The Creation Care Ministry at TPC exists to rally, educate, share, celebrate and strengthen our congregational commitment to reshaping our daily lives and the workings of our church to honor, rather than destroy, God’s creation. These are the ways we C.A.R.E.
Creation Care contributes to citywide events that promote environmental stewardship and community beautification. Our volunteers go into the community with the heartfelt intention of connecting and giving to our neighbors in McKinney. This spirit also inspired Trinity’s Good Earth Garden, an organic community garden where food and friendship is grown. Every year, a portion of the garden’s harvest is shared with the Samaritan Inn, Collin County’s only homeless shelter.
Trinity’s leadership and congregation have made it their goal to turn our church into an earth-friendly space. Efforts toward this goal include an environmentally minded use of energy and water, the installation of gardens and outdoor spaces and the consistent recycling of all paper, plastic, cardboard and aluminum generated through the church offices, classrooms and kitchen (an effort which diverts around seven cubic yards of waste from local landfills monthly).
Trinity also sponsors church-wide events like Earth Care Sunday, an annual festival that reminds us to actively improve our stewardship of the planet and of God’s creatures big and small. This goal is also at the heart of our annual Creation Care Fair, which seeks to raise awareness of environmental issues while offering obtainable solutions. Most recently, our fair was centered around Creation Care’s Butterfly Project, a two-month church-wide effort to raise awareness of the plight of the monarch butterfly. The effort ended with a letter-writing campaign to McKinney’s mayor, asking him to sign the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge.
On February 20, 2018, our efforts were successful! Mayor Fuller signed the pledge and a proclamation committing to nine actions that helped our city enter the NWF’s Leadership Circle. See Trinity celebrate with McKinney’s City Council and Mayor Fuller here: McKinney City Council
One of Creation Care’s primary goals is to promote a lifestyle that honors rather than destroys the environment. We encourage Trinity’s congregation to reduce their daily waste and carbon footprint by promoting recycling and reuse. Every year, we hold an annual electronic recycling event and provide a way to recycle old clothes and textiles by partnering with the World Wear Project. We’ve also encouraged several families to participate in the Green Living Practicum, a study which helped them retrofit their homes and habits, so they could make sustainable choices in areas of water, food, electricity, transportation and consumer products. The Green Living Practicum was a success and has encouraged Creation Care to continue its efforts. The Green Living Practicum asks participants to re-imagine and re-organize their day-to-day in an environmentally friendly way.
The Celebration Garden and Columbarium was also born out this effort to re-imagine our relationship with nature and reuse that which has been overlooked. In 2011, a barren area of the church grounds was transformed into a garden that features a prayer walk, fountain and original artwork. The Columbarium offers a modern, cost-effective, environmentally-wise alternative to burial.
To further reduce our carbon footprint, Trinity will install several solar panels in 2018. Thanks to a generous donation and fundraising efforts, our church will be the first in our area to install and use solar panels. Read more about our solar panels.
As Mr. Rogers once put it, “One of the greatest dignities of humankind is that each successive generation is invested in the welfare of each new generation.” This is one reason Creation Care makes it a priority to foster environmental stewardship among all generations of Trinity’s congregation. We actively partner with Trinity’s children and YOUTH for many of our events. We are extremely proud of our YOUTH Earth Care members, who led a successful campaign to educate the congregation and the community on the dangers of drinking straws to sea life. These amazing teens also took charge of Trinity’s recertification as an Earth Care Congregation, meeting with the appropriate maintenance people and completing the various forms necessary for recertification.
Most recently, Creation Care offered a how-to class to demonstrate the benefits of home-made environmentally-friendly laundry detergent. Going forward, there are plans to increase class topics to include soaps and beauty products. These classes have not only been a great way to learn more about the toxins we dump into the environment with the use of store-bought cleaning products, but they have been a fun way to form new friendships and to connect with each other.
TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IS AN EARTH CARE CONGREGATION (ECC)
As an Earth Care Congregation we:
- Recycle paper, cardboard, aluminum and plastics
- Conserve energy through scheduling and carefully monitoring our zoned HVAC systems
- Conserve water through low flow toilets, and using native plants in some areas
- Engage the youth of the church to participate in the earth care certification process
- Offer eco-friendly compostable, biodegradable cups and ceramic mugs for coffee service instead of Styrofoam
- Serve Fair Trade coffee
- Offer gluten free organic bread for communion
- Send electronic newsletters as opposed to paper
- Seek opportunities to increase awareness about community events & earth care legislation
- Use Eco-Palms during Lent
- Harvest rain to supplement a drip system to water the Good Earth Community Garden