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.




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EpEN Active Working Group
Leadership Team
Frank A.
Advisory Team
Contact information:

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

Newark, OH 43055 USA
e-mail the EpEN Chair
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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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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 2008: Creation Liturgies and Resources

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 dioceses, congregations, and individuals have done in 2008 in the area of stewardship of God's creation. The responses are arranged by Province and then alphabetically by diocese. We asked for short explanations. Where the responses were lengthy or required a more detailed explanation, there is a shorter summary statement and a link to the full response on the website.

Joyce Wilding (Diocese of Tennessee), member of the EpEN Advisory Board and Working Group, has provided an overview of activities in Province IV.


Joyce Wilding
EpEN Working Group & EpEN Advisory Board

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Diocese of

Province IV




A personal observation

Environmental Ministry (EM) In Province IV

Several diocesan Province IV leaders met at Synod in June 2008 at Kanuga. They hosted and exhibit about on-going work and gave out free resource materials and fact sheets. The leaders were eager to share best practices and program models that promote water conservation, the MDGS and activities that connect social, economic and environmental justice.

The Province IV EM network engages in an environmental ministry of Reflection, Education and Action (REA) that protects the environment, promotes sustainable communities and preserves the sanctity of creation. In concert these three components affect the whole person – reflection, the heart and spirit; education, the mind; action, the body. This model ensures that environmental stewards are not just passive listeners to stand-alone sermons, lectures, workshops or one-time event activists.

Display Table at Kanuga
Province IV Environmental Leaders
Environmental display table at Kanuga

Province IV Environmental Leaders
Seated: Joyce Wilding
Left to right behind Joyce -
Diocese of Miss: Avery Rollins, Jackie Rollins
Diocese of KY: Mary Abrams.
Right side of banner back row -
Diocese of Atlanta: Jeff Ross-Bains, Diocese of WNC: Glenn Barnett, Michael Hudson
Front Row
Diocese of USC: Deborah Johnson,
Diocese of NC: Thomas Droppers

Mr Schneider
Vicky Partin - ENEJ leader, Diocese of Atlanta
Robert Schneider - Key author of Catechism Of Creation, Diocese of WNC

Several diocesan websites and the Province IV newsletter describe how REA are included in programs:

  • Reflection: new ways to celebrate the beauty and awe of both science and religion including arts in liturgies and meditative activities. This component is designed to enhance the education and action focus of our religion and science dialogue.
  • Education: opens our minds, enabling us to learn and teach current science and religion issues. Multi-disciplinary workshops can demystify complicated science and religion issues.
  • Action: invites us to open our hands to implement projects and to conduct activities that support vital public policy. Faith and environmental science work enhance stewardship of earth and companionship with all creation.

Ongoing activities and programs include:

  • TVA Green Power Switch or other alternative Power & Light energy programs
  • Collaboration with local watershed compacts that protect, preserve and "clean up" creeks, rivers and coastal waters
  • Recycle pick-up service for parish cardboard and paper; volunteer recycling of bottles, cans and other recyclable items
  • Ongoing implementation of GC 2003 water resolution including the connections between Mountain Top Removal and watershed problems
  • Food, faith and hunger issues
  • Expanded use of native plants that use less water and protect biodiversity
  • Reducing and eliminating use of bottled water at parish events
  • Purchases of 100% post consumer recycled paper and "tree-free" paper, as well as, promote practices that minimize and reduce paper use – connecting paper production with varied pollution problems and energy issues
  • Intergenerational Weeds to Wreaths project – remove invasive honeysuckle plants then turn these vines into base for Advent wreaths
  • Eco-Palm purchases for Palm Sunday
  • Purchases of ERD Bishop's Blend Coffee
  • Promoting ERD World Water Day as well as ERD water and sanitation projects
  • Community Based Gardens
  • Purchases of local, healthy farm products (food co-op shares)
  • Sustainable green building practices at camp and conference centers as well parish buildings and grounds – energy conservation and alternative energy
  • Intergenerational creation care retreats and workshops

2009 Activities:

Jan 21-3: Radical Abundance: theology of sustainability: God created earth and entrusted its care to us - Trinity Institute at Sewanee Partner Site. Each of the twenty dioceses was invited to send one EM leader to Sewanee for this conference. The conference participants will discuss how each diocese is promoting sustainable communities and the theological basis for living abundantly while striving for justice and sustainability. They will also learn about plans developing a Religion and Sustainable Institute at Sewanee. .

