants and refugees. As an “Earth Care Congregation”, DCC encourages the own congregation to be ‘eco-savvy’ and further, to be role models in the community. DCC has transformed the church campus to a more drought tolerant landscape, implemented composting and recycling, and hope to install solar panels.
As an Earth Care congregation, DCC works in many ways to reduce its carbon footprint. Recently, we set up 10 4-bin stations around the church to help us reduce the size of the trash by food scrap composting. It’s working! See this short video for some tips and tricks on organics waste composting and use of the food scrap bin https://dctv.davismedia.org/co
Finally, besides donating to places in Davis like the SPCA and All Things Right And Relevant, large items can now be donated (and bought used) at the Big Blue Barn Landfill Thrift store, including furniture (not upholstered), lumber, tile, play structures and much more. Check out https://archive.org/details/In
Everyone can become a better steward and the need is great. The part of the world that suffers most from our waste is the less developed, poorer areas. So climate justice becomes social justice. We become beacons of love in the world by our stewardship of what we’ve been given to us in trust, with our generosity to live our lives with the poorest in mind and through justice for the planet and all people.
In 2016, DCC earned a PC(USA) Environmental Ministries designation as an Earth Care Congregation!
To become an Earth Care Congregation, this congregation affirmed the Earth Care Pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into all facets of our church life, and completed projects and activities in the fields of worship, education, facilities, and outreach. We are quietly working toward increased energy and water efficiency, responsible recycling and climate change education. In community, we studied the encyclical, Laudato Si’, published by Pope Francis during our Lenten Book Study. We are active with the Yolo Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice and are sponsoring events, such as last week’s program on the plant-based journey. The work is ongoing and we know there is more to be done. We plan to continue our environmental awareness and maintain this designation in the years ahead.
You can explore what you can do now through some of the links below:
- Take action locally with Cool Davis. https://www.cooldavis.org/ This is an organization that has news of climate actions to take as well as local news about what is happening, including Eco-heros and their annual Cool Davis Festival, as well as a Climate Conference. Prominent among the actions are:
- Easy to do actions https://www.cooldavis.org/take-action/in-your-home/quick-wins/
- Become a Cool Home https://www.cooldavis.org/take-action/in-your-home/become-a-cool-home/ Print a form for yourself and then sign up your pledge online for being a Cool Home. With report of data online will give Davis a chance to win $5 million and become America’s coolest city in the Georgetown University Energy Prize.
- Become a Cool Home Lite http://www.cooldavis.org/projects/lite-house-project/ Already done a lot? You can become a Lite household by your commitment to carbon reduction and sustainability.
- Help the church participate in the Organics http://cityofdavis.org/city-hall/public-works/solid-waste-and-recycling/compost/organics-program in Davis as well as doing it at home yourself from July on. Educate yourself about this.
- Subscribe to the Presbyterian Eco-Justice Journey blog http://www.pcusa.org/blogs/eco-journey/topic/church-earth-care-stories/.
Later, our Earth Care Committee of the Church and Society Ministry will be including more actions for DCC as an Earth Care Congregation. We welcome your input.
Share what you are doing via email with Martha Teeter, firstname.lastname@example.org. That way we’ll know and celebrate with you!
Earth Care Committee of the Church & Society Ministry:
Sue Bennett, Diane Colburn, Paul Sippola, Jewel Payne and Martha Teeter