July 22 Launch for Summer Harvest Table

Gardening is Giving Sign Outlines.jpg

We hope you had the chance to join in with DUCC folks at our Gardening is Giving program in May as Creation Sarah and Compost Ken talked about container gardening, making dirt, and saving our bee populations.

Here’s the next component of our Creation Justice Summer programming — Our Gardening is Giving Summer Harvest Table!

Beginning Sunday, July 22, we invite all DUCC folk to bring along garden bounty they wish to share with members and with the community. We will set up tables outside the church for your veggies, fruit, cut herbs and cut flowers. This sharing of our bounty will be on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have harvest to share, we welcome you to add it to the harvest table before the service.

Harvest table will be available as long as our harvests last. Let’s share what we grow!


Food Waste Program Report

Here in the United States, we throw away 40% of our food supply every year.

Food in our landfills ferments and produces methane gas.

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, while methane doesn’t linger as long in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, it is initially far more devastating to the climate because of how effectively it absorbs heat. In the first two decades after its release, methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

While contributing to climate change, that wasted food could have fed people who simply don’t have enough to eat in our country. How can we work together to change these statistics?

On Thursday, March 15, the Creation Justice Team at Douglas UCC welcomed Tracey Shafroth, national and local environmentalist, to speak with us on the subject of food waste. She defined the problem for us and helped us understand how communities and individuals are working together to help curb the problem.

Here, along with Tracey’s presentation, is a list of resources we can explore to understand food waste and address it in our home and community. Do you have other resources or ideas? Please contact us to let us know.

Download Tracey Shafroth’s Food Waste PowerPoint File

Explore Food Waste

Reduce Food Waste at Home

Eating Foods In Season

Help Fund Programs that Fight Food Waste in Our Cities

Food pantries within 25 of Douglas, MI:

Christian Neighbors, Inc. (Douglas) (0.4 miles)
(269)857-1050 | 100 Saint Peters Drive, Douglas MI, 49406

Ladders of Hope USA Inc. (6.4 miles)
(269)340-1113 | 717 E. Main Street, Fennville MI, 49408

Shekinah Revival Ministries (7.7 miles)
(616)392-5945 | 1941 Washington Ave., Holland MI, 49423

Providence CRC Pantry (9.4 miles)
(616)396-5661 | 821 Ottawa Avenue, Holland MI, 49423

Hamilton CRC (10.4 miles)
(269)751-8877 | 3596 47th Street, Hamilton MI, 49419

Community Action House (10.6 miles)
(616)392-2368 | 345 West 14th Street, Holland MI, 49423

Holland Spanish SDA Church (10.7 miles)
(517)331-8332 | 169 W. 16th Street, Holland MI, 49423

St. Vincent dePaul Center/St. Frances deSales-Holland (10.8 miles)
(616)392-6700 | 170 W. 13th Street, Holland MI, 49423

Salvation Army – Holland (12.0 miles)
(616)392-4461 | 104 Clover Street, Holland MI, 49423

Love INC of Northwest Allegan County-Pullman (12.2 miles)
(269)236-6295 | 943 56th Street, Pullman MI, 49450

Heights of Hope (12.4 miles)
(616)392-8559 | 995 E. 8th Street, Holland MI, 49423

Community Action House – North (12.9 miles)
(616)738-1170 | 665 136th Avenue STE 60, Holland MI, 49424

His Harvest Stand Pantry (14.7 miles)
(616)748-6003 | 100 South Pine Street, Suite 100, Zeeland MI, 49464

First Congregational South Haven-We Care Food Pantry (16.8 miles)
(269)637-4342 | 651 Phoenix Street, South Haven MI, 49090

Christ Embassy/IMA (17.9 miles)
(269)925-8583 | 1301 M-43 Hwy Ste #4, South Haven MI, 49090

Church of Christ – South Haven (18.2 miles)
(269)637-4861 | 73121 M-43, South Haven MI, 49090

In His Name Ministries/JJMWM (22.7 miles)
(616)896-1570 | 4055 Van Buren, Hudsonville MI, 49426

Carpenter’s House Outreach Church (22.9 miles)
(616)662-2660 | 4995 32nd Avenue, Hudsonville MI, 49426

Love INC – Hudsonville (23.4 miles)
(616)662-3300 | 3300 Van Buren, Hudsonville MI, 49426

St. Vincent DePaul Society – Bangor (23.7 miles)
(269)427-8009 | 201 South Walnut, Bangor MI, 49013

Van Buren United Civic Organization (24.1 miles)
(269)764-8854 | 73292 34th Avenue, Covert MI, 49043

First Congregational Church of Covert (24.3 miles)
(269)906-0906 | 73893 34th Ave., Covert MI, 49043

Epiphany Lutheran Church Pantry (25.0 miles)
(616)681-7205 | 4219 Park Lane, Dorr MI, 49323

Christian Fellowship Assembly Pantry (25.0 miles)
(616)895-7614 | 9930 64th Avenue, Allendale MI, 49401

Before visiting any pantry, we suggest calling ahead to confirm their hours and eligibility requirements.

(This food pantry data courtesy of feedwm.org)

This Changes Everything.

On Wednesday night, November 8, Douglas UCC’s Creation Justice Team brings you the movie based on Naomi Klein’s book, “This Changes Everything.”

The New York Times called Klein’s work “The most momentous and contentious environmental book since Silent Spring.”

So we thought: Let’s watch this film and then talk about it as a congregation. What does this work reveal to us, about ourselves and about our work here?

Come along, bring your friends and family. We will have coffee, tea, water, snacks.

