Educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God's changing world.

Columbia Seminary Observes Earth Day


Decatur, GA— In anticipation of Earth Day on Monday, April 22, a student group called SAGE (Sustaining Attention to God's Earth) led worship in the Campbell Hall Chapel on the Columbia Theological Seminary campus today around the theme of “creation care”. This year marked a special occasion as students competed for a Creation Care Sermon Award. The inaugural winner Rebecca Zorn Purcell, a Master of Divinity student who will be graduating from the seminary later this year, preached the sermon entitled “The Gift of Creation”. The prize was made possible and awarded beforehand by Dabney and Tom Dixon.

As part of the service, the whole seminary community was invited to mark Earth Day by participating in an “Energy Sabbath” which started following the end of the chapel service and will continue through Earth Day on Monday. “An Energy Sabbath is an individual or group commitment to limit the use of energy to renewable resources or our own energy,” said Courtney Stevens, SAGE president. “An Energy Sabbath might include such practices as carpooling, walking or riding bicycles to and from school, turning off lights and non-essential electrical draws, eating local foods, and enjoying the natural rhythms of sunlight and darkness. Most of all, an Energy Sabbath gives us a chance to break from our ordinary routines of consumption and compulsion, to remember God's gracious gifts to us through this creation, and to enjoy rest with one another and with God.”

Other observances will include a time for students, staff and faculty to work in a community garden which will supply food for others in need this summer.

Two Buildings Now LEED Gold Certified

Columbia Theological Seminary also announced that it now has two buildings which have earned the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification by the United States Green Building Council. Both were designed by the architecture firm of Lord Aeck Sargent.

The first building, completed in 2009, is a three-story student dorm which uses approximately 50 percent less energy than a conventionally constructed facility. An energy-monitoring system located in the entry lobby allows students and visitors to see real-time energy consumption as compared with an average building performance.

The second building with its distinctive glass and steel tower is the new Vernon S. Broyles Jr. Leadership Center which opened last year. The 30,000-square-foot facility incorporates the 80-year-old Simons-Law building, formerly a student residence hall, which has been recycled and renovated for small classroom space, faculty offices, study areas, the seminary bookstore, and an education technology center.

Columbia Theological Seminary, located in Decatur, GA, endeavors to educate imaginative, resilient leaders for God’s changing world. The seminary was established in 1828 and is one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Media Contact:
Michael Thompson
Director of Communications

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