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NCC Eco-Justice program and outdoor ministries committee
urge camps to sign-on to the 'Green Camp Covenant'

Washington, January 26, 2009 – The National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program and the Committee on Outdoor Ministries are inviting camp and conference centers across the country to sign a Green Camp and Conference Center Covenant. 

The covenant recognizes that camps and conference centers have a special responsibility to play in protecting God’s creation and maintaining places where people of faith come to experience God.  The covenant can be read and signed at  

“Camp and conference centers have a unique role to play in the protection of, and education about, God’s Creation”, said Jordan Blevins, Assistant Director of the Eco-Justice Program of the National Council of Churches. “This covenant gives them the opportunity to put words and commitments to the values many of them have been living out for generations, and to be recognized for and supported in doing so.” 

Jeff Puhlmann-Becker, chair of the Committee on Outdoor Ministries, explained, “This covenant was developed with the hopes that a wide variety of participants, leaders, camps and denominations will sign on as individuals and collective groups.  For example, a specific camp board might adopt and sign this covenant.  At another camp, a small group of campers and their leaders might spend the week exploring care for God's creation and choose, as a small group, to sign this covenant." 

The Committee on Outdoor Ministries has long maintained Creation Care as one of their main priorities, writing in their Theological Mission Statement, “Outdoor ministry settings provide space and time to encounter God, others, and creation. The sacred place apart, intentional programs of study, recreation, worship, and sustained time together offer opportunities for Christian community. The natural environment reminds campers of the richness and variety God creates, the call to praise God, and the charge to care for all creation.”  

Protection of wilderness areas has also long been a focus area and campaign of the Eco-Justice Program, who state on their webpage, “Wilderness is a place where God meets us, sometimes most powerfully. Whether as the site of Moses’ call, the Israelites’ freedom and consecration, the inspiration of prophets, the testing of Jesus, or our own experiences today, wilderness  is a place of divine experience.”  

At their annual gathering this week in Live Oak, Florida, members of the Committee on Outdoor Ministries unanimously approved the covenant and signed on to show their support.   

Members of the Outdoor Ministry Commission Signing the Covenant:

David Berkey, United Methodist Church
Mark Burkhardt, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Brian Frick, Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly Council
Suzanne Getz Bates, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Rex M. Miller, Church of the Brethren
F. Pierce, Senior Program Director, Education and Leadership Ministries, National Council of Churches, USA
Jeff Puhlmann-Becker, United Church of Christ

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell) ,

Photo: Presbyterian Church Camp Burnamwood

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