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Environmental Justice Office of the Presbyterian Church (USA)

Abstract Taking the 1990 General Assembly report “Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice” as its principle guide, the Environmental Justice Office of the Presbyterian Church (USA) promotes faith-based eco-justice in a variety of ways. The office supports Presbyterian eco-justice ministries by providing individuals, congregations, and presbyteries with Christian environmental resources in the form of publications, videos, and web materials, as well as seminars, leadership trainings, conferences, and workshops. The Office works with other Presbyterian Offices, Christian denominations, interfaith groups, and government agencies, particularly in the areas of political advocacy and global climate change. In addition to endorsing the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Congregations program, the Environmental Justice Office collaborates with other denominations in supporting the Youth Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb Project, which enables youth groups to take action on behalf of creation while earning money for mission trips by selling energy efficient light bulbs in their congregations. The Office also provides materials and small seed grants to more than sixty volunteer “Restoring Creation Enablers,” who promote eco-justice in their presbyteries.
Religion Christianity
Geographic Location United States of America
(Administrative Office: Louisville, Kentucky)
Duration of Project 1988–Present

The Environmental Justice Office was established in 1988 as the General Assembly’s eco-justice policy was being updated for the newly reunited Presbyterian Church (USA). It now works to implement the policies expressed in the 1990 General Assembly report, “Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice,” as well as the “Hazardous Waste, Race and the Environment” (1995) and “Toward a Just and Sustainable Human Development (1996) policies. The Office does this through congregational outreach, education, resource development, advocacy, and networking. Other General Assemblies have adopted resolutions on environmental issues as well (e.g., endorsing the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, recycling, cleaning up coal-fired power plants, and the impact of trade agreements on the environment).

Mission Statement The Environmental Justice Office aims to foster church involvement in eco-justice ministries at all levels through a comprehensive program that includes leadership development; provision of materials for theological, biblical, and ethical education; public policy advocacy; promotion of corporate environmental responsibility; and the forging of partnerships to address global environmental problems.
Partner Organizations National Council of Churches of Christ Eco-Justice Working Group
Presbyterians for Restoring Creation
Presbyterian Washington Office
Presbyterian United Nations Office
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Ecumenical Eco-Justice Network
Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
The National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE)
Long-Term Goals None Listed
Bibliography None Listed
Additional Research Resources None Listed
Contact Information Environmental Justice Program of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Ph:       888.728.7228, ext. 5809
Email: William Somplatsky-Jarman