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The Episcopal Ecological Network (EpEN)

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.

 

 

 

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Contact information:

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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
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Newark, OH 43055 USA
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EpEN Quarterly Electronic Newsletter

2nd Quarter 2007: Environmental Activities
around the Episcopal Church

This is a quarterly update of news and information about activities of interest to the Episcopal Ecological Network (EpEN). This issue is focusing on environmental events and activities of interest in congregations and dioceses across the Episcopal Church.

The individuals, below, represent the active leadership of the EpEN as well as guest contributors.
 

 

Sally Bingham

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Diocese of California

Province VIII

 

 


St. Stephen's in Orinda CA: we have just put Barbara Bisel on the commission for the environment which was recently reactivated under Bishop Marc Andrus. She has agreed to co-chair with Sally Bingham.
There will be a special effort over the next few months to identify at least one person in every parish in the Dio of CA to be a liaison to the Commission. We are planning events that will be in several locations in the diocese so no one has to travel very far and we will present the commission as a resource for anything (including solar installation) information. We will be working very closely with the CA Interfaith Power and Light program.

On April 22, 2007, St. Stephen's honored our blessed "island home," with a beautiful, Creation-centered worship service. The liturgy was take from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer, delightful music was sung by the congregation and our Kyrie Choir, and Father Larry delivered an inspiring sermon. Meanwhile, in Sunday School the children planted seeds in nifty, biodegradable peat pots, drew up Care for the Earth contracts, and released hundreds of ladybugs! Following both the 8 & 10am services, the Caring for Creation group sponsored an Earth Day event at Coffee Hour, with table displays.

The readers of the newsletter might like to know that our Presiding Bishop is committed to finding solutions to the problem of climate change. She attended a religious leaders' summit in San Francisco in April that was hosted by The Regeneration Project and helped to author a statement to the President and Congress. The statement can be found at www.theregenerationproject.org. She was an active and engaged attendee with other national leaders such as Bob Edgar from the NCC, Dr. Sayyid Syeed from the Islamic society of North American and The Rev. Joel Hunter from the NAE. Rabbi Steve Pearce represented the Jewish community at the summit and both he and Rabbi David Saperstein signed the declaration. The Episcopal Church can be recorded now as actively engaged in climate solutions.

Sally

 

 

 

 

Wanda Copeland

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Diocese of Minnesota

Province VI &
Interim Chair
 

 

 

 

Wanda did not provide any input this issue

 

 

 

Hall
Hammond

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Diocese of
West Texas

Province VII
 

 

 

 

 

Greetings from South Texas. Our Environmental Stewardship Committee in the Diocese of West Texas has been active for over 20 years, but has been out of touch with the EpEN for some time.

RECENT ACTIVITIES

Environmental Stewardship/Earth Day Sundays – one of our churches held its third ES Sunday on Earth Day in 2007 and our focus was on local water issues in our state legislature. We had post cards available after the Sunday service so that parishioners could write their legislators for support – 45 were mailed. As in past ES Sundays, we had brochures on various environmental issues available. In the past this church has a recycling company with a truck to receive recycled electronic equipment – over 2500 lbs. collected. We also sold over $600 of compact fluorescent bulbs over two Sundays.

Another church organized a mini-fair in their parish hall with various water, electric and recycling organizations present. They also had children make bird houses out of recycled projects.

Office Depot Buying Program – for the past year and a half we have been promoting a cooperative buying program with Office Depot emphasizing green products that also saves parishes money by buying at lower prices.

Green Building Primer for Church Buildings – this manual was completed last year and now we are encouraging all churches constructing new buildings or remodeling to use this while planning their construction. This was written and compiled by one of our committee members, Judith Infante, and is available at www.episcopal-dwtx.org/envirosteward2/greenbuild.htm.

Environmental Stewardship Management Program – one of our committee members is an environmental management consultant and we are initiating a program at our diocesan headquarters complex.

Hall

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Mike
Kinman

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Executive Director, Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation

Guest Contributor

 

 

 

Sheila Andrus (Adjunct Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, University of Alabama, Birmingham AL) and I are teaching at CDSP on the MDGs through an environmental lens. Information and registration at http://www.cdsp.edu/center_courses.php#04.

Forward to a More Sustainable Future:
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
July 9-13, 1:30 – 5:00 p.m.

How will people of faith respond to the growing worldwide challenges of human suffering and ecological threat? This course will introduce students to key concepts of sustainable development and the current status of the MDGs in their effort to alleviate human suffering. In highly interactive classes involving individual- and team-led discussions, students will explore case studies of MDG implementation, assess whether or not the MDGs will work, and explore the role of faith communities in the global MDG response.

