Shield of the Episcopal Church, USA

The Episcopal Ecological Network (EpEN)

Caring for God's Creation: Called to be Stewards
part of The Episcopal Church, USA

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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.

 

 
 

 

 
Join our e-mail list
[please remove the square brackets from the address before sending]
EpEN Active Working Group
Leadership Team
Wanda
Copeland
Hall
Hammond
Chuck
Morello
Alice
Speers
Phyllis
Strupp
Skip
Vilas
Advisory Team
Sally
Bingham
Fletcher
Harper
Peter
Kreitler
Steve
MacAusland
Van
Tingley
Joyce
Wilding
 
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]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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EpEN Quarterly Electronic Newsletter

1st Quarter 2008: Environmental Spirituality and EcoJustice Activities Coming up in 2008 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 a look at what diocesan and congregational environmental groups in the Episcopal Church are doing in connecting spirituality with environmental concerns. The responses are arranged by province and then by diocese in the province of the Episcopal Church.

We asked for short explanations. Where the responses were lengthy or required more detailed explanation, there is a short summary statement and a link to the full response.
Also in this issue, we are providing a summary of the meeting of several members of the EpEN Leadership Team with Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori following the Ministry Review and Visioning Retreat the EpEN held in Chicago in November.
 

 

Chuck Morello
EpEN Communicator

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Diocese of
Minnesota

Province VI
 
 

 

 

 

EpEN Meeting with the Presiding Bishop

Episcopal Ecological Network and Presiding Bishop Meet to Discuss Common Concerns on the Environment

New York City, NY, December 6, 2007

On the Feast of St. Nicholas of Myra, members of the Leadership Team of the Episcopal Ecological Network (EpEN) – the Rev Franklin "Skip" Vilas (Diocese of Newark), Hall Hammond (Diocese of West Texas), and Phyllis Strupp (Diocese of Arizona) – met with Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori to discuss the results of the ministry review and visioning session in Chicago in mid-November. The meeting lasted over an hour and covered the advantages and challenges of a wide range of topics.

The EpEN representatives presented a new vision for the EpEN: A "Shalom Home" for all God's Creatures here on Earth. Bishop Katherine offered that the EpEN should work towards this vision by engaging and collaborating with the new Environment & Economic Justice Office to be established in Seattle during 2008 and with the Episcopal Public Policy Network in Washington, DC. She was amenable to collaboration with both Episcopalian groups and ecumenical organizations.

Discussions on the EpEN mission statement covered aspects of equipping congregations and the Episcopal Church to bring a fuller life to all God's creatures. The Presiding Bishop felt that the EpEN and the Episcopal Church have a prophetic opportunity to take the initiative now and the EpEN should work to clarify its mission and then use its prophetic voice for creation to call individuals, congregations, and dioceses into a sustainable and caring relationship with all of creation. The Presiding Bishop expressed an awareness and enthusiasm for celebrating a "Creation Season". She said that while attempts to get the Creation Season placed in the Book of Occasional Services in the past may have failed, growing interest in ecological issues make the present time more appropriate for a renewed effort.

In terms of areas of focus for the EpEN, discussions focused initially on collaborating with groups such as Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation, the Committee on Science, Technology and Faith, the Episcopal Public Policy Network, the Episcopal Network for Economic Justice, the Socially Responsible Investing Group, and various youth projects. Collaboration with groups of similar focus in other denominations would work to the improvement of the common good of the mission of Christ in our world. She also opined that the focus of the House of Bishops last March on Millennium Development Goal #7 would give the EpEN an opportunity to approach dioceses regarding the EpEN's action plan, especially the 11 dioceses represented in the EpEN Working Group (Maine, Massachusetts, Newark, Tennessee, Minnesota, West Texas, Arizona, Los Angeles, California, and Oregon).

The EpEN can do its best work by having an informal relationship with the structure of the Episcopal Church. As such the EpEN would need to look in the mid-term at setting itself up as a non-profit entity. For the short-term, an affiliation with a diocese, congregation, or other non-profit group within the Episcopal Church would suffice while a formal non-profit status is created. With a position of an informal relationship to the structure of the Episcopal Church, the EpEN is not bound to operate within the limits set by General Convention resolutions. Accountability for the EpEN would be to the individuals and groups that provide the funding to operate. This accountability would need to be fiscally responsible for all monies collected.

The Presiding Bishop offered stressed the need for the EpEN to bring specific resolutions to the 76th General Convention in 2009. She opined that the areas to focus on would be air and water as well as on how to get the message and assistance to the average person in the pews.

