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Pilgrim Firs explores becoming environmental center

Pilgrim Firs Camp and Conference Center has entered conversations with the national United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries and Earth Ministry in Seattle to discern how the Pacific Northwest Conference’s facilities might become a Center for Environmental Issues, said PNC Conference Minister Mike Denton. 

Currently, there are two other national UCC camps that are centers focused on particular justice and peace issues: 

• Franklinton Center on a former plantation in North Carolina focuses programs on issues regarding race. 

• Centro Romero in San Ysidro, Calif., focuses on immigration issues and programs, including coordinating cross-border immersion trips. 

Discussions are exploring how an environmental center might function, engage people and be used to address environmental issues.

In the Puget Sound area, Deeg Nelson, Pilgrim Firs’ managing director, said there are many environmental efforts and stakeholders, so it’s possible to add a program that includes theological reflection on issues of creation care, ecology and stewardship. 

Pilgrim Firs’ commitment to environmental sustainability that includes composting kitchen waste and recycling paper, plastic, metal and glass, which has reduced its garbage output.

It also buys in bulk to cut down on packaging and is using natural cleaning products rather than chemicals.  In addition, to “return to nature,” it has reduced use of fences, replacing them with natural vegetation,” said Deeg.  The goal is to set an example of earth-friendly practices.

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Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © December 2009


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