Creation Care - Eco-Justice Group of Saint Mark’s Cathedral


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Creation Care - Eco-Justice Group of Saint Mark’s Cathedral

  1. 1. Episcopal CommunitiesCelebrating andHealing God’s CREATION CARE Creation Newsletter for the Bishop’s Committee for the Environment And the Eco-Justice Group of Saint Mark’s Cathedral Eco-Special Interest DIOCESAN CONVENTION – November 15th and 16thArticles:•A greener It’s that time of year again: convention: page one Convention is a wonderful time to re-connect with old friends, explore important issues within the life of our diocese and learn more about our• A call to action by the ministries. It is also a time when without thinking we can be adding to our Concerned earth’s burden through driving, using up reams of paper, and eating Bishops; written at packaged meals. This year, we hope to be greener and we’re in collaboration the Lambeth with the SeaTac Hilton to accomplish this. Many thanks to Dede Moore who Conference, pages 2 to 4. has done so much to support the greening work.• Organic Look out for: community gardening at Car pooling - Dede Moore will be contacting people with a password to use Saint Luke’s this web site: to offer a ride or ask for one. It’s all Sequim, page 5 free!• Advocacy in Recycling – The hotel will have containers for recycling and for composting. times of Please use them. Volunteers will support this. change, page 6 Tables without linens – The hotel now uses tables without linens to reduce• Saint John’s the use of energy and water for laundering. Snohomish Earth Changes in how food is served - to reduce wastage of materials. Stewards Page 7 and 8 In addition, the Bishop’s Committee for the Environment has submitted two resolutions to the resolutions committee; one to memorialize the General•A personal account of Convention 2009 to consider the Genesis Covenant Resolution, and the other earth care to require that all diocesan meals include vegetarian or vegan options. E-mail page 9 to ask for copies of the resolution.• Upcoming events, We shall be presenting three awards at convention this year: for long term pages 9 and service to the environment, for the HOPE conference and to a parish that has 10 made significant progress towards greening. Come visit our table!
  2. 2. SAFEGUARDING THE INTEGRITY OF CREATION Safeguarding the Integrity of Creation A Statement from concerned Bishops at the Lambeth Conference August 2008 This document was written by a group of bishops at the Lambeth Conference, including our own Bishop Rickel. The article is printed in full here and the Call to Action has been endorsed by the Bishop’s Committee for the . Environment.IntroductionFew would now doubt that climate change, is being exacerbated and accelerated by human activity andthat this change is one of, if not, the most pressing problem facing the world community in the 21stcentury. Meeting the millennium development goals, the reduction of security risks, a slowing of themovements of peoples away from their homelands, accessibility to clean water, stabilizing world grainprices, prevention of disease; these and many other issues are directly related to the manner and speedin which the world community combines together to set bench marks which enable long termsustainability.In the face of this challenge, the Anglican Community, in partnership with peoples of faith everywhere,must ask whether we are exacerbating the problem or contributing to the solution. It is argued bythose outside faith that religion generally and Christianity in particular is the problem, because of itsemphasis upon “dominion” (Genesis 1:27/28), and the individual.The changing climate is a call upon us to examine our impact upon the global environment and to takeaction where our human activities pollute the air, water and soil or contribute to the global food crisis.This challenge is an opportunity for us to redeem our story and its proclamation and to make clear whathas always been true. We contend that environmental issues are core issues to us and that our responsearises out of what we have always believed about God, our world and ourselves.However, we also recognize that the crisis we face is integrally related to the dominant political andeconomic systems of our time. These have to change. The market alone will not/cannot do whatGovernment legislation at an international level must do. The world cannot any longer cope withrampant consumerism and unlimited economic growth. Realistically priced carbon is essential. Bindingemission targets must be in place. Changes to taxation systems are necessary to ensure that the marketmoves in the direction of renewable energy, that fairer and sustainable trade for the poor people isensured and that fossil fuel dependency is immediately and drastically reduced. We encourageAnglicans to do all in their power to lobby their governments to act cooperatively for a new worldorder which will enhance the life style of all and lead to long term sustainability for future generations.AffirmationsWe believe this is God’s ‘oikoumene’, God’s world and we need to walk lightly and humbly within andupon it. We are stewards of that which comes from and returns to God. We believe that all of life isprecious and indeed that God has so designed creation that for one part to flourish all must flourish. 2