Required text and advance reading: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2006 (United Nations)

 

 

 

Peter Kreitler

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Diocese of Los Angeles

Province VIII

 

 

 

Peter did not provide any input for this issue.

 

 

 

 

Steve MacAusland

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Diocese of Massachusetts

Province I

 

 

 

 

At its convention in November, The Diocese of Massachusetts passed a resolution calling for all member parishes and institutions to report their energy consumption for the last three years to the Diocese. Working with Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light, The Diocese will determine its carbon/climate footprint. We will then put our total energy consumption out to bid through a Request for Proposals that will encourage energy generators, suppliers, and service companies to help establish a "ministry in the marketplace." The intent is to aggregate our demand, buy goods and services in bulk, bring costs down, drive efficiency up, and reduce our emissions significantly.

Shortly after Earth Day '07, Bishop Suffragan Bud Cedarholm sent a letter to each of the Bishops in Province One asking them to join with us. He also invited the Massachusetts Council of Churches to join in the effort. The possibility of establishing the "footprint" of the Community of Faith in New England is real. It will take a lot of work, but this is what we are called to do in Province One.

We believe that this is a viable model for the entire Episcopal Church.

Steve MacAusland

 

 

 

Bruce
MacDuffie

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Diocese of
North Dakota

Province VI

 

 

One at a Time: a Report from the Environmental Stewardship Committee of the Diocese of North Dakota
(one person, one household, one congregation, one diocese at a time)

Such seems to be the method of the Spirit, working in you and me as stewards of God's Creation. This article summarizes a few activities done by ONE congregation at a time, sometimes by one person at a time. While climate change and global warming have been in the forefront of our committee concerns, we are caring for all the rest of the creation when we care about the human causes of global warming. Species loss is at an all time high, as high as 1000 times the usual rate according to some sources. (The BBC news on May 14 reported that studies now are concerned that as many as one billion people may be displaced by a combination of desertification, political unrest, and the effects of global warming.)

Does it seem insane to say this is also a time of great hope? The challenge of this largest of challenges brings us together in new and creative ways to find common solutions. Perhaps we relearn the joy of a simpler life style, a simpler age, where relating to each other and finding joy in each other builds a new mutual respect all across this globe. We learn Benedictine hospitality where we treat not only each visitor to our homes and churches, but also each neighbor, each creature, as though that sister and brother creature were Christ. We treat Mother Earth as well as we would want our biological mothers treated, with that kind of respect. Working together to make our beautiful island home sustainable, we learn to cooperate with each other across class and ethnic and ideological boundaries.

WEB SITE: Please take a moment to visit www.prairiestewardship.org, the web site of the newly formed Prairie Climate Stewardship Network, based right here in North Dakota. The web site is a veritable treasure trove of helpful information, documents, and links. Some highlights include:

  • Climate Stewardship Opportunities with a special section for church buildings including a link to the Kairos Energy Workbook for Religious Buildings.
  • Another section for homes.
  • Covenants to give us common purpose with others - for individuals, for households, for congregations. Imagine covenants signed and shared for mutual encouragement and support by congregations all over the diocese and the state.
  • Clear and helpful information about the encouraging carbon sequestration and coal gasification work in North Dakota.
  • The Episcopal Church's "Catechism of Creation" and the statement from the National Association of Evangelicals re our responsibilities for climate change.

AND SO MUCH ELSE. Make it your first stop for information about climate stewardship.

So what are we doing as congregations and individuals?

St. Paul's, Grand Forks: Linda Gunderson of St. Paul's organized a lecture and film series earlier this spring re climate change. On Earth Day, St. Paul's, the Unitarian/Universalists, and Presbyterians sponsored a "free" showing of The Great Warming at the Empire Arts Theater. And much more.

Jackie Bernacchi, along with Roman Catholic Deacon, Larry Lang, and about-to-be deacon Bonnie McNaughton organized an Earth Day showing of An Inconvenient Truth in the Devils Lake area, and assembled a "distinguished panel" to discuss the concerns. Reports are that the day began with a special service at St. Thomas Church, Ft. Totten.

St. George's, Bismarck: Zanne Ness reported that possibilities of response to environmental stewardship are discussed in the newsletter and on the bulletin board.

St. Luke's, Ft. Yates: Carmine Goodhouse reports that she began enticing folks to share chili at her home and to see the film, An Inconvenient Truth. She showed it at school, and her work place. Then it was shown at St. Luke's Church itself. The Parish bulletin lists the concrete steps individuals can take. St. Luke's plans to become more energy efficient and to plant trees to shelter the church.