The meeting closed with a prayer offered by the Presiding Bishop for the EpEN's ministry and for guidance

In early 2008, the EpEN will begin restructuring how it does its work to align with the direction and suggestions from the Presiding Bishop. If you have thoughts or comments about this meeting and its results, please send them to chair[@eenonline.org] (remove square brackets before sending).

 

 

 

 

Province 1

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Diocese of Rhode Island

St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, Kingston, RI
submitted by Jennifer Phillips

A Lenten preaching series by the Rector on environment and creation.
A parish Green Team which has already converted all church building lighting to compact fluorescent and is working on other good stewardship efforts and collaborating with our new diocesan task force in Rhode Island.

We observe Rogation with a special prayer service in the church grounds.

We observe St. Francis' Day on a near Sunday each October with an animal blessing and prayers for the creatures during the main Sunday service.

The rector is developing Creation & Creator-focused prayers for alternative trial use.

 

Diocese of Vermont

Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Burlington, VT
submitted by Sylvia Knight

The Earth Care Circle (ECC) of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul grew out of a resolution passed by our 2003 Diocesan Convention which urged each parish to develop an environmental policy and action plan to reduce the parish's impact on God's Creation, and to "seek to understand and uproot the political, social and economic causes of environmental abuse."

Our Rogation Sunday activities include Adult Education on global climate change and liturgies that celebrate God's Creation through singing the Benedicite Omnia Opera Domini in place of the Gloria in Excelsis, hymns with thanks for God's Creation, including St. Francis' Canticle of Creation, a parishioner's Prayers of the People, a sermon on caring for God's Creation, and a blessing (written by another parishioner, available upon request) of our memorial garden and nearby community garden.

Current activities include sending testimony to Vermont legislators supporting legislation to protect groundwater as a public trust resource based on a resolution passed at our 2006 Diocesan Convention. Also, as part of our planning process, we are working with the Cathedral Buildings & Grounds Committee to encourage energy conservation and efficiency upgrades to our Cathedral's infrastructure as recommended in an audit by VT Interfaith Power & Light.

 

Diocese of Western Massachusetts

Grace Church, Amherst
submitted by the Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

Grace Church, Amherst, Mass. has an active Greening Grace group that meets monthly. Some current projects: Lenten group study of Low Carbon Diet: A 30 Day Program to Lose 5000 Pounds, by David Gershon; celebration of Creation Sunday with eco-fair that will include sale of electric light switches emblazoned with Blessed Are They Who Turn Off the Lights; publication of monthly Eco-Tips and maintenance of bulletin board.

Priest Associate Margaret Bullitt-Jonas is co-producing (with Robert Jonas and the Canary Project) a Christian slide show about climate change that she hopes to make available soon for free download on the Web. It is entitled God so loved the world: A Christian call to climate action. She is active in Religious Witness for the Earth (religiouswitness.org), which is planning, in partnership with 1Sky.org, a possible One Sky, Many Faiths campaign as we head toward the Presidential elections. She is on the steering committee of the Genesis Covenant, an initiative to dramatically reduce the Episcopal Church's carbon footprint. Look for the launch of the Genesis Covenant this April at the Seattle conference, Healing Our Planet Earth: Singing a New Song of Hope, with a keynote from our Presiding Bishop.

 

 

 

Province 2

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Province 2-wide

submitted by the Rev Skip Vilas

Some 150 religious leaders, including episcopal rectors, attended a Toxic Tour in Newark , New Jersey this month, led by the Rev. Fletcher Harper of GreenFaith, Inc. They visited toxic sites in the Iron Bound section of the city that including a disintegrating and abandoned Pabst brewery, and other toxic sites left over from the production of agent orange in the Vietnam War. The tour was described in a feature article in New Jersey's state newspaper, the Star Ledger.

 

Diocese of New York

UNESCO Advisor to Unicef, retired
submitted by David Burleson

A group of Human Rights "elders" have a sign up page on the internet, hoping to garner a billion signatures this year for the 60th Anniversary of this great document which I consider the greatest document of modern times........ I don't know when the list started, but suppose it started on new years' day..that is about 300 a day.....to get to a billion signatures in one year one would need more like 3 million a day....
Please sign the UDHR 60th Anniversary list...."we" want a billion!