  3. 3. Safeguarding the Integrity of Creation cont. Further, we believe that God has created the world in balance: land and water, light and darkness, evening and morning, sowing and reaping, winter and summer, birth and death, belong together; to exploit one to the detriment of another is to put all in jeopardy. We believe that God has created human beings to live in community with each other, and in harmony with the created order. We acknowledge the interrelatedness of all things. We denounce activity through which human beings seek an unwarranted advantage over other human beings or act at the expense of the created order. We believe that God has created animals as sentient beings whose welfare must be respected. We acknowledge a responsibility of care and reject cruel practices towards animals be they wild, companion, farm or laboratory animals. We believe that creation and redemption are the two great activities of God and that being made in the image of God we human beings have a vocation to both. We are called to be co-creators and co- redeemers with God in and for the whole created order. We affirm the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount that human beings should not store up for themselves more than is their share and that to do so is to create an injustice which ultimately affects the whole of life. We affirm the Sabbath principle that grants space and rest, and restoration of that which has been wrongly or unjustly exploited. We recognize that all of God’s creation has the capacity for restoration and renewal if given rest. We affirm in this principle a source of hope for all life, for it is in returning and rest that all can be restored. We recognize that our civilization is at a precarious point in its history, human greed and exploitation have within them the seeds of global destruction. We acknowledge that the human population is now of such proportion that the human economy which draws all of its resource from God’s great economy, is now dangerously able to throw the “Great Economy” out of balance.Caption describing human We note that picture orbeings who live in the developed world, out of their relative prosperity, are graphic. far greater contributors (per capita) to human induced climate change than those who live in the developing world and therefore while the responsibility of responding to the challenge of global warming belongs to all, the responsibility is considerably greater upon those who live in the developed world. With some urgency we encourage Anglicans who live in the developed world to adapt their life style with the aim of halving their personal footprint and in so doing contributing to national and international targets. 3
  4. 4. Safeguarding the Integrity of Creation cont.As children of Abraham and Sarah, we affirm the right of future generations to a life free of the costburden associated with the life style of those who have gone before. We therefore assert moralresponsibility upon those of us who contribute to the problem to meet the cost and to take personalaction to reduce our lifestyle impact upon the planet.We commend to the Communion a deeper study and understanding of what have been called “mapsof meaning” as a spiritual reflection that can provide a new language to us all form a very ancientglobal tradition. For centuries traditional indigenous communities have sought to express in act andliturgy abiding interconnectedness between human beings and the natural order. On every continentthese “maps of meaning have enriched our global heritage as integral parts of a good world made by aloving creator. Put into a Christian context, they have helped us locate God’s constant care for creationin reality. They have reminded us that we are not aliens in a wilderness to be conquered, but kinsfolkin a garden to be cherished and nurtured.We affirm choice as one of the most significant gifts of God to his people. Choose life! Weacknowledge that prosperity extends choice and that poverty diminishes it. We call upon Anglicanswho are privileged to live in communities of prosperity to exercise the choices available to them for amore just, equitable and sustainable world. We strongly encourage