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Caring for God's Creation: Called to be Stewards
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The Episcopal Ecological Network (EpEN) is a national network of active lay and clergy persons within the Episcopal Church, USA, who share a common concern for the environment and a common belief in the presence of God in all Creation and who work to make these concerns and beliefs known throughout all Provinces and Dioceses within the church.  Members come from the provinces of the Episcopal Church, USA

One of the activities of the Episcopal Ecological Network (EpEN) is to educate ourselves about the issues before us.  We feel it is necessary to gain a deepening knowledge of the theological and spiritual issues, as well as scientific and practical ecological issues. This newsletter provides information on activities and plans throughout the EpEN.

 

 

 

If you would like to find out more about the Episcopal Ecological Network, please click on the links below.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Episcopal Ecological Network
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1375 Residence Drive

Newark, OH 43055 USA
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If you would like to find out more about the Episcopal Ecological Network, please click on the links below.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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If you would like to find out more about the Episcopal Ecological Network, please click on the links below.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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If you would like to find out more about the Episcopal Ecological Network, please click on the links below.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Join our e-mail list
[please remove the square brackets from the address before sending]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to find out more about the Episcopal Ecological Network, please click on the links below.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Join our e-mail list
[please remove the square brackets from the address before sending]
 
Contact information:

Episcopal Ecological Network
c/o C. Morello
1375 Residence Drive

Newark, OH 43055 USA
e-mail the EpEN Chair
[please remove the square brackets from the address before sending]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EpEN Quarterly Electronic Newsletter

4th Quarter 2006: Millennium Development Goal #7
Ensure Environmental Sustainability

 

This is a quarterly update of news and information about activities of interest to the Episcopal Ecological Network (EpEN). This issue is focusing on Millennium Development Goal #7 (Ensure Environmental Sustainability) and on events and activities of interest in congregations and dioceses across the Episcopal Church.

This issue is not broken down by Province as previous issues of the newsletter have been. In this issue we are giving credit to the contributors from the Steering Committee (and one guest contributor):
 

 

Sally Bingham

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Diocese of California

Province VIII

 

 


Bishop Marc Andrus has climate change as a priority for the Diocese of California and will be working with the diocesan commission to make it more visible in out diocese. He aims to have an environmental contact person for every parish in the diocese.

We showed An Inconvenient Truth in 100 parishes to thousands of people who are now hungry to do something and change their behavior.

Sally

 

 

 

 

Phina Borgeson

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Diocese of California

Province VIII

 

 

Too often we postpone expanding environmental ministry in our parishes until we complete our social justice programs – forgetting that these are connected. We wait until we get our new food pantry on a solid footing. We have we been caught up in the health concerns of members and forgotten about the health of our planet. Often have we chosen short term savings over an investment that would spare both dollars and environmental damage in the long run.

Perhaps a deeper examination of health issues could help every parish make better connections between environmental issues and health/wellness. For example, increasing asthma rates are an environmental health problem. Climate change and wetland degradation are contributing to harsher and more damaging storms, hitting the poor hardest. Soil degradation, fossil fuel depletion, and tropical forest destruction are a few of the hidden costs of cheap food.

And taking a broader global look, we can see that there will be no lasting attainment of the MDGs without considering environmental sustainability. Improved health for the world's poor depends on clean, reliable water supplies and better sanitation. Environmental pollution impacts the health of children who are still growing much more than the health of adults.

In many countries women care for the land, plants and animals which feed their families. Empowering women and stewarding resources go hand in hand.

Climate change will impact agriculture around the globe, speeding up desertification in some areas.

Global solutions for development depend on learning or recovering local knowledge about the natural world.

We contribute to the achievement of MDG 7 through giving, advocacy and lifestyle choices. When we make sure that our charitable dollars go to organizations, like Episcopal Relief and Development, which value sustainable solutions to food security as much as food aid, we are helping meet the goal. When we advocate for US trade and agriculture policies that respect the contexts, needs and resources of other countries, rather than increasing their dependency on us for aid and markets, we are working toward the goal. When we make decisions about the consumption patterns of our households, our congregations, and our work places, particularly choices about fossil fuel use and food and drink purchases, we are helping make progress toward global environmental sustainability.

Phina

 

Phina's comments were provided to the EpEN as a guest commentary. Josephine "Phina" Borgeson is a member of the Episcopal Church Network for Science, Technology and Faith.

 

 

 

Wanda Copeland

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Diocese of Minnesota

Province VI
 

 

 

 

Wanda asked Chuck Morello to provide information from the diocese in Province VI for this issue of the newsletter.

