To Believe is to Care, To Care is to Do” has long been the bumper sticker associated with United Church of Chapel Hill (UCCH). The fruits of this strong commitment to bring faith to action are evident in the activities of the United Earth Ministry group at United Church and the strong support of Senior Co-Pastor, Rick Edens. From Fasting from Carbon through Low-Carbon Cooking during Lent to beginning the process of going solar, UCCH is an outstanding community leader in the quest for a new, more gentle and sustainable way to live in community with each other and creation.
The past year has been an active one for UCCH. Last September, United Church hosted the first workshop by Joanna Macy ever held in the Southeast US. Hundreds of people flocked from across the state to hear Joanna speak about the Work that Reconnects, and learn from this master teacher. In January, UCCH hosted the first ever workshop on Transition Congregations. Jim Deming, UCC Environmental Justice Minister, and Tina Clarke, Transition Trainer, combined talents to bring the technologies and philosophy of the Transition Movement to the faith context in a one day workshop attended by lay and clergy from across the state. In April, Matthew Fox spend a weekend at United Church giving a workshop on Creation Spirituality, and stirring hearts and minds. In addition to these landmark events, this spring, UCCH also began hosting an NCIPL Earth Sabbath Celebration on the second Tuesday of each month, and has taken advantage of the networking provided by NCIPL’s Energy Clearinghouse, to begin serious planning for solar panels on the church trellis.
All of these activities recently attracted the attention of radioblog journalist, Diane Brandon, who interviewed both Rev. Edens and former NCIPL Co-Director, Kathy Shea on her hour long show in early May entitled “ A Faith Community’s Approach to Stewardship of the Earth.” United Church of Chapel Hill is one of a growing number of faith communities across the state that are finding the call to care for creation irresistible, and applying that bumper sticker sensibility by taking belief to action in ever more creative and fun ways.