commitment to the millenniumdevelopment goals in order that the poor of the world may live in dignity, empowering them withsimilar choice.Call to Action • We call upon the leaders of our communities to take every opportunity through teaching preaching and the celebration of liturgy to stir a passion for this fifth mark of Mission. • We urge Provinces, Dioceses and congregations to undertake environmental audits and to set targets which reduce the carbon footprint. • We encourage every local congregation to do all in their power to support and develop their local flora and fauna. • We encourage the rapid expansion of fair trade outlets throughout the Communion so that people in the developing world may receive a just price for their agricultural product. • We affirm the goal of locally generated energy which eliminates dependency upon nationally generated “dirty power”. • We call upon the international community to set emission targets with immediate effect • We urge members of faith communities who enjoy “western lifestyles” to take action to reduce their personal impact on global warming by: for example • Use of public transport, insulation of homes, collecting rain water, installation of photo voltaic cells, radically reducing consumption, not wasting purchased goods, commitment to all forms of recycling, reduction in the use of energy, sharing resources, making each home and locality as sustainable as possible. • We recommend that all Provinces within areas of greatest greenhouse gas emissions (E.g. USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, etc.) become familiar with and support the Genesis Covenant ( as an opportunity for collective action, maximizing opportunity for cooperation at a national level. 4
  5. 5. AROUND THE DIOCESEMore SAINT LUKE’S HELPS TO MAKE A DREAM A REALITY Saint Olmar, More news from Saint Luke’s Sequim, written by Candy Olmar, member of Saint Luke’s and happy gardener.Three years ago some teachers, staff and students in the Ecology Club at Sequim High School had adream…to start an organic garden. A major obstacle stood in the way. Where to locate the garden?A number of people and organizations were contacted about land in downtown Sequim withoutsuccess. One day St. Luke’s was contacted and the idea of leasing some of their land for a gardenwas happily agreed to by the Vestry. Coincidentally, when the land was originally purchased, oneof the possible visions was for a garden site!In addition to providing the land, St. Luke’s agreed to allow the garden known as the CommunityOrganic Garden of Sequim (COGS) to access the church’s water supply. St. Luke’s has alsoprovided meeting space for the organic gardening classes, meeting space for the OrganizingCommittee meetings and for the Potlucks. The church kitchen saves coffee grounds and otherkitchen waste for the worm bin and compost bins in the garden. Father Bob Rhoads, the Rector atSt. Luke’s, is an enthusiastic supporter and will be blessing the garden and its new pergola at theFall Potluck.The garden has just completed its first year. Lots of wonderful organic produce has been harvestedand more is to come! Some of the plots were planted and maintained for the benefit of the SequimFood Bank. Community support for the garden has been incredible! Without the initial support ofSt. Luke’s, however, this garden might still be a dream instead of a beautiful green reality! 5
  6. 6. AROUND THE DIOCESE cont. CHANGE, ADVOCACY IN TIMES OF CHANGE, Jessie DyeOne voice makes a difference; one vote makes a difference; one letter to the editor or cloth bag changeseverything!Is that naïve? No, in fact recent surveys are confirming what community organizers have known for years:the confident words and visible behavior of one person or a small group of people have an influence farbeyond their own sphere.For example, regarding energy conservation:In a large-scale survey, people ranked the importance of several reasons to conserve energy. The results, frommost to least important: 1) It will help the environment; 2) it will benefit society; 3) it will save me money; 4) other people are doing it. However, researchers found that the belief that others were conserving correlated twice as highly with reported energy saving efforts as any of the other reasons. A follow-up marketing experiment confirmed these survey findings. (Annette Frahm, Sage Environmental)This means your vote, your opinion, your choices make a big difference in influencing the direction of ourcountry, especially during these heated national and local elections. Here are some specific ways you canuse your voice for advocacy for God’s Creation: • Vote! Especially make sure your children and grandchildren and friends are registered to vote. The deadline in the State of Washington for