 

 

 

Martha Gardner

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Episcopal Church Offices, New York

 

 

 

 

 

Martha did not submit information for this issue of the newsletter

 

 

 

Jeff Golliher

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Jeff did not submit information for this issue of the newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

Fletcher Harper

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Diocese of Newark

Province II

 

 

 

Fletcher asked Skip Vilas to provide information from the diocese about Province II for this issue of the newsletter.

 

 

 

Peter Kreitler

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Diocese of Los Angeles

Province VIII

 

 

 

In September, the Kreitler Environmental Fund was established at Virginia Theological Seminary in memory of my parents (John Henry and Muriel Gwillim Kreitler). VTS prepared a press release with information about the fund. It is the first of its kind and designed to underwrite lectures, fellowships, scholarships etc. all with environmental focus.

Peter

 

 

 

 

 

Steve MacAusland

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Diocese of Massachusetts

Province I

 

 

 

 

Steve did not submit information for this issue of the newsletter

 

 

Chuck Morello

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Diocese of Minnesota

Province VI

 

 

The Diocese of North Dakota established an environmental stewardship committee at its convention in October. The Rev. Bruce MacDuffie (St. John's in Dickinson, ND) is chair of same. They have established themselves as a network, and the committee members are reaching out to network with congregations they do not directly represent. The committee is just beginning, but has already shared some suggestions and ideas. They have the bishop's agreement to have a regular column in the diocesan paper, the Sheaf.
Resources such as An Inconvenient Truth showed but little in North Dakota, not at all in the far western region, and just for a short time in Fargo and Bismarck. Committee members are purchasing same when it becomes available, and showing it in congregations and living rooms. Those who live in communities with movie theaters are asking our ecumenical partners to ask theater owners and managers to arrange showings in those theaters.

The Diocese of Minnesota completed its first diocese-wide "Creation Season" from October 8 to November 12). Details of the approach are available online. The Mary Brown Environmental Center (co-operated with St. Mary's, Ely, MN) has put together its program of environmental retreats for 2007. Details are available online their website.
At its 149th Convention at the end of October, the Diocese of Minnesota raised $4,259 towards the Millennium Development Goals through a silent auction. This will cover some of the budgeted 0.7% of the diocesan budget, which was pledged to support MDG.

Chuck

 

 

 

Alice Speers

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Diocese of Oregon

Province VIII

 

Our just completed our Diocesan Convention and for us it was a good success. We brought the 2006 GC resolution on climate change and it was passed handily.
We gave our annual E award to Oregon Episcopal School for their amazing wetlands science courses and sustainability projects. And the materials at our display nearly flew off the table - self- guided courses on global warming, Greening Congregations Handbook from Earth Ministry, and lots of items on Energy Star, stewarding rivers and streams, etc.
Altogether a very good event from our perspective. Now that we've brought the climate change resolution to the local level, we can really push ahead on several new fronts.

Alice

 

 

 

 

Skip Vilas

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Diocese of Newark

Province II

 

 

One hundred sixteen congregations of different denominations in New Jersey viewed An Inconvenient Truth through the good offices of Sally Bingham and Interfaith Power and Light. I am sure there were many more in the Province.

Rev. Fletcher Harper, the Province II contact and Executive Director of GreenFaith, was appointed co-chair with Rabbi Larry Troster, COEJL, of the Interfaith Partnership on the Environment of the United Nations Environment Programme, succeeding me (Rev. Franklin Vilas) in that position.
The United Nations has recent;y shown a growing interest in the religious community as partners in "civil society", and Fletcher and Larry are in a position to bring the reloigious concern for the environment to the fore.

As founder and first president of GreenFaith (then Partners for Environmental Quality) I was one of six recipients of the first annual GreenFaith awards for achievement in the area of environmental stewardship and ecojustice. The ceremony took place in the Meadowlands Environmental Education Center in New Jersey. The event for 180 was catered by organic farmers and restaurants of New Jersey.

[Skip is quite modest on this. According to a release from GreenFaith, "When the history of this time is written, Skip Vilas will be known as one of the pioneers of eco-justice," said the Rev. Elizabeth Kaeton, rector of St. Paul's. "The power of his work is that it is deeply embedded in faith communities." "Skip has played an unsurpassed role in placing environmental concerns on the agenda of New Jersey's religious community and beyond," said the Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith's Executive Director. "We are proud to honor him." – editor]

In the Diocese of New Jersey, Joe Parish reports that the Diocesan Environmental Commission has done environmental audits of All Saints in Lakewood and the two Diocesan Office buildings in Trenton and has another audit underway at St. Peter's Freehold.
They are continuing to look for ways to save churches $$$ on oil and gas costs and electricity.

