Trinity’s Earth Shepherds (or TES)
meets the fourth Monday of the month, at 7:30 pm
in the Deacons Room.
Everyone is always welcome!!!!
What does TES do? Working with the numerous commissions and committees throughout the church, TES coordinates Trinity’s efforts to Care for God’s Creation.
Trinity’s environmental mission statement - “We, as a family of faith, believe that it is the responsibility of all to Care for God’s Creation through environmental education, conservation and community outreach” speaks to the fact that our church family feels a personal responsibility to Care for God’s Creation. Everything that is done in the church, is done through an environmental lens – meaning, what is best for God’s Creation, is always a consideration in our decision-making.
After completing their extensive and comprehensive, two-year Certification Program, Trinity has received national recognition as the first “GreenFaith Sanctuary”, from GreenFaith. We are also certified as an Earth Care Congregation, by the Presbyterian Church (USA); and as a National Wildlife Habitat, by the National Wildlife Federation.
Trinity has done some amazing environmental work over the years. Some examples of this include: installing a butterfly garden; infusing Creation Care into worship; holding vegetarian dinners; changing to energy efficient options; switching to Green Cleaning products; changing to reusable dinnerware; holding religious-environmental education programs for all ages – addressing everything from pollution, to environmental justice, to hydrofracking; holding an Environmental Justice Tour of the New Brunswick area; participating in national and international Environmental Justice initiatives; running a Sustainable Soirée.
Our most prized accomplishment for 2011-2012 was the development of Trinity’s Community Garden. The garden, created by our very own Alex Smith, as his Eagle Scout project, contains 38 – 10’x10’ plots, and is surrounded by sturdy fencing to keep the crops safe! The first year’s yield has been amazing, and each and every gardener has been amazed and blessed by its success!
We look forward to the 2013 growing season, and hope the community-at-large will join us, as we nurture God’s beautiful Creation!
Some of the things planned for the 2012-2013 Church year are:
- Lunch and Learn on Ocean Pollution
- participation in the Clean Ocean Action – Beach Sweep
- Environmental Film Small Group (February and March 2013)
- various Earth Day and Arbor Day activities (April)
- Lunch and Learn on Gardening (May)
Trinity is working hard to spread understanding to all, that Caring for God’s Creation is not only a necessity, but also a responsibility.
If you would like more information, please feel free to e-mail Debbie O’Halloran at
In October 2011, Trinity became the nation’s first House of Worship to be awarded certification as a “GreenFaith Sanctuary”
As described on GreenFaith’s website (www.greenfaith.org), “The GreenFaith Certification Program empowers religious institutions to play their uniquely important leadership role in the development of an environmentally just and sustainable world.
Over 2 years, participating institutions carry out initiatives to integrate environmental themes into their worship, religious education, facility maintenance, and social outreach.”
Trinity’s GreenFaith Certification Team included: All TES members and all 2009, 2010 and 2011 Commission and Committee Chairs; as well as Pastor Rob Carter and Glenn Sandberg, Clerk of Session.
However, it is the continued support and dedication of the whole church family that has made our call to Care for Creation possible.
Trinity Presbyterian Church is a Certified Earth Care Congregation
Trinity Presbyterian Church was first certified as an Earth Care Congregation by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Environmental Ministries on December 1, 2010 – and has been re-certified in both 2011 and 2012.
To become an Earth Care Congregation, Trinity Presbyterian Church affirmed the Earth Care Pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into all facets of its church life and completed projects and activities in the fields of worship, education, facilities, and outreach. The Earth Care Congregation certification is designed to recognize churches that make the commitment to take seriously God’s charge to “till and keep” the garden.
On receiving recertification in 2012, Rebecca Barnes Davies, Associate for Environmental Ministries, for PC(USA), shared “Congratulations on recertification as an Earth Care Congregation. The commitment that your church continues to show for caring for God’s earth is an inspiration and your ministry is appreciated.”
The Earth Care Congregations program was started in 2010 by PC(USA) Environmental Ministries. The goal of the program is to inspire churches to care for God’s earth in a holistic way, through integrating earth care into all of their church life. The Earth Care Congregation certification honors churches that make that commitment and encourages others to follow their example.
For more information on Trinity Presbyterian Church’s earth care program contact Debbie O’Halloran at
For more information on the Earth Care Congregations program go to www.pcusa.org/environment.
Community Garden’s Inaugural Year
Well, Trinity’s Community Garden has been an overwhelming success. The amount of produce that was harvested - pounds and pounds of zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, potatoes, peas, beans, and on and on, was certainly so much more than ever expected. In fact we had SO much produce that we were able to share it with the congregation.
We also had beautiful flowers growing amongst all those veggies! Did you see them displayed in the Narthex during the summer?
The opportunity for fellowship was also a huge benefit! Gardeners were able to spend time together, enjoying the fruits of their labor, while working on their gardens.
Here is what some of our gardeners had to say about their experience…
"Trinity's Community Garden has been such a great experience. Having very limited gardening experience, it has given me a chance to learn from other people, to meet with Trinity friends during the week and see what they are growing.....and, of course, to bring the fresh assortment of vegetables (spinach, beets, radishes, beans, zucchini, cucumbers and now those wonderful garden tomatoes) to the table is an obvious benefit. Thanks so much to all the people who have made this possible."
– The Chicchis
“Our family has enjoyed the whole Trinity garden experience. We have been in the garden since the first day of spring beginning with snow peas. Since then we have planted various flowers and vegetables with great success. Our daughters love to go to the garden to water, plant, pick or even pull weeds. There are hundreds of Goldfinches flying around along with the beautiful sunsets make the garden a delightful place to spend the early evening. But most of all we enjoy getting our hands dirty with other church members and sharing the fruits of our labor with Trinity and it's surrounding neighborhood!”
- The Smutko Family
We've enjoyed the anticipation our visits to the garden bring. - Kathryn and Soleil
“Free Potatoes! I used old potatoes, which were going to seed and normally I would have tossed. I planted 5 and the yield harvested was 10 + pounds. I also had Squash Galore! I ended up giving away tons, and am now starting a second crop.
I love Watermelon, and planted some - here’s hoping they continue to grow. This garden was blessed for sure”
- David OHalloran
“The garden has been a lot of fun as a Small Group Ministry of it's own.” - Roy D.
As we move into the fall, we look forward to watching what the garden has to reveal. Make sure you take a moment to walk back and see what’s growing!
TES would like to thank all those that joined in the fun. Whether it was planning, building, weeding, planting, harvesting, watering, etc., the garden could not have been a success without you.
Please note: We will be offering garden spots again starting in the early spring, so make sure you sign up for your very own garden spot, if you would like to join us in this wonderful ministry!
Trinity’s Butterfly Garden
One of the ways Trinity is Caring for God’s Creation is through the maintenance of our 12,500 square foot butterfly garden, located at the back of the church, behind our paved parking lot.
The garden, a vision of Roy DeBoer’s (a Trinity member), was created in the spring of 2010, to address a growing problem – the increasing endangerment of North American butterflies. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the DeBoer family, we have been truly blessed by an abundance of beautiful wildflowers and butterflies throughout the summer and early fall.
In August 2010 The National Wildlife Federation certified Trinity’s Butterfly Garden as a “Wildlife Habitat Site”. There are signs at the borders of the garden commemorating this honor.
This summer’s garden again proved to be unbelievable success. The wildflowers once again fulfilled their promise to bloom, and provided a beautiful backdrop for the many butterflies that returned to this natural habitat.