 

 

 

Province 3

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Diocese of Maryland

Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation
submitted by Paul Beares

The Cathedral of the Incarnation Baltimore, Maryland is hosting a national conference entitled "Gardens & Grace: Care for the Earth, the City and the Soul," September 28th – October 1st, 2008. The conference objective is to educate, inspire and motivate participants to embrace each area of focus – Earth, City, and Soul – and to take action to make positive changes in their lives and their communities.

Keynote Speakers include: Brian McLaren, visionary author – "Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope" -and spiritual leader, The Rev. Philip Roderick, Founder of the Quiet Garden Movement, Terry Hershey, author, conference leader, and garden designer, The Rev. Barbara Crafton, author and retreat leader, Kim Coble, Maryland Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a speaker from Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, and many stimulating workshop leaders. The conference includes tours of Baltimore community gardens and breakout sessions focused on creation care, environmental justice, organic gardening, as well as creative spiritual practices. For complete details and to make reservations, go to www.ang-md.org/gardensandgrace or email Gardensandgrace08[@gmail.com] (please remove square brackets).

The Conference is designed for Creation Care committee members, clergy and lay leaders, gardeners, and others engaged in spiritual, environmental, and social justice issues.

 

Diocese of Southwestern Virginia

submitted by Michael Bentley

The 600 clergy, delegates and guests of the 89th Annual Council of the Diocese in January were addressed several times by the Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefforts Schori whose focus was the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which she characterized as a contemporary extension of Jesus' ministry. Encouraging all to take steps to help build a reconciled world, she urged the use of the gift of political action. "Advocacy is prayer," Jefferts Schori said. "Pester your legislators and keep on bothering them." The 26th P.B. visited the 300 children, youth and young adults who attended Council-related activities and helped them pack 40,000 meals to be sent to fight hunger in the developing world. The youth had raised $9,000 to purchase the meal ingredients through the anti-poverty organization Stop Hunger Now. The Council's 14 workshops were open to all and helped participants further explore the MDGs and ecojustice. For example, "How Green is My Faith: The Environment and Christianity" argued that caring for the environment was a natural extension of loving our neighbors as ourselves. Others concerned the ONE campaign, using fair trade products, the work of Episcopal Relief and Development, interfaith actions, the MDGs and scripture, and places of special concern such as Haiti and the Sudan.

 

Diocese of Virginia

Committee on the Stewardship of Creation
submitted by Evelyn Wheeler

The Committee on the Stewardship of Creation in the Diocese of Virginia is pleased to announce its new website. The Diocesan Annual Council, at its January 2008 meeting, passed a resolution supporting the Presiding Bishop's call for a multifaith conference on responding to climate change through the Genesis Covenant and establishing a new annual award for that parish or diocesan organization that saves the most energy over the course of a one-year period. We are focusing our near-term efforts on a more systematic way to connect faith to energy savings in parishes, taking advantage of much independent work in the Diocese. The Committee seeks to prevent more mountain-top destruction and pollution from coal-fired power plants. We are also working with the new Diocesan Millennium Development Goal Network to better integrate social justice and sustainability goals. Finally, we are beginning to build links with other dioceses in Virginia, Maryland, and the District to work on issues of common concern.

 

 

 

Province 4

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Diocese of Atlanta

Canon for Community Ministries
submitted by Debbie Shew

Upcoming events/efforts in the Diocese of Atlanta:

Following on his address to Annual Council in Nov. 2007, Bishop Alexander has formed a Task Force on Environmental Stewardship, which will hold its initial meeting in March. The bishop's charge to the group includes three objectives: "to provide the parishes and people with the necessary resources to develop deeper biblical and theological understandings of our obligations for the care of the earth, resources that will be available to all of our people at every age to deepen their sense of participation in the stewardship of creation; secondly, to provide practical tools for our parishes and our people to cut waste, reduce energy consumption, contain and reduce our carbon footprint, and other practical means to make a difference; and to organize appropriate advocacy at the local, state, national, and international levels that contributes positively toward the accountability of our government leaders for the wise use of the riches of creation."

The annual Ministry Fair will have a "green" focus this year. Entitled "God's Creation: Our Response" the all-day event for 400+ participants includes keynote address "A Primer on Global Warming and What We Can Do About It"by featured speaker Michael Coffey, Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO, who will provide as well as a workshop later in the day.

