Environmental Stewardship

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.
Genesis 2:15

Mission and Commitment Statement

We joyfully strive to be careful stewards of the environment as we honor God’s covenant with all of creation. We welcome all people to our church and all living creatures to our earth by committing to preserve its beauty and longevity. As followers of Christ, we seek to live the love of Christ by protecting all of God’s creation; with Christ’s humble and wise demeanor we enjoy the gifts of our environment without wasting God’s generosity.

Webster Groves Presbyterian Church is committed to environmental stewardship and implementing sustainable practices as an integral part of our ministries. Since 2012, we have been working to minimize the environmental impact of our church, homes and all the events we support, in coordination with our staff, church officers and congregants.

Earth Care Congregation

WGPC is proud to have been approved as an Earth Care Congregation by the PC(USA). To achieve this recognition, our Session committed to the Earth Care Pledge, which challenges us to live in a manner consistent with God’s call not only to care for creation but to commune with creation because of our love for Christ. Please contact our Mission Outreach Coordinator, Beth Kazlauskas, if you have any questions.

Clean Air! 2022-2023 Focus Area

Each year Environmental Stewardship chooses an area to focus their attention and education. Past years have included water, trees, pollinators and birds. In 2022-2023 the focus area is clean air. WGPC is hosting multiple educational sessions on air quality, we are participating in an air quality study and sharing information about the importance of planting trees. Our Environmental Stewardship efforts were highlighted in the November 2022 Sierra Club Eastern Missouri newsletter.

WGPC Participates in Air Quality Study

The Community Based Air Quality Monitoring Program is a congregational led action after the publishing of the Washington University Environmental Racism Report in 2019. There was a need to have more monitors to see if areas through the city were impacted differently, and there was a need to have them in a secure location for consistent data. Webster Groves Presbyterian is hosting an air monitor on our property, which is one of 14 monitors in congregations through the St. Louis Area. This program is funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health, and we have been working with Washington University-Jay Turner Lab & Environmental Studies Department, Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). The information from the monitors can be found at this website: https://airwatchstl.mcustlouis.org .

If you have questions about the monitor, please contact Beth Gutzler; beth@mcustl.com, please reach out to TNC for more information about nature based solutions to air quality issues."

Air Quality Info

Did you miss the education hour Air Quality presentation by Beth Gutzler and Tyler Cargill? Here are a few things we learned:

  • Particle pollution is made up of particles of dust, dirt, soot, and smoke.
  • Those less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (known as PM2.5 and about 1/30th the width of a human hair) pose the greatest risk to health.
  • High levels of particulate matter are "likely to be casual" and "casual" in relation to cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, as well as various cancers.
  • Fine particles are also the main cause of reduced visibility (haze) in parts of the United States, including many of our treasured national parks and wilderness areas.
  • You can use a site like airnow.gov to see current air quality levels. For those who are sensitive to particulate matter, this can help you reduce your activity or time outdoors when you are most likely to be affected.
  • What can you do to help? Reduce: use of your car, use of wood-burning fireplaces/stoves, and use of gas-powered lawn equipment. Also, plant more trees!

As Pope Francis said in a 2019 speech, ecological sin is "a sin against future generations and is manifested in the acts and habits of pollution and destruction of the harmony of the environment." It is up to us to work towards cleaner air for the health of all in our community, as well as those who come after us.

If you have questions about the monitor, please contact Beth Gutzler; beth@mcustl.com, please reach out to TNC for more information about nature based solutions to air quality issues."

Photos by Nancy Holmes

Recycling 101

The average American generates 4.48 pounds of trash a day, adding to a monstrous 262 million tons of trash per year in the United States.   Approximately 35% is recycled.

Recycling Information

Our Recycling Station in the Mission Hub accept the following:

  • batteries (rechargeable, alkaline, hearing aid)
  • cell phones/chargers
  • corks
  • eyeglasses
  • hearing aids
  • printer cartridges
  • electric cords
  • candles
  • egg cartons

For locations to recycle other items, see Where to Recycle in St. Louis

We seek to live Christ's love, welcome all people and joyfully serve God.