February 27-8: Luke Timothy Johnson (Emory University) symposia at Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville, "Creation and Care of the Earth: A Scriptural Approach to Environmental Concerns."

April 24-5: The Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine will host performances of Richard Harvey's and Ralph Steadman's magnificent Plague & the Moonflower, an oratorio that "addresses the urgency of the salvation of earth from destruction". Province IV Environmental Ministry is supporting these performances,

May 1-3: Kurt Hoelting, wilderness leader, meditation teacher and UCC minister leads "The Power of Presence: Spirituality As the Art of Homecoming" at St. Mary's Sewanee: A Center for Spiritual Development.




Province I

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Diocese of Connecticut

STEM for This Old House of Worship
submitted by Carol A. Wilson

In 2008, 29 congregations in CT and NH have invested the time to learn how to identify energy problems in their buildings. Groups of 30 people from several faith traditions have banded together to learn and to apply their knowledge. As a result, these congregations are substantially reducing their energy consumption, thereby saving money, but more importantly, reducing their impact on global client change.

Savings Through Energy Management (STEM) for This Old House of Worship is offered only by Wilson Educational Services, Inc., a small for-profit company based in Cheshire, CT. The company's Instructors, all experienced teachers who are also people of faith, provide lessons that not only teach participants to recognize energy problems, but also to determine what are appropriate and cost-effective solutions to the problems found, how to calculate the energy savings in fuel and dollar units and how to get everyone in their congregation involved in saving energy.

A list of all participating congregations is listed on the Wilson Educational Services, Inc. website. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the company at 203-250-1501 or via e-mail at


Diocese of New Hampshire

Grace Episcopal Church, Manchester, NH
submitted by Grace Burson

Grace Burson is the new curate at Grace Episcopal Church and one of the areas where she's really trying to encourage conversation and growth in the congregation is the idea that "green" topics and issues are very much relevant to the life of faith, and to have environmental questions be an ongoing topic of conversation, preaching, education, discernment, etc. They've recently revived the "Creation Team", which has half a dozen members and is working on promoting recycling, putting columns on environmental topics in the newsletter, and so on. On Christ the King Sunday, they'll be ringing the bell 350 times in witness against climate change, an action commended to us by Bishop Robinson. They've recently located land for a community garden and we're exploring the idea of converting the church heating system to geothermal energy - this is something the diocese as a whole is considering, also with the bishop's encouragement. They also observed "Creation Sunday" on the Sunday after St. Francis' Day, back in October.

Most of this is very much in the embryonic stages right now, but Grace is hoping at least some of these seeds will take root and bear fruit!

Diocese of Vermont

Earth Care Circle at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Burlington, VT
submitted by Sylvia Knight

In 2008 the Earth Care Circle at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Burlington, VT presented four Sunday Adult Education sessions on the following topics: climate crisis and faith response; composting and local sustainability, Episcopal Church environmental policy statements; Isaiah 40, grace and living with God's Creation.

In March we created opportunities for Cathedral parishioners to support legislation for groundwater protection.

For Rogation Sunday in April, we worked with our Canon Precentor to choose hymns and canticles that celebrate God's Creation and used a processional liturgy written by Sylvia Knight to give thanks for the Cathedral Memorial Garden and community gardens at the Cathedral-sponsored senior housing next door.

For the pre-convention Ministry Fair held at our church in early November, we modeled an environmentally sustainable lunch for about 75 people featuring local foods, recycling and composting.

Because Lake Champlain and other Vermont lakes suffer increasingly from phosphorus pollution and toxic algae, our group submitted a resolution supporting General Convention resolution 2003-D046 and urging the Diocese, parishes, and parishioners to avoid using phosphorous on their properties wherever possible. The resolution passed unanimously.