Additional "green workshops" include:

Caring for Creation: How We Think Really Matters Session 2
Trace the history of the way human cultures have thought about the Earth from indigenous peoples to the ancient Hebrews through Plato, St. Augustine, St. Francis of Assisi and the Protestant reformers down to the present. How we think makes all the difference in the ways we treat the creation. The Rev. Woody Bartlett, Chair, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, and Dr. Katy Hinman, Executive Director, GIPL.

Greening Your Congregation Session 3
How can your congregation take action on our call to care for creation? Learn how you can help "green" your congregation through worship and education as well as practical steps to make your facilities more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Care for the environment is one of the diocese's five areas of ministry that the Bishop focused on at the 2007 Annual Council. Learn how to give your congregation an eco makeover! Katy Hinman, Executive Director, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light & Jennifer Downs, Associate Director, GIPL.

Scientific Foundations of Global Warming Session 1
Our Great Gathering special guest, Dr. Michael Coffey, will follow up his plenary presentation with further information and discussion on the topic of global warming in a classroom atmosphere. Michael Coffey, Senior Scientist at The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colorado and professor of Physics, University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.

Zola: The Art of Living Green Session 1
What if we could change the future by shopping? Every time we shop, it is like casting a vote with our dollars. This means we have a great deal of influence in the economy as consumers. We are a major factor in bringing about positive change! Join me as we take a look at a day in the life of an average American consumer for a step-by-step guide to some of the easy and affordable changes we can make to help the environment. We will also take an Eco Footprint Quiz to analyze our individual impact on the earth and brainstorm fun ways to lighten our step. Beth Remmes, Founder, Zola: The Art of Living Green

 

Diocese of Mississippi

Stewardship of Creation Committee
submitted by Andrew Whitehurst

Bishop Duncan Gray's letter on global warming and resource conservation was introduced to the Mississippi Diocese at the Annual Council in Natchez in January 2008. The Stewardship of Creation committee had a booth at the council and hosted a drawing for compact flourescent light bulbs. We also sold copies of a 2007 issue of "Reflections" a journal of Yale Divinity School. This special issue was on Creation, Faith and the Earth Crisis at hand.

Bishop Gray's letter acknowledges that climate change is very likely affected by human activities and needs addressing by the Diocese of Mississippi through education and action. In his letter he encourages conservation, recycling, more efficient energy consumption and further charges each parish through its wardens and priests to start an earth stewarship ministry if they lack one. A resolution adopted overwhelming by the council asks that the letter be read to all missions and churches on Sunday April 27th, Rogation Sunday (which incidentally is the Sunday after Earth Day). The resolution asks that every homily and sermon in Mississippi's nearly 100 missions and churches that day support the subject of earth stewardship.

 

 

Diocese of North Carolina

Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill, NC
submitted by Linda Rimer

For the second year in a row, the Environmental Stewardship Committee of the Chapel of the Cross organized a "Fast from Carbon for Lent" campaign. Beginning before Lent and continuing through each Sunday in Lent, we are providing opportunities between morning services for parishioners to measure their carbon footprint, learn about actions they can take to reduce the size of that footprint, and make pledges to implement some of those actions. We are also giving away low-flow shower heads, selling compact florescent bulbs, and providing bus route schedules and greenway maps in our city. We have a special program for the kids – which is to plan "no waste lunches" for schools. Our handout materials include measurement tools to enable parishioners to calculate their carbon reductions.

We will be hosting an adult education session for Earth Sunday. We provide support to our Environmental Campus Ministry to sponsor the Blessing of the Animals service.

We publish an article on Environmental Stewardship in each of our parish's monthly newsletters (Cross Roads) and publish a Green Tip into each of our Sunday bulletin/announcement (Crossings).

 

Diocese of North Carolina

Church of the Nativity, Raleigh, NC
submitted by Carl Sigel

"Faith and Science: A Parish Dialogue" is an intensive exploration into the interface of faith and science. During the current year, we have explored how our faith might help us to understand our proper role in God's creation, and what we can do to achieve environmental sustainability in accordance with the 7th MDG.

The current dialogue on the environment began in September 2007, when Rev. Tom Droppers, presented a talk on spirituality in nature and the cosmos. In October, Prof. Mary Kathleen Cunningham, NCSU, explored the spiritual basis for our role as stewards. In November, Prof. Norm Christensen, Duke U., discussed the role of CO2 in climate change. In January, Mr. Paul Quinlan, NC Sustainable Energy Association, discussed the energy challenges facing NC. In February, Mr. Pat Doyle, Progress Energy, presented plans for conservation and renewable energy. In March, Rev.Ted Purcell, Duke U, will address how our spirituality inspires, informs, and motivates our behavior in relationship to the natural world.

