“As an environmental Center for Education and Social Transformation, we are called to inspire and motivate individuals and communities to restore and sustain God’s Creation in ways that are responsible, faithful, and just.”
Responding to the call from the General Synod of the United Church of Christ to address climate change and environmental justice, in October of 2010, Justice and Witness Ministries and the Pacific Northwest Conference entered into a covenant to establish The UCC Environmental Justice Center at Pilgrim Firs.
Justice and Witness Ministries
Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) is one of four Covenanted Ministries in the national setting of the United Church of Christ, whose purpose is to help local congregations and all settings of the church respond to God’s commandments to do justice, seek peace, and effect change for a better world. The work of Justice and Witness Ministries is guided by the pronouncements and resolutions approved by the United Church of Christ General Synod.
The Centers for Education and Social Transformation (CEST) concept was launched by JWM in 2006, and Pilgrim Firs will be the 4th CEST center. JWM envisioned the creation of Centers with programs in key spirit-filled contexts, where persons may be transformed into a community of justice-seeking and peace-building persons who are moved to create social and spiritual change in their own contexts and in the wider society.
Transformation is a theological process that impacts our social discourse. It is sometimes difficult to characterize in concrete or objective terms because it is essentially a personal and subjective occurrence that can only be described by the person or institution that has experienced it. We believe that God can transform persons into justice seekers through immersion in the realities in which God is at work in critical ways.
Pacific Northwest Conference
The Pacific Northwest Conference is one of 38 conferences of the United Church of Christ that serves 83 churches located in Washington, northern Idaho and Alaska. With God's help, the PNC seeks to empower people to become thoughtful, compassionate Christians who are Biblically rooted and continually guided by the Holy Spirit to love the whole of God's creation.
PNC is a covenant conference of the United Church of Christ and commits to follow the call of God today as revealed through the Bible, in the historic Jesus, the risen Christ and the continuous revelation of the Holy Spirit; to reach out in love and understanding to all of God's people, committed to partnership and action with the wider United Church of Christ and the ecumenical community; to act as communities of nurture and care, gathering as the body of Christ for healing, fellowship, celebration and growth, building neighborhoods of justice and peace; to share resources and opportunities for spiritual growth, education, mission, evangelism and stewardship; to support the clergy and lay leadership that strengthens our communities and enhance the collegial relationships of clergy and laity; and to administer our corporate life responsibly and ethically.
Silver Lake Conference Center
Silver Lake Camp and Conference Center is the Outdoor Ministry of the Connecticut Conference of the UCC. Silver Lake hosts the outdoor ministry and educational programs of the United Church of Christ as well as other church, civic and educational non-profit groups. Silver Lake is a year-round camp and conference center in Sharon, Connecticut. This beautiful site includes 65 wooded acres in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, and offers cabins, winterized retreat buildings, and outdoor recreation areas for guest use.