Westminster was awarded the coveted title of Earth Care Congregation by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 2010, and has been successfully re-certified each year since.

This honor means we exhibit exceptional leadership in protecting God’s creation and are good stewards of Earth’s resources through worship, education, outreach, advocacy, and facilities management. We strive to educate, equip, and inspire our congregation to work for environmental sustainability and eco-justice locally and globally.

We created change at Westminster by adopting principles of Earth preservation and greener practices. Over the years we have invested in our extensive physical plant (the various church properties) to save energy, and we are committed to ongoing environmental education. We have initiated community advocacy and – through our international mission work – kept the focus on renewal of our planet for future generations.

Our commitment encompasses the following:


We believe we are called by God to care for the earth. In our worship there are sermons, prayers, and hymns that emphasize our commitment to Earth Care, and we connect this commitment to environmental justice across the planet.

Facilities Management

Energy audits have identified opportunities for energy conservation (and savings!) at Westminster. More than 1,650 light bulbs in and around the church have been converted to LEDs. We have installed 51 solar panels on adjacent church properties that serve as transitional housing, resulting in a carbon dioxide emission reduction of 45,000 pounds per year. All of the electricity for our main church building comes from renewable resources. Our state-of-the-art programmable HVAC system enables us to save energy by heating and cooling rooms only when they are in use. New energy saving windows and four energy efficient air conditioners have been installed, and our old furnace has been replaced by a high efficiency model.

Community Garden Education


Westminster hosts speakers and special events for adults, children, and youth. Subjects have included climate risk, clean water, population impact, the science and advantages of LED bulbs, alternative energy, energy conservation, native plants and pollinators, wildlife trafficking, nature preservation (animals and plants), recycling, climate change, and the importance of adding more vegetables to our diet. We include environmental education subjects in every edition of our newsletter, the Westminster Chimes. Newsletter articles also have explained the intersection of peace and justice and Earth Care.

Environmental Justice

Peace and justice and creation care are inextricably linked. To raise awareness and address inequities, Westminster has presented several peace and justice educational sessions, including speakers who explained environmental justice and discussed programs that bring inner city children into natural settings. We have made presentations on the climate crisis and renewable energy and supported tree planting in Wilmington. To address food deserts, we collected fresh garden produce and delivered homegrown vegetables to the Riverside Community Refrigerator. See Work for Justice + Peace for more information.


As an urban church, maintaining an organic Community Garden on our lawn communicates our values. The garden provides teaching moments for local urban students and gardeners donate surplus produce to urban food closets. Westminster has been an advocate for community action on environmental sustainability issues, such as controversial landfill expansion and water quality. Stream cleanups, tree plantings, and invasive plant pulls are yet another way we have involved our entire intergenerational congregation as well as participants from our neighborhood. We continue to collect hundreds of used batteries to prevent them from going into the landfill.

Internationally, we support projects to reduce wildlife poaching in the Democratic Republic of Congo and to plant trees in the mountainous regions of Guatemala.

Changing Habits

By integrating a multi-faceted approach to Earth Care, our goal is to change awareness, attitudes and, ultimately, behaviors. We hope that the changes we make at church will be replicated in our daily lives at work and at home. Each of us can make a difference. If we all commit to changes in our personal habits and advocacy, we will make a big difference collectively. We are the caretakers of God’s creation.

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