Diocese of Western Massachusetts

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

Keynote speaker for conference launching Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light. Led workshop on spiritual and moral aspects of climate change for Focus the Nation event at Smith College. Panelist for Singing a New Song of Hope, the Seattle conference that launched the Genesis Covenant, an initiative to commit national religious groups to cut their carbon footprint 50% within 10 years. Helped organize and lead a conference that connected clergy with climate scientists and activists, including Bill McKibben, at Andover Newton Theological School. Helped plan and lead a follow-up event, New England Religious Summit on Energy, Climate & Economic Crisis, sponsored by Massachusetts Council of Churches, Diocese of Massachusetts, Boston Theological Institute, others. Led workshop for A Sacred Trust: A Forum on Religion and the Environment, presented by Hartford Seminary and the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network. Gave meditation on faith, environment, and spiritual awakening at the Energy Summit organized by Diocese of Massachusetts, in cooperation with Mass. Interfaith Power & Light. Initiated and helped organize campaign to organize 350 Episcopal churches in New England to ring steeple bells 350 times to sound alarm on climate change. To learn about the maximum safe level of CO2 ppm in the atmosphere, visit

Photo of the 350 banner that hung from the Grace Church, (Amherst, MA) steeple in November. The story was covered by Episcopal Life Online, by the local Northampton, MA, newspaper, Daily Hampshire Gazette, and by the local NPR affiliate.







Province II

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Province II Activities

submitted by the Rev Franklin "Skip" Vilas

On November 12, the first GreenFaith Fellows graduated from an 18 month interfaith training program in ecological spirituality. The group of 18 Fellows, which included the Revs. Martha Kirkpatrick and Frank Edmands of the EpEN leadership team, received diplomas from the Rev. Fletcher Harper. The New Jersey based GreenFaith also had the next group of fellows in attendance at the graduation, which capped a weekend retreat on Environmental Stewardship.

Two resolutions endorsing the Creation Season as a liturgical innovation will be presented at the annual diocesan conventions of the Dioceses of Newark and New Jersey in January and February of 2009. The resolutions recommend carrying this initiative to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, and suggest that material for a Creation Cycle be included in the next publication of the Book for Occasional Services.

The Rev. Skip Vilas attended the 10th anniversary of the Forum of Religion and Ecology, held at the Yale Club in New York City on November 18th. Over 200 persons celebrated the decade of FORE and congratulated its founders, Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim. They have initiated a joint program with Yale Divinity School, the Yale School of Forestry, the undergraduate Religious Study Program and the Center for BioEthics.

The following day, Mary Evelyn and John addressed the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Dialogue at the United Nations. They urged this group of UN member states, religious leaders and UN organizations to place ecological concerns at the top of their agenda.



Diocese of New Jersey

Environmental Commission
submitted by the Rev. Joe Parrish

The Diocese of New Jersey continues annually to support the modest budget of its Environmental Commission in doing environmental audits of churches in the Diocese. The most recent assessment was made of St. John's in Elizabeth, NJ, and the findings and suggestions are be of interest to other churches and dioceses. The Diocesan newspaper '2 Times a Month' reported in its "Need to Know! Third week of July 2008" as follows:

Results of Church Energy Audit

Hopefully, your church can benefit from reading about the experience St. John's in Elizabeth had with their energy audit. The church had an extensive environmental audit in June and found some plusses and minuses. One advantage was that the church had already double paned all their stained glass and leaded glass windows, both
inside and outside.

According to the Rev. Fletcher Harper of Greenfaith, who conducted the audit, the temperature setbacks for the winter were good, but can be improved by lowering the thermostat to 45 degrees when the building is not in use. The ambient winter average in New Jersey is 40 degrees, so only a modest amount of heating will be required during off hours. Since the main sanctuary's ceiling tops at about 60 feet, a large savings will be made by moving Sunday services to a smaller room with lower ceilings. Additionally, after the radiators are vacuumed, Harper recommended that reflectors be placed behind each one in order to radiate heat away from walls and into the rooms. The church has replaced most of its incandescent bulbs with fluorescents, which has already saved quite a bit on electricity. More can be done, as the Rev. Harper pointed out that seven outside spotlights that turn on at dark can be replaced with fluorescents.