Lastly, in January 2008, The Diocese of NC awarded a certificate of recognition to the Church of the Nativity for its outstanding program on the environment.

 

Diocese of North Carolina

Salisbury, NC
submitted by Steve McCollum

Conference on Faith & Environment Scheduled for May 29-31
Renowned thought leaders from across the nation – including the Rev. Sally Bingham, environmental minister at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco – will talk about environmental challenges from a spiritual perspective at a Conference on Faith and the Environment. The conference will feature workshops emphasizing action.

The Center for the Environment at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C, will host the conference May 29-31 at the Center facility on the Catawba campus.

Keynote speakers will be:

  • the Rev. Sally Bingham, environmental minister at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and originator of Episcopal Power and Light;
    Dr. Matthew Sleeth, author of Serve God and Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action;
  • Gary Gardner, director of research at Worldwatch Institute, a leading source on the interactions among key environmental, social and economic trends;
  • Dr. Karen Baker-Fletcher, eco-justice theologian at Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology;
  • Fred Scherlinder Dobb, rabbi at Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, Maryland, and board member of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life.

For more information on the conference, visit the Center for the Environment's website.

 

Diocese of Tennessee

Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville, TN
submitted by Joyce Wilding

Sierra Club has selected Christ Church Cathedral Environmental Ministries programs for its new 50-state faith appreciation report to be published in late spring 2008. This report is a project of the Sierra Club's Environmental Partnerships Program, which works actively with faith groups around the United States to broaden support for environmental protection.

Partial list of ongoing work

  • TVA Green Power Switch - Our "Tree Greening" project is used by many faith based groups. The display describes the benefits of green energy
  • Collaboration with Cumberland River Compact – promoting water conservation, protection and "clean up" of our watershed
  • Recycle pick-up service for parish cardboard and paper; volunteer recycling of bottles, cans and other recyclable items
  • Endorsing TN bottle container bill and activities and eliminating use of bottled water at church events
  • Purchases of 100% post consumer recycled paper and "tree-free" paper, as well as, promote practices that minimize and reduce paper use
  • Intergenerational Weeds to Wreaths project – remove invasive honeysuckle plants then turn these vines into base for Advent wreaths
  • Eco-Palm purchases for Palm Sunday,
  • ERD Bishop's Blend Coffee & shares of organic produce from local farms
  • Care for Creation Liturgy in May & October

 

Diocese of Southwest Florida

St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key, FL
submitted by Kay McGimpsey

The St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key, Florida, is getting ready to celebrate its sixth Creation Sunday Celebration on April 20, 2008, sponsored by BEST (The Boniface Eco-Stewardship Team). Details are not set, but the Adult Forum class will have Jono Miller, the Director of Environmental Studies at New College, as its speaker. Mr. Miller has an extensive background in environmental work and has received numerous awards for his studies of the Everglades and Florida's Ten Thousand Islands. The program will be "The Sustainability Challenge: Why it is imperative and how Sarasotans are stepping up."and the liturgy and music will have a good stewardship of God's creation focus. BEST recently sponsored a walk in the recently opened Sleeping Turtles Preserve and members are currently working on steps to take to have the St. Boniface property and buildings become "green" certified.

 

 

 

 

Province 5

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Diocese of Chicago

Church of the Holy Spirit, Lake Forest, IL
submitted by Fred Chase

Since the last quarter of 2007 the Church of the Holy Spirit (CHS) and the Faith and Environment (F&E) group have been active:

  1. We activated our collection point for expended dry cell batteries used by the clergy, staff and parishioners.
  2. In mid- December, 2007, the Rev Nancy Roth visited CHS in various venues. Among her many interests is the relationship of Christian faith and ethics. Because of the interest generated by her program at the Sunday Forum, we added substantially to our F&E group. She is scheduled to return to CHS on the weekend before Earth Day (April 22, 2008).
  3. On January 10, 2008 the F&E group reviewed an extensive agenda for 2008. One of the agenda items was publication of An Environmentally Friendly Guide to Lent 2008 - an action to be taken on each of the 46 days of Lent. With input from the F&E group this was prepared by our Rector Jay Sidebotham.
  4. A very valuable regular information source for us is one of the F&E group, Tom Kranz, Illinois Solar Energy Association, board member and legislative affairs committee chair.
  5. After Easter we will focus on our 2008 action and organization agenda.

