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EarthCare Committee

Vision Statement
   We respect the earth God created for us and recognize our responsibility as God’s stewards to
   care conscientiously for all creation.

Mission Statement
   The RUC Earth Care Committee works to raise awareness, education, and outreach within our
   congregation and throughout our community, and practices green standards in its care and
   maintenance of all property outside the church building.


Click HERE for slides presented at the meeting, and HERE for a list of resources shared at the 1/26/22 presentation

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Earth Care Team Accomplishments
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RUC Native Plant Garden.jpg
  • initiated our Earth Care Team (2012)

  • implemented a recycling program for paper, plastic, glass, metal (2012—present)

  • certified as a Green Justice Congregation from the United Church of Christ (lifetime)

  • certified as an Earth Care Congregation from the National Presbytery USA (2014—2021)

  • monitored RUC’s utility usage date to generate Energy Star scores (2012—2018)

  • contracted to conduct an energy audit for our building management (2012)

  • switched incandescent lighting to LED lighting (2013—2015)

  • installed programmable thermostats and energy efficient heat and a/c systems (2015)

  • contracted to develop a master landscape plan for RUC’s grounds and memorial garden (2013)

  • planted several native cedars, hollies, and redbud trees along the southern side of RUC grounds (2013), planted a native river birch tree and dogwood tree on the church property (2019)

  • developed RUC’s community garden in the back of the property (2013—present)

  • switched electric energy supply to 100% wind power (2014—present)

  • participated in the National Capital Presbytery Earth Care Network group and co-managed the Power to Change grant program to distribute matching grant funds to support regional congregations’ energy conservation projects (2013—present)

  • used eco-palms for Palm Sunday and replaced florist-ordered floral arrangements with cuttings from home and church gardens (2013—present)

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  • conducted Sunday service at Lake Needwood (annually), Camp Pecometh (annually), and Fox Haven Farm in (2019)

  • established composting program (2013—present)

  • presented information about composting (2017 and 2019) and provided a tour of our community garden (2019)

  • hosted our Share the Harvest program, selling produce from our community garden and local organic farms to members and donating proceeds to Rockville Emergency Assistance Program (2013—2018) and Manna Community Food Rescue Program (2019—present)  

  • established several native plant gardens and butterfly gardens on RUC grounds (2015, 2019—present)

  • conducted a native plant garden dedication service, including liturgy, children’s message, songs, and sermon (2019)

  • pastor dedicated his summer sabbatical to studying the spirituality of gardening, and returned to incorporate earth care themes into church activities and sermons (2019)

  • devoted the theme of our Advent series to creation redemption by including scripture, quotations, and poetry related to creation stewardship into the liturgy, children’s messages, songs, and sermons for four Sundays (2019)

  • replaced aging asphalt-shingled roof with eco-friendly synthetic slate roof shingles made from recycled post-industrial rubber and plastic materials (2021)

  • replaced 98 old single-pane windows with double-pane interior glazed insulated low-emissivity glass Energy Star windows (2021)

  • established RUC’s role as a sponsoring congregation for the National Capital Presbytery’s grant to Reverend Jean Brown's Earthen Hands Ministry at Dayspring (2020)

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RUC's Native Garden around the Peace Pol
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