on-line registration is this Saturday, October 4th (the Feast of St. Francis, patron saint of environmental protection); it’s two weeks later in person. To find out if you are registered go to: To register on line go to: • Check out the Scorecard of the League of Conservation Voters ( to find the record of your elected officials! • Vote all the way down the ballot! In King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties in Washington, Proposition One is a great bill to help reverse global warming pollution and improve our terrible traffic. But it’s at the end of the ballot! Vote all the way “down ballot” and vote YES on Prop. One. • Any chance you have, tell your legislators, your friends, and your colleagues that climate change is the great moral issue of our time and is your top priority for public policy. Explain that protecting Creation matters most to you in this election. Here’s one website that can give you specific tools to do this: and click on “What you can do”.Your voice makes more difference than you can imagine! At Earth Ministry we see the wonderfulpossibilities for green jobs, clean energy investment, a healthy and secure economy, a renewed quality of life,and a return to respect for the common good and God’s Creation. It can be done, and it can be done intime. It is your voice and your vote that will make it happen. Jessie Dye is the Program and OutreachDirector for Earth Ministry. 6
  7. 7. AROUND THE DIOCESE cont. CREATION STEWARDS OF SAINT JOHN’S SNOHOMISH McConnell Mailyn Imbach and Nancy McConnellParishioners from St. John’s, Snohomish, returned from the HOPE Conference knowing what theiranswer would be to Bishop Steven Charleston’s challenge, “If not people of faith, who will?” “Wewill”, vowed the attendees. But in meeting together with others concerned about caring for Creation,we initially felt overwhelmed. Where and how to start? Although we were impatient to get started on along list of possibilities, we decided that we needed to study first so that our actions would be based onour faith. We followed the study “To Serve Christ in all Creation” developed by the Episcopal bishopsof New England (found on the HOPE Conference CD). Although the information was somewhat datedand focused on the northeast, the study led us through a series of discussions on the theological basisfor caring for Creation, the implications of global warming, consumer choices, and social justice forpeople of faith, and our role as stewards of Creation. At the completion of the study we had an actionlist. Supporting the adoption of the Genesis Covenant was a key goal, but the Stewards also wanted tomake care of Creation an integral part of our lives in our communities and parish. Each member of ourcommittee promised, in a poignant circle of prayer, to take personal responsibility for fulfilling one ormore of those actions.We went to the Vestry, explained our mission and goals, and asked to be an official committee of St.John’s. We knew we wanted to work with other groups at our church by supporting on-going churchactivities with a new emphasis on caring for Creation. For example the popular Oktoberfest will featurelocal, organic foods made by parishioners from German potato salad to home-brewed beer. TheStewards will raise awareness by providing table cards that emphasize the local nature of the harvestfeast. St. John’s will host the annual Crop Walk for Snohomish churches, again by serving a local mealof soup and bread. In a Snohomish Clean-Up, the Stewards will join one of our parishioners whosingle-handedly cleaned up litter from every street in Snohomish last year. We plan to involve GirlScouts and St. John’s youth group in the clean-up.The Creation Stewards have also initiated some new actions. Although it is difficult to believe, wastemanagement in Snohomish does not provide recycling pick-up for commercial sites – and that includeschurches. The Stewards have begun recycling after coffee hours by sorting out recyclables into biobagsthat parishioners can take home to their own recycling bins. Vegetable scraps and coffee grounds gointo a newly established worm bin. Community dinners are provided twice a week at St. John’s bychurches and community organizations, and the Stewards are encouraging these groups to join therecycling effort.The Stewards also want to green holiday celebrations. Other parishioners have joined the Stewards increating reusable fabric gift bags that the Stewards will sell to support some of their activities. We plan 7
