Peace & Justice

The Peace and Justice Committee responds to God’s call to be peacemakers by supporting the work of our congregation to seek racial and environmental justice, end hunger and poverty, prevent violence, expose injustice, and promote peace.

Racial Justice
Environmental Justice
End Hunger and Poverty
Peacemaking


RACIAL JUSTICE

But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:24

 “Racism is the opposite of what God intends for humanity. It is the rejection of the other, which is entirely contrary to the Word of God incarnate in Jesus Christ. Racism is a lie about our fellow human beings, for it says that some are less than others. Because of our biblical understanding of who God is and what God intends for humanity, the PC(USA) must stand against, speak against and work against racism.” PC(USA).

     Initiatives
1. Advocated for the adoption of Matthew 25 Initiative with the Mission Committee

2. Fostered the Esther Brigade

Resources

1.  DPC Matthew 25 website at https://www.dtownpc.org/matthew25/

2.  Presbyterian Mission for Racial Equity, PC(USA)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1

The Earth in its entirety, of which we humans are a part, is God’s very good creation. (Gen. 1)  As stewards of all of creation, we have been tasked by God to “till and keep it.” Environmental justice is often termed “eco-justice” which encompasses ecological, economic, and social justice for “all people on a thriving earth.”  Environmental injustice (environmental racism) also refers specifically to placing heavy industry, toxic waste facilities, industrial plants and oil terminals near black, brown, Indigenous and low income communities.

As a result of environmental injustice, the Peace and Justice Committee believes the words of Hosea resonate strongly today: “There is no faithfulness or loyalty, and no knowledge of God in the land…Therefore the land mourns, and all who live in it languish; together with the wild animals and the birds of the air, even the fish of the sea are perishing.” (Hosea 4:1-3)

DPC has been recertified as an official Earth Care Congregation!

PC(USA) certifies DPC as an official Earth Care Congregation. Click Here to read the official statement from our denomination when we first attained this status in 2023. In the year following this initial certification, DPC members have participated in many ways to spread awareness, to educate, and to take action in preserving and cherishing God’s creations. We are thrilled to have been recertified as an Earth Care Congregation as of March 2024!

Grow Together. The push to attain this certification came from DPC members who took part in a recently formed Growth Thru Action Group developed by the Peace and Justice Committee. This group will be meeting periodically again soon. Stay tuned for information and we encourage you to reach out to dpc@dtownpc.org if you have interest in joining the Earth Care Team.

On Sunday, May 12, the Earth Care Team presents the first of a three-part series titled Stewarding God’s Creation which will offer information about a variety of topics as well as simple tips that can help you live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. On Mother’s Day, visit the bridge for “Love Your Mother! (Mother Earth, Too!)” where stations will highlight the importance of native plants in climate mitigation. The first 50 visitors will receive a native plant. Keep watch for dates and details of the next two installments in the series.

CLICK HERE to explore a special webpage about this 3-part series and check back for ongoing updates!

Earth Care SWAPS

“What can I use instead of single-use plastics?  What alternatives can I find to be a better steward of our environment?”  The following list of SWAPS identifies products that are available locally or online that help move you away from plastics and single use items.  If you have suggestions to add to the list, please contact DPC at dpc@dtownpc.org subject line “Earth Care SWAPS.”

CLICK HERE to read an interesting article by climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe about how even something simple like selecting an internet search engine can tie into Earth Care.


Continuing Care for Creation. There are many environmentally-conscious books in the Ruth I. Hughes Memorial Library here at DPC. Special bookmarks highlighting the Earth Care Pledge were recently passed out following worship and will be distributed again at events throughout the year. You can also visit www.pcusa.org/environment for many resources and information about various causes.


Peace and Justice Initiatives

1.  Purchased NEXT Church resource for the congregation

2. “Down to Earth: The Bible and Environmental Ethics” with guest presenter Dr. Jacqueline Lapsley of the Princeton Seminary

3.“Stewardship of God’s Earth” Steward Faith Steward Earth presented by Dr. Nathan Stuckey

Resources: Books and Reports

1.  Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice.  A Report adopted by PC(USA) in 1990. (church library)

2.  Toxic Waste and Race at Twenty, 1987-2007, The United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries (Report in church library)

3.  Laudato Si. An Encyclical letter of Pope Francis on Care for Our Common Home.

4. UN Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change 2021

END HUNGER AND POVERTY

Peace and Justice supports those in our congregation who work toward solutions to end systemic poverty and injustice by:

  • Aiding vulnerable communities as they work to improve their lives
  • Supporting educational and training programs
  • Providing congregation-wide education which prepares us that we may join in partnerships for action and advocacy to end hunger and poverty

Initiatives

  1. Participation in Racial Wealth Gap Simulation
  2. Support for other programs, including Caring for Friends, Code Blue, Community Meal, Bread for the World, Support for Mission Organizations

Resources

There are nine Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of PC(USA) covering a broad range of endeavors from disaster response to poverty to several levels of advocacy and church policy to education and more. They are:

  1. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA)
  2. The Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP)
  3. Self-Development of People (SDOP)
  4. Office of Public Witness (OPW, Washington D.C.)
  5. Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations (PMUN, New York)
  6. Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI)
  7. Office of Racial & Intercultural Justice
  8. Presbyterian Peacemaking Program
  9. Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP)

PEACEMAKING

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  Matthew 5:9

“O God, bring our nation and all nations to uphold justice and equity, that poverty, oppression, and violence may vanish and all may know peace and plenty; in the name of Jesus Christ, the ruler of all. Amen.” The Book of Common Worship, 695.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “true peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”  Since God intends peace in all places and peace for all people, we are called to address the causes of violence in our world. That means caring about the child who lives in fear at home, those living in refugee camps, those fearing gun violence, those living at risk on the margins, and those victimized by wars among nations and tribes. In a world full of sin and darkness, Christ asks us to carry His light of pure peace and compassion.

Initiatives

  1. Adult Education offered a class on Firearms, Domestic and School Violence.
  2. Sponsored classes on the Israeli Palestinian conflict

Resources:

  1. Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network
  2. Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call
  3. 2019 Gun Violence resources packet
  4. 10 Things You Can Do to End Gun Violence.  Suggestions based upon the recommendations approved by the 219th GeneralAssembly (2010) in Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call.
  5. America and its Guns: A Theological Expose, by James E Atwood.
  6. Five Risks Presbyterians Must Take for Peace, by Christian Iosso.

For more information, contact dpc@dtownpc.org.