We open the doors at 6 for snacks and visiting. We will start the movie at 6:30, discussion follows at 8, with Eric LeJeune facilitating.

Recycling Event and more Recycling Resources

Hey church family!

The Creation Justice team just wants to remind church members that we will be parking a large recycling truck outside the friendship hall this coming Thursday, September 21, from 4 to 6pm. This is a Metal Recycling Event, and the truck will take metal posts, exercise equipment, garage door springs, old grills, vacuum cleaners, filing cabinets, broken appliances, pumps, electrical cords and wires, old Christmas lights, motors, brass and copper, aluminum screens and siding, metal shelving, computers, printers, batteries, and much more! If it’s METAL and has a cord, we will take it.

BUT we cannot take old-style tube televisions or CRT monitors.

Many of you have asked where you can take other items you need to recycle, things like batteries and plastic printers and old style monitors, etc.

The best local resource for finding other recycling opportunities is on our friend Ken Freestone’s Green Michigan website at this link.

Another great place to search is at Earth911, at this link.

We have added a permanent link to these resources on this blog site in the navigation bar, above, for future reference!

Namaste, and happy recycling!


Volunteers Needed: Adopt-A-Beach Douglas Beach Cleanup

Saturday, September  16th

9am  to  approximately 1pm

Please contact Sarah Morgan if you can join us: 512-422-7597

  • Volunteers will meet at Douglas UCC for instructions and then and carpool to Douglas Beach
  • Volunteers will be assigned in teams of 3
    • 1 in charge of categorizing/ tracking what is collected
    • 2 to pick up everything that doesn’t belong on the beach!
  • Teams will be assigned to sections between Douglas Beach and Oval Beach
  • Dress for comfort and function! Bring your own water and snacks.
  • Plan is to convene at a local restaurant afterwards.
  • Our group is open to the public so non-church members welcome
  • We will be emailing all volunteers with more details.

Join the hundreds of volunteers from 6 states who will be cleaning the shores of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie!

To learn more about the Adopt-a-Beach effort visit the website of the Great Lakes Alliance



All Hands on Deck, Monday, July 3

Hey friends! Here’s a great way to gather friends, celebrate the waters we love, and provide very visual representation of our concern and willingness to do what it takes to protect our waters, even as national funding drains away.

All Hands on Deck is happening Monday, July 3, in coastal cities all around the Great Lakes, including six states, Canada, and members of Tribal Nations. Close to home, the event is being held right in South Haven, Michigan, July 3, 10-10:30am, at South Beach.

Link a hand, hoist a flag, and trade a marble for the Great Lakes to raise awareness for the need for our water to be: non politicized, non monetized, non polluted, protected from invasive species, and for our watersheds and lake feeders to be free from contamination of all forms.

Check out the movement at www.allhandsondeckgreatlakes.org

And if you’re interested in joining DUCC members, comment below, please! Perhaps we can carpool to South Haven’s lovely shore!

Our Covenant Sunday


This past Sunday, we officially became a Creation Justice Church by formally adopting our Creation Justice Covenant. Here is Eric LeJeune, leading the congregation in the ceremony. A lovely way to observe Earth Day.

We also welcomed our friend Ken Freestone, one of the presenters for our upcoming Green Gardens gathering. If you would like to join us that evening, sign up in our Friendship Hall or write to julie@ridl.com. Ken is sort of the Pied Piper of composting in West Michigan, which will be obvious from his comments on Sunday…

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

My name is Ken Freestone and I am a Master Composter. No I don’t write music and I haven’t composed any songs.

I am proud to be certified through MSU Extension to demonstrate composting techniques, tools and details about how to compost. I have actually been composting since I was 10 years old in my Grandmother’s Garden, and been teaching passionately for the past 20 years.

Composting is the original recycling and incredibly simple to do as humans, and also part of an incredibly complex system that nature does all of the time, with little or no help needed from us humans.

Finding God in the Compost Pile
From Natural News
The compost pile is a paragon of death and renewal. Mixing organic waste and manure in a mound large enough to retain heat promotes decomposition and disinfection. The pile is turned early and often for uniformity and to avoid foul-smelling fermentation. In aerated piles, good organisms dominate and the smelly ones die. In large-scale commercial composting the heated pile also becomes inhospitable for Salmonella, E. coli and other manure pathogens. The recent infestations of spinach, onions, peanut butter and hamburger do not arise from organic farms where good compost is used, but rather from factory farms with filthy runoff problems that use sewer sludge or synthetic chemicals as fertilizer. Good compost promotes food quality. In a well-made compost pile, good bacteria defeat the bad ones, just like it should be. An abundance of friendly microbes defines the quality of finished compost, and the power of those microbes depends on their mineral content.

Compost is not just the key to sustainable agriculture, but also God’s will. It is the renewal of things, and the only tangible form of reincarnation. It is life’s resolve and death’s acceptance. What transpires in a compost pile is as awesome as in any religion, and its miracles are accessible. The God in the compost pile is worth dirtying one’s fingernails for. The fruit of its faith is in the fertility of the land, the salubrity and appeal of its produce, and ultimately in the balance of things. Eating fresh, hardy, local organic produce is spiritually gratifying, like returning to Eden. Understanding the wisdom of nature and respecting its mystery, through compost, brings us closer to the Oneness: Nature’s unifying principle.

I love how that encapsulates the beauty, the systemic approach and the complexity of compost.

I will share fun stories, simple techniques (even a 30 second composting lesson) and the beauty and complexity of dirt/soil/microorganisms and bugs.