St. John's, Dickinson: St. John's, with a volunteer electrician's help, is surveying all its lighting to install CFL's wherever possible. (MDU offers a small incentive for such change). The film, An Inconvenient Truth, was shown both privately and at Dickinson State University to over 200 people in Dickinson, and also at Sacred Heart Monastery. The Great Warming will be viewed next by similar numbers with some opportunity for discussion by scientific and energy experts. Several people are keeping the concerns in front of the public with letters to the Dickinson Press. A recycling committee has been established in Dickinson, and the city and school system have both undertaken efficiency upgrades to all their buildings, with the savings in energy expenditure actually fully amortizing the cost of doing so.

Hebron: Episcopalian Jane Brandt, editor of the Hebron Herald, persuaded the Hebron Business Club to sponsor a showing of An Inconvenient Truth at the Mayer Theater in Hebron, free of charge. About 30 folks attended, and discussion ensued after the film. Jane retained the DVD to circulate further in the community.

Bruce

 

 

 

Carole
McGowan

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Diocese of
Rio Grande

Province VII

 

 

Carole did not provide input for this issue.

 

 

 

Chuck Morello

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Diocese of Minnesota

Province VI

 

 

For this issue we asked for contact information for Environmental Stewardship groups within the Episcopal Church. The following groups have been identified:

Province I:

Diocese: Diocese of Connecticut
Name: The Committee on the Environment
Contact:  
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Diocese: Diocese of Rhode Island
Name: Environment Committee
Contact: Mary L. Hitt
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Diocese: Diocese of Vermont
Name: Environmental Ministry Team
Contact: Inactive

 

Province II:

Diocese: Diocese of New Jersey
Name: Environmental Committee (no webpresence)
Contact: Joseph Parrish
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Diocese: Diocese of Newark
Name Environment in the Diocese of Newark
Contact: Fletcher Harper and Edward M. Hasse, III

Province III:

Diocese: Diocese of Washington
Name: Committee on the Environment
Contact: Jane Osborne

Province IV:

Diocese: Throughout Province IV
Name: Environmental Ministries at the University of the South, Sewanee, TN
Contact: Joyce Wilding
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Diocese: Diocese of Alabama
Name: Task Force for Stewardship of Creation
Contact: Eleanor DelBene
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Diocese: Diocese of Atlanta
Name: Stewardship of our Environment
Contact:  
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Diocese: Diocese of Florida
Name: Earth Stewardship Committee, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Gainesville, FL (No Web presence)
Contact: David Miller
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Diocese: Diocese of Mississippi
Name: Stewardship of Creation Committee (No Web presence)
Contact: Andrew Whitehurst
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Diocese: Diocese of Mississippi
Name: St. Andrew's Cathedral Environmental Stewardship Committee (No Web presence)
Contact: Jackie or Avery Rollins
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Diocese: Diocese of North Carolina:
Name: Chartered Committee for Environmental Ministry (No Web presence)
Contact: Tom Droppers
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Diocese: Diocese of South Carolina
Name: Environmental Stewardship at St. George’s Episcopal Church, Summerville, SC (No Web presence)
Contact: John Chaconas
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Diocese: Diocese of Southwest Florida
Name: Boniface Eco-Stewardship Team (B.E.S.T.) at St. Boniface Episcopal Church, Sarasota, FL.
Contact: Kay McGimpsey
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Diocese: Diocese of Tennessee
Name: Environmental Ministry: Caring for God's Creation, Christchurch Cathedral, Nashville, TN
Contact: Joyce Wilding
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Diocese: Diocese of West Tennessee
Name: Episcopal Creation Caregivers of West Tennessee
Contact: Jim Boyd or Gary Bridgeman
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Diocese: Diocese of Western North Carolina
Name: Environmental and Creation Care Ministry (No Web presence)
Contact: Jill Rios

Province V:

Diocese: Diocese of Missouri
Name: Environment
Contact:  

Province VI:

Diocese: Diocese of Iowa
Name: Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation
Contact: Anne Moats Williams
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Diocese: Diocese of Minnesota
Name: Minnesota Episcopal Environmental Stewardship Commission
Contact: Tom Harries
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Diocese: Diocese of North Dakota
Name: Environmental Stewardship Committee (No Web presence)
Contact: Bruce MacDuffie

Province VII:

Diocese: Diocese of West Texas
Name: Environmental Stewardship
Contact: Hall Hammond