 

 

Diocese of Ohio

Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland, OH
submitted by The Rev. Kurt C. Wiesner

This Lent, Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland is presenting our congregation and civic community with thought-provoking speakers on environmental spirituality and justice.

On the first Sunday in Lent, Rabbi Arthur Waskow discussed his The Green Menorah Covenant and visions for an interfaith solution to the global climate crisis. The series continued with an evening lecture by the Reverend Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals. Cizik is leading the evangelical Christian movement to recognize the Gospel call to issues of creation care and justice.

In subsequent forums, the Audubon Society has discussed environmental protection for the Great Lakes, one of our community's most pressing environmental issues, and a celebrated local chef has discussed the environmental practice of local eating. Our Lenten series will conclude on Palm Sunday when the Rev. Sally Grover Bingham, founder and president of The Regeneration Project, preaches and presents a forum on her work.

We plan to continue environmental education frequently throughout the year and have scheduled an Earth Day celebration including a forum titled "What Would Jesus Buy?" and an opportunity for young people and adults to explore the Earth Balloon from the Global Issues Resource Center of Cuyahoga Community College.

Trinity Cathedral's Sunday forums are podcast; visit the website to listen and subscribe.

 

Diocese of Southern Ohio

Ohio Interfaith Power and Light
submitted by Deborah Parker

Ohio Interfaith Power and Light
Faith-based Approach to "Going Green"

Ohio representatives from many faiths are coming together to form Ohio Interfaith Power and Light. This new organization seeks to mobilize a religious response to climate change and to promote energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Ohio is the 26th state to become an affiliate of the national Interfaith Power and Light campaign.

St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, Dublin, OH became the first congregation to join Ohio Interfaith Power and Light when the vestry approved the Congregational Covenant on February 13, 2008. The covenant is a pledge for a congregation to do one or more of the following:

  • educate parishioners about energy and its use in relation to climate change;
  • conduct an energy audit of buildings to identify energy waste and financial savings;
  • make energy efficiency improvements to church buildings;
  • use renewable energy, such as solar and wind power;
  • offset non-renewable energy consumption by purchasing alternative, efficient, or renewable energy sources; and
  • support public policies that contribute to the goals of Ohio Interfaith Power and Light.

Visit www.TheRegenerationProject.org or www.ohipl.blogspot.com to learn more about Interfaith Power and Light initiatives.

 

 

 

 

 

Province 6

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Diocese of Minnesota

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Cloquet, MN
submitted by Joe Piette

At our annual meeting, we were focused on a mission for St. Andrews and there was alot of discusion about the Sustainable Farming and taking care of our good earth. We were considering having the sustainable earth theme for our lenten focus and we are using the Episcopal Public Policy Network Lenten Series: For the Beauty of the Earth.

 

 

Diocese of Minnesota

Mary Brown Environmental Center, Ely, MN
submitted by the Rev Dcn Helen Hanten

The first retreat at the Mary Brown Environmental Center was a retreat for women, February 8-10, 2008. The eight women attending learned about the three states of water and the transitions among them. We learned about ice crystals forming, and growing to become snowflakes. There was an opportunity to see snow falling and to examine the flakes with hand lenses. Theological reflections centered on images and importance of water in Scripture, and in our lives.

Friday afternoon we checked in, unpacked, and left for the snow sculpture display at the community park. The sculptures were spectacular, and the day was mild enough that we could enjoy being outdoors for an hour or two. One discussion involved memories of experiences with water, favorite “go to” places with views or access to water.

Saturday morning it snowed gently and we were able to collect snowflakes and examine them with hand lenses. This third annual women's retreat has become the season-opener for MBEC.

 

Diocese of Minnesota

Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Dundas, MN
submitted by Emily Nesvold

People from Holy Cross in Dundas, All Saints in Northfield, the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour in Faribault, and Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault met Feb. 12 to discuss whether we can collaborate on a project. We decided that we will concentrate on the Cannon River since all three communities have the river flowing through them.

We are busy learning what volunteer opportunities are available for us. We area contacting the Cannon River Watershed Partnership as well as the DNR, and Nature Centers in Cannon Falls and Faribault. Our next meeting is March 4. Also, Holy Cross and All Saints are joining together during Lent for Wednesday evening Soup and Supper and to discuss environmental issues.