  8. 8. AROUND THE DIOCESE cont.a family night in November where we will show a movie with a “green” theme, serve popcorn, andtalk about how holiday celebrations can focus on family and faith rather than on “stuff”.The Creation Stewards have taken the first steps in doing an energy audit of St. John’s. Reducingenergy use at the church, which was built in 1894 and is a historic building located in the historicsection of town, poses special challenges. We have met with a representative of Snohomish PUD(Public Utility District) and walked through the church buildings to estimate existing energy use. Wehave asked for conversion factors which we can use to convert utility use in 2007 to CO2 emissions.Those numbers will be our baseline as we work with the Vestry and Capital Plan Committee to reduceenergy use.Our work seems to have positive ripple effects. One of our group discovered that long-timeparishioners living close to the church could no longer care for their fruit and vegetable garden andwere planning to install grass in the fertile plot. Now we are exploring the possibility of involving ouryouth group and raising flowers for the altar and vegetables for our parishioners and the communitykitchen in their garden plot. If we work out the details, the parishioners can continue to enjoy theirfruitful garden while others also share in its produce.In early 2009 we plan to work with the Adult Education Committee to include care of Creation inLenten studies. We also plan to include some lessons on Creation Care in our Sunday schoolcurriculum. Later in the spring we will focus on making healthful choices by purchasing locallyproduced foods.And, in the new year, these energetic and committed Creation Stewards will no doubt have found newways to engage the parish of St. John’s in the care of God’s Creation.Marilyn Imbach and Nancy McConnell are congregants at Saint John’s and members of the BCE RADICAL ABUNDANCE teleconference A teleconference from Trinity Episcopal Church, in New York City January 21st to 23rd, 2008 Please join one of the sites around the diocese that will be down-linking this event down- through the work of the Diocesan School of Theology and Ministry Committee and the Bishop’s Committee for the Environment. For more information go to: and contact the Rev. Dr. Alan Mack, dean of the DSMAT at 8
  9. 9. AROUND THE DIOCESE cont. THE GENESIS COVENANT TASK FORCEThe Genesis Covenant Task Force is part of the Bishop’s Committee for the Environment. It wasformed in May 2008 in response to the call by Bishop Steven Charleston to all national faithcommunities to reduce global warming gas emissions from their facilities by 50% within ten yearsof endorsement. Members of the BCE decided that there is no time to waste and that they neededto begin this work now. The group is led by Jim McRae, who has many years of experience inengineering, informational technology and management. We are delighted to welcome partnershipwith the newly formed Washington branch of Interfaith Power and Light, a part of Earth Ministryand led by the Rev. Kevin Raymond.The task force is currently working with twelve pilot churches around the diocese to find the bestcarbon footprint assessment tool to use, and then coordinating partnership to plan retrofitting.Within this group of 12, there are four buildings in the Seattle area, including Diocesan House thatare part of a four-way partnership between the city, the utility company, our task force and acompany that specializes in retrofitting. Every light fixture has been examined, the costs and utilitycompany discounts calculated and we are ready to begin the work. Using these methods, mostchurch buildings will halve their electricity use and pay off their investment in three to five years.In addition the new lights are more attractive and the new fluorescent lights much kinder to theeyes and feelings of well being. Even exit signs will be replaced (we have found that many don’twork….!) with signs that use less energy and are programmed to come on when the power goesout, lighting the exit pathways. Bulbs will need to be replaced every few years instead of every fewmonths.Members of the task force have decided to include transportation and waste management withinthe scope of their work to have a more significant impact on energy use and reduction in globalwarming gas emissions. Here’s a statistic that will bring hope and inspiration: Led by RuthMulligan, one of the co-founders of Earth Ministry, the light fixtures at Saint Mark’s have beenretrofitted during the past five years. The energy reduction per year is the equivalent of the energyuse of 60 houses! Please support this kind of work, so that we can make a difference and be a rolemodel to all those who enter our churches. Retrofitting in Bloedel Hall, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral. A compact fluorescent light bulb. 9