Province VIII:

Diocese: Diocese of Alaska
Name: Alaska Interfaith Power & Light
Contact: Paul K. Klitzke
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Diocese: Diocese of Arizona
Name: Nature and Spirituality Program
Contact: Phyllis Strupp
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Diocese: Diocese of Nevada
Name: Stewardship Commssion
Contact:  
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Diocese: Diocese of Northern California
Name: Inaugural meeting on June 2, 2007
Contact: Phina Borgeson
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Diocese: Diocese of Spokane
Name:  
Contact: Gloria Waggoner

Province IX:

None

 

 

If your group is not listed, please send an e-mail to ruach[@eenonline.org] with the information. This list, with other updates as received, is available online.

Chuck

 

 

 

Alice Speers

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Diocese of Oregon

Province VIII

 

In the Diocese of Spokane, the grounds and gardens of the diocesan house are registered as chemical free with the Washington Toxics Coalition, and they practice stewardship of the environment in our daily life inside as well. The Meditation Garden is open to the public and is registered with The Quiet Garden Movement (which originates in England.)

The Diocese of Spokane is in the process of greening all 43 of its congregations over the next few years by providing information, guidelines and oversight committees (within each congregation) for going as green as is possible in each church. Gloria Waggoner is traveling to each church and speaking to this cause.

Gloria has also begun a (non profit) fun lifestyle boutique on the lower level of the diocesan house that promotes and supports Fair Trade organic food, FT items, FTO skin care, organic fertilizers, organic plants, antiques (as a new sustainable), books, and in short, provides an “eco choice” for shoppers for interior, and garden decorating and planting. She provides free printed material about alternatives to chemicals in all areas of life with emphasis on dangers to infants and children as well as the environment.

 

 

 

Phyllis
Strupp

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Diocese of Arizona

Province VIII

 

The Diocese of Arizona has a new Celtic Connection program. Details are available online at www.azdiocese.org/news/index.html?news_id=153

Also the Diocese of Arizona has a website for spiritual growth and environmental stewardship tools: www.episcopal-az.org/ministries/nature.html

Phyllis

 

 

Van
Tingley

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Diocese of
Maine

Province I

 

Van did not provide input for this issue.

 

 

 

 

Skip Vilas

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Diocese of Newark

Province II

 

 

News From Province 2

On May 24th, two EpEN members addressed the Tripartite Interfaith Forum of the United Nations at tyhe UN headquarters in New York City on the subject of religion and the environment. the Rev. Skip Vilas, founder of the Interfaith Partnershjp on the Environment, and the Rev. Fletcher Harper, its current Co-Chair, were asked by the United Nations Environment Program to put together a panel on the work of IPE for a briefing of national ambassadors, United Nations agencies and religious NGOs.

The Tripartite Interfaith Forum, in existence for a year, was initiated by the government of the Phillipines to bring the religious community into full dialogue with United Nations leaders. The NGOs had previously been extraneous to the workings of the UN.

Skip Vilas organized the panel, which he introduced and moderated. The panel included the information officer of UNEP, the UN representative of the United Religions Initiative begun by Bishop Swing of the Diocese of California, a representative of the Baha'i International Community and was concluded by Fletcher in his role as Co-Chair of IPE.

The Interfaith Partnership for the Environment is an advisory body to UNEP, formed prior to the Earth Summit in 1990 in order to involve the worlds religions in environmental concerns. Over the years it has published many documents, the two best know Only One Earth, with material for the Environmental Sabbath and Earth and Faith, published for the Rio + 10 Earth Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2,000. Fletcher attended that conference representing IPE.

Skip

 

 

 

 

Joyce Wilding

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Diocese of Tennessee

Province IV

 

 


Province IV Environmental Ministry (EM) SE Diocesan News May 07

Diocsese of Misssissippi – Andrew Whitehurst, diocesan EM leader writes highlights about his introduction to a three Sunday "Dean's Forum" series on Environmental Stewardship at the Cathedral in Jackson, TN. The biblical foundation for earth stewardship from varied philosophies on both sides of the question of our culture's concern for the environment was presented, as was the story of the demise of the Easter Island culture. These provided an extension of that oceanic example to the fact that the earth is our island home.

Global Climate Change or Global Warming was discussed during the third week. Participants in these sessions talked about "whether or not reasonable minds can differ" about the degree of warming and the extent of the problem.

