A relatively new ministry group at Georgia Southern University, Presbyterian Campus Ministry, often called “PCM,” took part in GSU’s “No Impact Week.”
PCM, the only faith-based organization represented during No Impact Week, which took place from April 15-19 leading up to Earth Day on April 22, took part in the food-themed day of the week and served more than 100 cups of coffee and distributed chocolate bars to spread the word about fair trade.
“As Christians, we feel called to be stewards of God’s good creation, and we were excited to have an interactive booth during the week,” said PCM President Jordan Gunter, the son of longtime Statesboro residents Chris and Jessica Gunter-Benatti. “Through this event, we were promoting Christ by seeing compassion, peace and justice.”
Dan Lewis, the pastor of Statesboro First Presbyterian Church, echoed those sentiments.
“The Presbyterian Church (USA) has long been a strong voice in the struggle for economic and environmental justice,” Lewis said. “We believe this is part and parcel of our call as Christians: to care for the God-given earth and to uphold the human dignity of all God’s children. When the church is silent on these real-world issues, we fail both God and ourselves.”
No Impact Week, sponsored by Georgia Southern’s Center for Sustainability and the University Wellness Program, is a partner with the project of the same name in New York City and is encouraged on campuses all over the country.
This year’s participation gave GSU the distinction of being the only university to participate three years in a row, according to Dr. Lissa Leege, the director of the Center of Sustainability and a biology professor.
“This week is dedicated to showing how a few easy changes can make a very positive difference in our environment,” Leege said. “It’s a weeklong carbon cleanse where we encourage students to work on one small aspect each day so that it’s a cumulative change.”
With an emphasis on making permanent lifestyle changes, the event promotes sustainable choices in the areas of consumption, trash, food, transportation, energy and water, and culminates with a positive impact day.
“Hundreds of students took part on the last day by participating in the Great American Cleanup, hosted by Keep Bulloch Beautiful,” Leege said.
Presbyterian Campus Ministry began at Georgia Southern in October and hopes to grow with the next school year.
“We’re already planning our summer campaign to bring in freshmen during SOAR,” said Macie Walters, who is from Fayetteville, Ga., and is one of PCM’s vice presidents.
Gunter and Walters worked together to found the organization and have received much support from First Presbyterian Church. Both students praised one another for their passionate efforts to form the ministry group and expressed thanks for other members’ dedication and participation.
Lewis expressed a fatherly pride in the students’ efforts to grow the campus ministry.
“I’m so incredibly proud of these students for getting this ministry started,” Lewis said. “These college years are a time when young people are truly becoming the adults they will be for life, and so nothing could be more important than for them to forge lasting connections with God and the faith community.
“In all that they do – whether Bible study or service to others, worship or fellowship events – the students of the PCM are seeking to love God and neighbor alike – to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God,” he continued. “They are a real gift to our church and our community.”
For more information about PCM, contact First Presbyterian Church or email firstname.lastname@example.org.