Written by Michelle May
The Rev. Janet Parker, a UCC minister, was honored by the National Council of Churches' eco-justice working group as the first recipient of the NCC Environmental Sermon Award for her text, "From Apocalypse to Genesis."
Parker, pastor for parish life at Rock Spring Congregational UCC in Arlington, Va., was selected from among 50 sermon submissions from across the country and as far as Australia and Brazil.
The sermon award was created as an outgrowth of an eco-theology study guide for congregations entitled "Opening the Letter," available for download.
"I am both honored and humbled to receive the National Council of Churches environmental sermon award," Parker said. "I pray that this sermon award will inspire people in churches and houses of worship across the country to take up our human mandate to 'tend and keep' God's glorious creation, not as 'lords of the earth' but as 'plain members and citizens' of Earth's community of life."
The NCC Eco-Justice Program sought submissions for the award in an effort to recognize the breadth of eco-justice ministries thriving in churches today.
"We were impressed with the diversity of topics covered in the submissions and inspired by the number of clergy that are leading the call to care for creation in their congregations," said John Hill, director of environmental and economic justice for the United Methodist Church and co-chair of the NCC eco-justice working group.
Parker's sermon is posted at the NCC's website and will also be featured in the June edition of the Yale Divinity School's journal "Reflections," focusing on theology and the ecological crisis.