Skip

 

 

 

 

Joyce Wilding

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Diocese of Tennessee

Province IV

 

 

Alabama - Creation Stewards had successful retreat in late September at Camp McDowell. This retreat focused around our Covenant Liturgy for Care of Creation as A Way of Life. Mark Johnston, Director of Camp McDowell gave a dynamic
sermon which pulled the retreat themes together.
The Diocesan Care of Creation Task Force leaders have been hosting joint meetings with of the Department of Architecture, the Department of Parish Development, the Department of Camp McDowell and the Care of Creation Task Force. Bishop Parsley gave opening comments at this meeting and participated in the meeting. Sustainable design/green building/LEED building and land design presentations were made by Architecture Works and Ross Land Design employees. Green building is important in this diocese especially for the new St. Francis chapel that will be built at Camp McDowell. An energy audit of the diocesan offices was recently conducted. The Creation stewards in this diocese are compiling green building guidelines for churches and church property.

Atlanta –Diocesan Environmental Ministry leader is currently preparing a program that will allow congregations to enter into the Energy Star Building Performance Rating System which is a format for monitoring and measuring energy efficiency improvements. This will be a cost effective way to accomplish action from within the organization and not as an outside service. Training and consultancy form a part of the process. They hope to initiate this plan through the Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL) organization.

Central Gulf Coast - Beckwith Camp & Conference Center has a new Master Environmental Education Program that will open Jan 2007. See www.beckwithccc.org to learn more about this new program.

SW Florida - St. Boniface Parish in Sarasota is developing a new spiritual garden space behind the healing mission on the parish grounds. This garden project was recently covered in a local paper. Dr. Meg Lowman from New College, formerly of Selby Gardens, and a canopy expert known around the world, was keynote speaker at garden fundraiser event. She linked science and spirit, and the need to get our young people involved...her goal is "no child left indoors"!

The BEST (Boniface Environmental Steward Team) promotes much good work on the church grounds, such as replacing incandescent light bulbs and installing water saving water coolers. They will host a Creation Sunday in April. They held 4th annual Animal Blessing service, Oct. 1. BEST has also been providing resources to the peace and justice committee of the parish in regard to global warming including a copy of the NCC curriculum regarding global warming

Mississippi – Environmental Leaders in this diocese will host a four session program about global warming at the Cathedral in Jackson. This program will start on Jan 14. 2007. The four sessions will cover:

  1. scriptural basis (environ protection),
  2. Is it a problem (global warming)?
  3. Is it a solvable problem (global warming)? and
  4. What can we do practically?

They may invite Dr. Larry Rasmussan to speak in Jackson and have given some study about best mode for getting all the parishes to promote sustainable/green building practices.

North Carolina - In addition to a handbook on preserving the earth, the environmental stewards hosted its annual conference in June. This program included workshops and outdoor activities. Some of the workshops were given by the Haw River Education Program provides dynamic environmental education for public, schools and churches. The Environmental Ministry Stewards in this diocese are working with the North Carolina Council of Churches program on global warming (called Climate Connection: Interfaith Ecojustice Network, affiliated with Interfaith Power & Light). They have ongoing workshops and an Advent course and may promote a Spring 2007 conference on global warming. This diocese group hosted showings of An Inconvenient Truth and The Great Warming.

Western NC – The Rev. Michael Hudson at St. David's Episcopal Church in Cullowhee promotes many environmental programs and environmental theology in his parish. See www.st-davids.org to learn more about his Creation liturgies. During Creation Cycle this parish is very intentional about God's love of the whole of creation, and so they preach about it and encourage advocacy of various kinds. They also have a collection of hymn texts (Songs for the Cycle, Church Publishing) in which 10 or 12 are particularly Creation centered. Rev Hudson is been working on a Eucharistic liturgy suitable for retreats, etc., (i.e. not for Sundays) to be used out under sky and tree.

Tennessee - Several parishes in this diocese have hosted Global Warming programs this fall. One parish has started a new Super Saturday multi generational science and religion series with special attention to sustainability, water ethics and stewardship of all creation. On Nov 18 Sewanee hosted a SE Focus On The Nation, a national educational initiative on global warming.

Joyce

 

 
 

 

Notes

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Take time to visit he EpEN Website as our upgrading and revisions continue. If you have information to share on upcoming events in your area, please send an e-mail to: input@env-steward.com

The EpEN also seeks individuals interested in being contacts within Provinces and Dioceses as well as individuals interested in researching and writing about topics of interest. If you are interested, please send an e-mail to: theiceismelting@yahoo.com or input@env-steward.com or contact any of the individuals on the Steering Committee.

The next issue will come out in late February 2007 (deadline to be around February 15, 2007) with information of interest and concern for coming year with a focus on Earth Day.

Please direct comments about this newsletter to Chuck Morello.

Chuck Morello
EpEN Webminister

last update: 2007-03-15

 

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