  10. 10. AROUND THE DIOCESE cont.SINGLE-SINGLE-HANDEDLY, IF NECESSARY! NECESSARY!A personal account of earth care by Val Johnstone, member of theSaint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Port Townsend and of the Bishop’s Committee for the Environment:Since I retired and moved to Pt. Townsend five years ago, Ive been able to indulge in my passion forsaving our Planet Earth - single-handedly if necessary! First, I joined “EarthDay EveryDay!”, anambitious group of women who were organizing the first annual Earth Day celebration in Pt.Townsend. After the third year I found myself as the chair of the steering committee of this weekend-long event with a Friday night speaker, an environmental event on the Saturday and a Green LivingExpo on the Sunday. Our focus is on educational awareness of sustainability.Next came membership in Jefferson Countys Solid Waste Advisory Committee. We discuss solidwaste issues and make recommendations which may (or may not!) be approved by the countycommissioners. On this committee I learn whats new about reducing and recycling in our county.Pt. Townsends Local 20/20 was formed about three years ago with a mission to "work togethertowards sustainability - integrating economy, ecology and community through action and education."It consists of a dozen Action Groups, one of which is Beyond Waste. You guessed it - I started thisgroup. Last year during the Earth Day weekend we organized a successful E-Waste Roundup andcollect hundreds of pounds of electronic materials, from cell phones to console TVs. Our latest effort issupporting a closed-loop system of a gardens, compost, worm bins and produce within the local schooldistrict.Our local hospital, Jefferson Health Care, recently formed a Green Committee and is going gung-ho onmaking the hospital as green as possible. Theyre doing amazing things which I hope will eventuallybe an example to other health care facilities or large organizations in our area. I was invited to sit in onthis committee as an outside "expert" so all I have to do is show up at meetings and interject a fewcomments now and again.And finally….the Bishops Committee for the Environment. I feel privileged but somewhatintimidated to be a member, never having done anything like this before. As a result, and with the fullsupport of my rector, St. Pauls now has a Greening Task Force. Were organizing a kick-off event forOctober 15 with Kate as our keynote speaker, and were looking forward to the first step in the GenesisCovenant process: an energy audit of our church. Im grateful to the BCE and the North OlympicCreation Care Alliance for their inspiration and support in our greening process and to all the otherpeople, groups and agencies with whom I’m blessed to serve in helping God’s Creation.
  11. 11. RECOMMENDED WEB SITES A chilling, amusing look at how we use The Bishop’s Committee our earth and its treasures. for the Environment Information about a new video that is Chair, Kate O’Sullivan being used widely by parish greening groups. 425 241 6585 In the Footsteps of the Ancient Emerging Church: Northumbria, Scotland Cashman, and Ireland, a pilgrimage led by the Rev. Carla Pryne and Tom Cashman, Eco- Eco-Justice Group, Saint Mark’s Cathedral June 24th to July 8th, 2009. For more information, contact Tom Cashman Chair, Wendy Townsend on 253 709 8414 or INTRODUCTIONS TO THE Province VIII AWAKENING THE DREAMER SYMPOSIA Faith and the Environment HOSTED BY THE BISHOP’S COMMITTEE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Convener, Christensen Chris Christensen Saint Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Bellevueprovince8environmentnetwork 9pm, 7pm to 9pm, Thursday October 16th, 2008 Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Seattle 206-363- 206-363-6468 9pm,, 7pm to 9pm,, Tuesday November 18th, 2008 Both introductions are free, but we ask for a donation for food. Led by Victor Bremson, local leaders of the Awakening the Dreamer Movement For more information contact Wendy Townsend at To obtain a copy of the EARTH MINISTRY ECO-TOUR OF THE HOLY LAND ECO- HOPE CD of Land This special opportunity to explore the Holy Land from a spiritual and congregational resources environmental perspective is hosted by Rev. Carla Pryne, Co-Founder, and hosted Co-Founder, please contact LeeAnne Beres, Executive Director of Earth Ministry, and assisted by Dr. Kate O’Sullivan. Literature Douglas Thorpe, Professor of Literature at Seattle Pacific University and author of Rapture of the Deep: Reflections on the Wild in Art, Wilderness and the Wilderness Sacred. Along with opportunities to visit many of the great sacred sites of the participants faith, participants will learn from environmental, academic and governmental expertsThis newsletter was printed on about Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian efforts to protect habitat and developrecycled paper. alternative energy sources. For more information visit 11