 

Diocese of Minnesota

Environmental Stewardship Commission
submitted by Chuck Morello

The Diocese of Minnesota has declared that Easter Season 2008 will be Creation Season in the diocese. The Minnesota Episcopal Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC) has created a complete support package for clergy, liturgists, and homilists for the six Sundays of the Easter Season. The information is available for free download. In support of this effort the MEESC has contacted every congregation in the diocese to provide additional support where needed.

The MEESC has continued creating area Chapters around the state as a way to increase and enhance involvement at the local level. Details of how this works in Minnesota may be downloaded as a PDF for information and use.

 

Diocese of South Dakota

St. Paul's, Brookings, SD
submitted by Chuck Berry

St Paul's Lenten Program will include Wednesday suppers followed by a short program about the religious awakening to a role in environmental stewardship. Program attendees will be taking action on the recent creation care resolution that was passed by the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota at the recent convention. The Diocese resolved to follow the three-step process that will help parishes become more aware of creation care issues. The steps are (1) education, (2) reflection, and (3) action. Our Lenten programs will address the first two steps - education and reflection. Step three – action - is up to the individual, family, and parish. We will "reflect" on religion's role and our own role in environmental stewardship by using the Episcopal Church's newly published Catechism of Creation. Topics for each Lenten supper program are:

  • February 13: The Greening of Religion: a brief history and survey of religion's responses concerning creation care.
  • February 20: Global warming: some "true facts," but is there a moral imperative to do something?
  • February 27: Water quality in our back yard; Big Sioux River Basin issues and suggestions for conservation.
  • March 5: Biodiversity conservation: What is biodiversity and should we care; the endangered species of South Dakota.
  • March 12: Ecojustice: What are the unique religious motivations for caring for creation?

 

Diocese of Wyoming

submitted by the Rev Ann Fontaine

Ann Fontaine continues her Green Lent Blog, and advised a look at a Carbon Fast for Lent .

 

 

 

 

 

Province 7

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Diocese of Kansas

Trinity Environmental Stewardship Team
submitted by Dave Owen, Co-chair

Co-Chairs of TEST, Nancy Hanson and David Owen, were made members of the Outreach and Ministry Committee of the Diocese of Kansas last month. We plan to do a workshop at the committee's Fall Ministry Fairs to promote "Green Teams" throughout the diocese. We had a meeting with leaders of the Land Institute's new Climate and Energy Project, offering our encouragement and help. Our focus for Earth Day will be recycling electronic trash for parishioners. We will also take orders for CFL's, provide children's activities, sell plants, and sell canvas shopping bags. Spring and summer "Trips & Treks" activities (some still pending) will be canoeing, visiting the Konza Prairie, and a campout. Long range plans include encouraging a parish energy audit, developing a parish disaster plan, and hosting a speaker on the topic of energy tags. We continue to write articles for monthly newsletters at Trinity. We will distribute several hundred dollars earned last year to charities that help preserve God's gifts to us. TEST's motto is, "Caring for the environment — it's a Christian thing to do!"

 

 

 

 

 

Province 8

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Diocese of Arizona

Nature & Spirituality Program
submitted by Phyllis Strupp

Diocesan Ministry Fair for Laity – offering workshops on 3/1/08 on "The Celtic-Climate Connection" presented by leadership team members Caroline Ramsey and Robin Wright and "Earthkeepers Program" presented by David White, leadership team member and executive director of our diocesan camp and conference center Chapel Rock.

Green Team Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) – We plan to have this ready by April 1, 2008 to help congregations launch green teams.

Green Faith Festival – All Saints' parish and its school are planning this festival for Sunday April 6, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. The festival will follow what Father Peter is calling an "Earth Mass," and will include speakers, a green consumer "mall," information booths, student projects, children's activities, music, food and more. They expect large participation by All Saints' church and school families, and are opening the event up to the community at large via ads in Arizona Life, Raising Arizona Kids and the neighborhood HOA newsletters.

Clericus Luncheons – Bishop Smith has asked us to make a presentation on greening the church at the clericus luncheons in our diocese in May. Our message: Church greening is the right thing to do and can help the church regain relevance and membership amidst concerns about global warming, especially with 20's and 30's age groups. Partnering needed between clergy (spiritual leadership) and laity (faithful action).

Newsletter – Thanks to Jeff Rossini, new leadership team member, we now have a professionally prepared newsletter going out through Constant Contact on a monthly basis for very little cost. Our email list is being maintained there as well to allow for people to subscribe or de-subscribe easily.