Three pre-1990 refrigerators were noted; none are Energy Star rated, so their replacement is to be done as the funds are available; the payback is one and half years. The overall savings are calculated to near $4,000 in one year, most coming from temperature setbacks, with a one-year investment of about $2,000. The energy savings will continue in succeeding years. Greenhouse gas savings will total some 37,000 pounds annually. Harper commended the Vestry of St. John's in their attentiveness to these issues and their presence during the audit, and the Environmental Commission of the Diocese of New Jersey who funded the audit and also had representatives present for the audit and follow up conference call. For information about GreenFaith, visit

Original article from:
link no longer active
St. John's, Elizabeth
St. John's, Elizabeth, is the largest Episcopal church facility in the Diocese and in the State of New Jersey.

A previous audit was made of All Saints' in Lakewood, NJ.

The Diocese of New Jersey's Environmental Commission has 20 members from the Clergy and Laity of the Diocese in its 'green' e-mail network.




Province III

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Diocese of Southwestern Virginia

St. James, Roanoke, VA
submitted by Michael Bentley

St. James, Roanoke, Virginia, is participating in a project to "green" our church. We've installed a programmed thermostat to lower heating/cooling costs and energy-saving light bulbs and we are installing rain barrels to collect rainwater to irrigate our flowerbeds as well as planting perennial beds and additional trees to reduce the lawn area. St. James is also a member of an interfaith NGO called Impact+Amplify that is working in Southwestern Virginia to protect our watershed. The major project of this group is to create an internationally-themed nature reserve and botanic garden that will teach a pK-adult audience how to live safely, healthily, prosperously and peacefully within the restorative capacity of watershed ecosystems. Our Diocesan Council in January will feature several workshops on "greening the church."


Diocese of Virginia

Environmental Ministry, Church of the Good Shepherd, Burke, VA
submitted by Susan Osborn

In February our newly-created Environmental Ministry welcomed a free energy audit of the church by the Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light organization. Our first steps after this audit were to replace all our incandescent light bulbs with CFL's and to replace or retrofit our EXIT signs with LED bulbs. We added recycling of cans, bottles and plastics to our county-mandated paper recycling program. Once a month we sell organic, shade-grown, free trade coffee from the Episcopal Relief and Development.

We had two special Sunday services with a creation care theme, one in the summer and one in the fall, along with two adult education programs highlighting what our duties as Christians should be in protecting God's creation, and what other congregations have accomplished in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Our latest effort was to have a knowledgeable parishioner look over the church grounds with an eye to planting more native plants in the future, as we recognize that native plants are hardier than imports and can better withstand our Virginia climate.


Diocese of Virginia

St. Paul's Memorial Church Green Team, Charlottesville, VA
submitted by Leslie Middleton

Our committee started working together about a year ago and one of the first things we did was host an Earth Day potluck dinner that was comprised of all locally grown and derived foods. Over 100 parishioners attended, and during the dinner, we brainstormed ideas for greening our parish life and our personal lives. The Green Team has been working with these suggestions, as well as interviewing staff and lay leaders to find how we can support the many groups at St. Paul's to continue to reduce energy and water use, reduce or reuse materials, and RECYCLE!

  • We have started analyzing our water and energy bills and working with the Junior Warden to help weather-tight the building for the winter.
  • We are undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of the dish and dishwasher options and will be recommending a course of action to the Junior Warden.
  • We are reviewing the consumable items we purchase regularly and switching to more local and green office and cleaning products.
  • We hosted a workshop for vestry, board members, and facility managers in partnership with a local private school and Virginia Interfaith Power & Light on: "Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings for Faith Communities and Independent Schools."
  • We are working with the Youth Group to organize several tree-planting events in the spring to help offset our carbon footprint and St. Paul's use of paper products, especially the extra pages in the Sunday bulletin & worship service.
  • We are providing ideas, resources and helpful tips for energy savings and sustainable living in weekly SPMC newsletter.
  • We are working with staff and volunteers to establish comprehensive recycling and kitchen composting systems for SPMC.
  • We have partnered with, ringing out church bell 350 times to highlight the urgent need to take action on all levels (personal, community, national and worldwide) to reduce carbon emissions to 350 ppm.
  • We regularly update the parish webpages devoted to the Green Team with activities and ideas – and keep fresh materials on our bulletin board in the parish hall for those who cannot access the web easily.





