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The UCC-wide campaign ?Mission 4/1 Earth???50 great days? for the whole denomination to give special care to the earth?concluded on Pentecost Sunday, May 19. It had begun on April 1, the day after Easter. The campaign which drew together the energy, intentions and resources of the entire United Church of Christ had three major goals: to increase the number of hours in direct earth care, to plant trees in the US and abroad and to advocate on behalf of earth issues.
A running total in each of these three categories has been kept on the UCC website. The numbers are still changing, but as of Friday, May 23, 502,540 hours had been logged, 93,096 trees had been planted and 42,867 letters and emails had been sent. Click on the photo to enlarge the online chart.
First Church took an active role in the campaign. The Green Ministry Team coordinated several different events including planting trees with Urban Releaf in Oakland, participating in a Rebuilding Together project, marching in the CROP Walk and picking up shoreline trash along the SF Bay. The Team also organized Solar Sunday and Green Commute Sunday. Between these activities and individual commitments, First Church totaled 2758 earth-care hours.
In addition, members of the First Church community planted or donated to plant 969 trees. The church worked with two organizations that plant trees in the US (Arbor Day Foundation) and globally (Nature Conservancy).
First Church also wrote 190 letters and emails, addressing a wide range of environmental issues.
The children in the church took home glass jars and collected coins representing their earth care activities. Minister of Community Life Rachel Bauman prepared a calendar of simple activities that families could do together to pay attention to the earth.
The Worship Planning Team also wove Mission 4/1 Earth awareness into each of the worship services during this time, including songs, sermons, prayers, children?s stories, and ?moments for mission.? Banners were hung outside of the church, and the Green Team created a chart to show ongoing totals for the campaign.
You can read more about all of the various activities on the Mission 4/1 Earth Recap page.