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A Lesson in Patience - Richmond Beach UCC

When Earth Ministry started its “Colleagues” program, Lois Harrison, a member of Richmond Beach Congregational United Church of Christ, was one of the first to sign up. But Lois felt like she just couldn’t light a spark, “At first I was feeling so frustrated, ‘are they not hearing me?’”

Richmond Beach UCCWhen Earth Ministry started its “Colleagues” program, Lois Harrison, a member of Richmond Beach Congregational United Church of Christ, was one of the first to sign up.  But Lois felt like she just couldn’t light a spark, “At first I was feeling so frustrated, ‘are they not hearing me?’” 

About two and a half years ago, the momentum began to shift. Lois was serving on the Peace and Justice Board when she found two or three other people who were interested in creation care. This was all she needed to start on the road to becoming a Greening Congregation.  “It took a year to educate people.  We wrote a mission statement and goals,” remembered Lois. In response to this new growth, Pastor Joy Haertig said, “it’s remarkable to see the growth above the earth, not just the roots.”

Despite the slow start at Richmond Beach Congregational, they have a long list of accomplishments. A couple highlights of their work included a Gentle Giving Fair in November that focused on Fair Trade and environmentally-friendly items and starting “One World”, an online environmental newsletter. One of Pastor Haertig’s highlights is seeing the “youth turnout for Step It Up and their excitement. Two [of them] were even interviewed on the news!”

“Earth Ministry has been an important part of [the greening] process.  It’s supportive to know that there is a faith-based organization whose message is that care for the environment is something we should be concerned about,” said Lois, “When you get really discouraged, you know that you have that core –  you’re not alone.” 

Richmond Beach Congregational finished their first year in the Greening Congregations program in May and will receive their banner at Earth Ministry’s 15th Anniversary Celebration on October 4th.  To learn more about Richmond Beach Congregational or to read “One World”, check out their website: www.rbcucc.org.

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