 

Diocese of California

All Souls Parish, Berkeley, CA
submitted by Nancy Snow

Earth Day is spread across several weeks at All Souls. On Sunday, April 20, at 11:30 a.m., we host the City of Berkeley Planet Action Team presenting their program to involve the community in helping stem global warming. After the success of our year-long project in 2007 that saw many of us find creative ways to cut our carbon output, we are poised to continue and broaden our own commitment.

Earth Day activities continue on May 4 when the Rev. Can. Sally Bingham will preach at the 10 a.m. service.

On May 5 we host a forum on global warming led by Dr. Andrew Gunther. Dr. Gunther has worked at the intersection of environmental science and policy since 1979. He is Executive Director of the Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration (CEMAR) and a member of the Board of Directors of the Union of Concerned Scientists. He has participated in the Al Gore training for facilitators that are interested in spreading the word about global warming and what we can do to help curb it.

Throughout the Spring, the children at All Souls are sponsoring a drive to contribute to the Heifer Project, with lots of "arks" in circulation in which to collect our change and our dollars.

We recemtly joined the City Recycling of Oranic Waste Program – to recycle the left-overs from our monthly dinner to feed the homeless as well as many church coffee hours and dinners, not to mention garden weeding contributions. We've established a battery recycling program as well.

 

Diocese of Los Angeles

Progressive Christians Uniting
submitted by Jennifer Snow

The Eighth Day Project is the environmental program of Progressive Christians Uniting, an ecumenical organization based in Los Angeles dedicated to providing theological and advocacy resources to the progressive Christian community. This Spring, we are working on:

  • a workshop on the spiritual and scriptural basis for environmental justice at the Episcopal Diocesan Ministry Fair in Los Angeles, March 1st
  • a half-day program on faith, environmental justice, and migrant workers in Oxnard, April 26th
  • an ecumenical outdoor liturgical celebration of wilderness in Claremont in May (probably the first weekend in May)
  • creating a "Community Living Room" with a Methodist church in downtown Los Angeles – a permanent "micro park" on the sidewalk in front of the church for the use of the community

We also have a small-group curriculum on faith and the environment, with a detailed facilitator's guide, available to interested churches – it is a six-week program moving from scripture and personal experience to action. The curriculum is very flexible and could be adapted to be used in different ways, including using the segments separately, and we'd be very excited to work with churches who would like to use it or adapt it and give us their feedback. If you'd be interested in seeing or giving feedback on the curriculum, please contact Jennifer Snow (please remove the square brackets before sending your e-mail).

 

 

Diocese of Northern California

Celebrating Creation in Northern California
submitted by Phina Borgeson

In Northern California part of our meeting on March 8 will be devoted to brainstorming and beginning to draft some liturgical texts that are specific to our environments. We dream of a Benedicite Northern California (imitating A New Zealand Prayer Book).

We'll also be designing a portable short workshop which can be offered at events, training days, etc., around the diocese.

With a few others on the Committee on Science, Technology and Faith I am working on some new/revised theological stuff foundational for education.

 

 

 

 

Province 9

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no submissions received

 

 

 

 

About this Project

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This is the first of several issues of the e-Newsletter where we will address environmental stewardship activities occurring within the Episcopal Church. The 30 or so submissions represent a sampling of environmental stewardship activities planned in Episcopal congregations and their surrounding communities during 2008.

Many of us struggle to bring our concerns about stewardship of God's creation to others in our congregations, communities or dioceses. Part of what we hope this issue will do is hold up to our readers the plans and ideas of our brothers and sisters in Christ and provide ideas of things they can do locally or at the diocesan level.

We were blessed with tremendous amounts of input for this issue. If I missed listing your input, please send me another copy. If your congregation or diocese is not listed here or if you have more to say about what is happening at a location listed above, please send your information to news[@eenonline.org] (please remove the square brackets before sending). The webpage for this newsletter will be updated about every 2 weeks through early May to add additional information. Submitted photos will be posted starting in mid-March.

 

 

 
 

 

Notes

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Take time to visit the EpEN Website. If you have information to share on upcoming events in your area, please send an e-mail to news[@eenonline.org] (please remove the square brackets before sending).

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: chair[@eenonline.org] (please remove the square brackets before sending).

The next issue will come out in late May 2008 (deadline for submissions to be around May 20, 2008). If you have information to share with the wider church, please send your input at any time to news[@eenonline.org] (please remove the square brackets before sending).

Please direct comments about this newsletter to Chuck Morello (please remove the square brackets before sending).

Chuck Morello
EpEN Webminister

last update: 2008-02-29

 

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