Stewardship of Creation

International Peacemaker, Maina Talia
Visit to Charlotte Presbytery

International Peacemaker
Maina Talia


Wednesday, September 28
Bethpage Presbyterian Church
6020 Mooresville Rd, Kannapolis
Dinner at 5:30
Program begins at 6:15
RSVP for dinner and childcare:

Thursday, September 29
10:00 AM Open Lecture, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Cone 210)
11:30 AM Open Lecture, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Cone 210)
1:00 PM Lunch-n-Learn, Student Union, UNCC
5:30 PM Fruitful Conversations, Lomax Incubator Farm
(Cabarrus County Farm & Food Council)

Friday, September 30, 2022
10:00 AM Indigenous Culture/History Tour (Catawba Reservation & Cultural Center, Morrow Mountain State Park, Town Creek Indian Mound)

Saturday, October 1, 2022
Tour of Church-based Community Gardens (weather permitting–call for updates)
9:00 AM Providence Presbyterian Church (Certified PCUSA Earth Care & Hunger Action Congregation)

Sunday, October 2, 2022 World Communion Sunday
9:30 AM Church School, First Presbyterian Church, Concord (Certified Earth Care Congregation)
11:00 AM Worship, First Presbyterian Church, Concord
2:00 PM 2nd Annual Presbytery Virtual Blessing of the Animals
4:30 PM Youth Group, First Presbyterian Church, Concord
6:30 PM Event Planning Mtg. w. Dr. Rodney Sadler, Center for Social Justice & Reconciliation, Union Presbyterian Seminary

Monday, October 3. 2022
10:40 AM Indigenous Peoples Club, Queens University
12:00 PM Lunch, Queens University
1:10 PM Class, Rogers Science Hall 112

Tuesday, October 4. 2022 – Feast of St. Francis
Travel to New Hope Presbytery
2:00 PM Transfer at Quality Inn, 825 Dixie Drive, Asheboro, NC
Primary driver, Dennis Testerman; backup driver, TBD

Dear Friends,

This is an update on the fruits of planning efforts to bring Presbyterian Church (USA) international peacemaker, Maina Talia, to the greater Charlotte region and North Carolina beginning next week. North Carolina is the last stop on a month-long tour of the United States that began this week for Talia, a frontline voice for climate justice from the Polynesian island county of Tuvalu. Here is a link to news about his visit: Presbyterian Mission Agency International Peacemaker to illuminate climate risks in the Pacific.

For those of you connected with the Presbytery of Charlotte and/or its member congregations, this visit is a wonderful opportunity to boost conversations in and beyond our congregations around the stewardship of creation during this Season of Creation. A visit by PCUSA international peacemaker Jose Cunanan from the Philippines in the 1990’s had just such a positive impact in our presbytery. The tour of church-based community gardens on Saturday, October 1 is particularly suited to sharing examples and ideas about earth care practices and aspirations.

So whether or not you/your group have/has a role in hosting our guest, please publicize/spread the word about/talk up his visit and the diverse array of opportunities to be in conversation with him while he is with us! Download a draft itinerary and continue to watch the Stewardship of Creation webpage for updates. 

Gratefully yours,
Dennis Testerman

Mania Talia is a resident of the small island nation, Tuvalu, which is located roughly halfway between Hawaii and Australia. Tuvala is endangered by rising sea levels and global pollution. In his country Mania has worked with various non-governmental organizations, including Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu (the Tuvalu Christian Church), on environmental topics and was instrumental in securing funding for an early warning system to communicate during cyclones. He also collaborates on the regional level to make the concerns of Tuvalu heard and will be part of the drafting of a statement for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27).

Mania will be using videos to help show what he calls the “realities of life” for people in Tuvalu, which is located in the Polynesian subregion of Oceania in the Pacific Ocean.

“I want (to) showcase Tuvalu and the Pacific on the issue of climate change and see how our geopolitical neighbors will respond to our call for peace, love and justice,” Maina said via questionnaire. “Moreover, I want to build (a) network with PC(USA) and its members.”

“By sharing stories of their work and witness, the peacemakers help us understand peace and justice concerns around the world and provide insights that can inspire us to greater faithfulness,” according to the program’s website. “Their visits broaden our sense of God’s inclusive family and help equip us to build a culture of peace and nonviolence for all God’s children.”





Dennis Testerman, Stewardship of Creation Enabler
Email: or 980-521-4871

Dennis Testerman, comes to us well-qualified. Dennis’ ministry of environmental stewardship has spanned three decades of chaplaincy, global and student missions and public service. He was a consultant to the PCUSA Eco-justice Task Force that produced the report, “Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice,” adopted by General Assembly in 1990 that gave rise to the group that started PEC. Currently, Dennis serves as the Stewardship of Creation Enabler with the Presbytery of Charlotte, is a novice with the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans, a fellow with both GreenFaith and the Natural Resources Leadership Institute at North Carolina State University, and is certified as an environmental educator by the State of North Carolina.  


The following churches have been certified as Earth Care Congregations by the PCUSA Environmental Ministries:

Davidson College Presbyterian Church, Davidson, NC (September 1, 2010)
Providence Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC
(February 1, 2012)
First Presbyterian Church of Concord, NC (February 15, 2017)
Caldwell Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC (February 2021)

This honor speaks to the great commitment that these congregations have to caring for God’s earth.

To become an Earth Care Congregation, these churches affirmed the Earth Care Pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into all facets of their church life. They also completed projects and activities in the fields of worship, education, facilities, and outreach.

The Earth Care Congregation certification is designed to recognize churches that have made the commitment to take seriously God’s charge to “till and keep” the garden.

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 church life. The Earth Care Congregation certification honors churches that made that commitment, and encourages others to follow their lead.

For more information on the Earth Care Congregations program go to