Episcopal Bishops in the Southeastern U.S. in Province 4 have taken the time to think and write about earth stewardship. Bishop Gray is a signatory to the 2003 pastoral letter (1) on Care of Creation. "If you need to act under authority, you have it from your church's local leader because he put his name on the pastoral letter" says Whitehurst.
And Andrew based the rest of his article and presentation on the paragraph below:

"We write you to address our joyful, weighty responsibility to take seriously our stewardship of God's creation." The terms joyful and weighty are used to describe our responsibility to take care of the place that sustains us.

This paragraph inspired Andrew to write

"… you have to convince yourself that it is a responsibility, perhaps even a duty to do this and there are ways to educate yourself about it. It is not hard, but it will take an investment of your time and energy. The weighty aspect of earth stewardship is clear. You don't need to get all the way to climate change to understand that examples of environmental damage to the earth and its systems, caused by humans, are numerous now, that they are real, and that they affect human health and society and the health of the living things we share the earth with."

 

Diocese of North Carolina

Linda Rimer, an active member of her diocesan EM group was the committee chairwoman for innovative program during Lent. For most Christians, giving up something for Lent means abstaining from temptations: chocolate, soft drinks or TV.

But this Lent, half a dozen North Carolina churches, including three in Chapel Hill, took the concept of doing without and tied it to their religious beliefs about the environment. These churches vowed to fast from carbon -- the kind that contributes to global warming.

While most of the participants still turned on the lights at home, the 40-day experience encouraged them to think twice before jacking up the thermostat or driving around town on an errand.

People participating in the fast were asked to go to one of several Web sites that calculate the amount of carbon dioxide their household emits. After Easter, the churches will try to measure the reduction in carbon emissions based on the savings people recorded.

The idea for the carbon fast came to members of the environmental stewardship committee at Chapel of the Cross. Committee members felt frustrated about their ability to change people's behavior and wondered how they could grab people's attention. "It just popped up – hey, we can give up carbon for Lent," said
Linda Rimer, the committee chairwoman.

When she shared the idea with the North Carolina Council of Churches, a study guide was quickly written and distributed, taking care to incorporate the key elements of Lent, a time of repentance and reflection modeled after Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness. The guide included a weekly Bible reading, a prayer and an action people could take to limit their carbon output.

Diocese of Tennessee - Water Festival August 25 and Support for New Nature Center

The Environmental Ministry (EM) group at Christ Church Cathedral is supporting the Cumberland River Compact River Festival on August 25, 2007 at Riverfront Park on the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville. We will have an exhibit booth that provides information about how the Episcopal Church promotes water conservation and sustainability. This event will:

  • Offer a unique Dragon Boat team sporting event for Middle Tennesseans which focuses on our river, our cultural diversity, our health and our community. It combines the excitement of the races with the beauty and spectacle of Nashville's diverse community. In Chinese tradition, the dragon is a symbol of health and prosperity, and dragon boat racing inspires health and fitness among participants as well as spectators.
  • Build awareness about our need to lead healthy lives
  • Develop stewardship and understanding of our Cumberland River

This EM group and ENTREAT Sewanee are providing funds for a sustainable building program in a new nature Center that is located on Cumberland River. This park and center is near to three local downtown Nashville Episcopal parishes; thus, can provide a place for interfaith inner city science and religion programs. Some future programs could be modeled on the LSI Metanexus ENTREAT - Reflection, Education & Action.

(NOTE) The center will have a focus on water. The green "living" roof will reduce runoff and provide a great education piece for Nashville.

Several Diocese of Tennessee parishes offer water conservation and educational programs. Earth Day "Food, Faith & Hunger" program and promotion of new farm bill was covered in the Events & News section www.globalgood.org on April 20.

West Tennessee - Jim Boyd, new EM diocesan leader is both priest and president of Bridges USA a non-profit company that has experienced six-fold growth in the number of youth it serves, not to mention the one-of-a-kind, ecologically friendly building the organization erected in Uptown Memphis in 2004. This 'green' facility was Jim's vision," and the first 'green' building in Memphis.

See www.bridgesusa.org to learn more about Boyd's leadership and work in Memphis. Boyd is developing new ideas for Environmental Stewardship & Ministry in his diocese. He will give much attention to water conservation and concerns about local rivers.

Joyce

 

 
 

 

Notes

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Take time to visit the 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: theiceismelting@yahoo.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.

The next issue will come out in late August 2007 (deadline for submissions to be around August 15, 2007). If you have information to share with the wider church, please send your input at any time to theiceismelting@yahoo.com.

Please direct comments about this newsletter to Chuck Morello.

Chuck Morello
EpEN Webminister

last update: 2007-06-06

 

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