Province IV

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Diocese of Central Gulf Coast

Beckwith Camp and Conference Center, Fairhope, AL
submitted by Audrey Preston

The Coastal Wonders Environmental Education Program at Beckwith Camp and Conference Center, an agency of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, hosted over 1,800 students, teachers and parents for both day and overnight learning experiences. Students explored the outdoor classroom on the beautiful Weeks Bay estuary (near Fairhope, AL) to learn about nature in hands-on, engaging science classes. Many groups also chose to participate in outdoor recreational opportunities such as canoeing and focus on teamwork and communication skills through our Challenge Course program. For the fall season, Coastal Wonders staff ventured into local classrooms to present the "Traveling Herps" program where students get up close and personal with live reptiles. During the summer, Coastal Wonders also partnered with the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve to pilot the Coastal Discovery Day Camp, which will be expanded in summer of 2009. Fourteen rising 4th and 5th graders attended the week-long day camp where they learned about the flora and fauna of the local Gulf Coast ecosystems. For more information, including colorful pictures of our programs and facilities, please visit us online at


Diocese of Kentucky

Environmental Ministries
submitted by the Rev. Jerry Cappel

These are exciting times for environmental ministry in the Diocese of Kentucky. Several positive developments are emerging at the same time.

  • "Green groups" are organized and functioning in four parishes in the diocese, and there is movement toward development in several others.
  • Two half-day workshops on creation care are scheduled in the diocese. (1) a city-wide event in January sponsored by Christ Church, Bowling Green, and (2) a workshop sponsored by the Peace and Justice committee to precede the annual convention in February.
  • The Peace and Justice Committee of the Diocese is making 2009 a year to focus on environmental justice. The committee is fashioning a resolution to present at convention asking the convention to give environmental concerns a high priority in the diocese, that each parish in the diocese commit to making a concrete response in 2009, and that the departments of the diocese provide to the parishes resources for education, action and worship.
  • The Rev. Jerry Cappel has been named Environmental Coordinator for the diocese. Rev. Cappel also participated in the Climate Project training with Al Gore in October and is on the board of Interfaith Power and Light.


Diocese of Southwest Florida

St. Boniface Eco-Stewardship Team, Sarasota, FL
submitted by Kathy McGimpsey

The St. Boniface Eco-Stewardship Team (BEST) from Sarasota, FL has continued to promote caring for God's Creation in a number of ways during 2008. On going projects include maintaining landscape to be Florida Friendly, including a newly established Spiritual Garden. BEST is currently working on establishing a "Green Fund" for the purpose of retrofitting the water fixtures in the church bathrooms, most of which are 20+ years old. BEST also sponsored the sixth annual Creation Sunday in April with creation centered worship, and an adult forum speaker. October was BEST month with a luncheon focusing on being waterwise, an animal blessing service, and the collection of cell phones and inkjet cartridges to be recycled. In February, BEST provided parishioners with a field trip to a local natural area to learn about environmental issues particularly concerning our part of Florida. In addition, two members of BEST attended the first greening workshop to be held during a diocesan convention.


Diocese of Tennessee

Christ Church Cathedral Environmental Ministries Committee, Nashville, TN
submitted by Danielle Thompson

Christ Church Cathedral's Environmental Ministries committee met with a group of interested parishioners eager to discern anew our role in the church and plans for the year ahead. This fall we will attend an invasive plant removal project at a large, local park, and are beginning conversations around "greening" our diocese's convention in January 2009. We are especially excited about ideas being formed and nurtured at the diocesan level with the bishop's new working group on sustainability and environmental issues.


Diocese of Upper South Carolina

Gravatt Camp and Conference Center, Aiken, SC
submitted by Lauri S. Yeargin

The Gravatt Environmental Education Program (GEEP), serving schools and other groups in South Carolina and Georgia.

GEEP makes use of Gravatt's scenic Sparkleberry Trail, named for the striking sparkleberry holly that lines the beginning of the trail. Groups can venture through Gravatt's longleaf pine forest and Atlantic white cedar bogs and witness the beauty and diversity of two distinct ecosystems. The program is tailored to individual groups and can include a variety of activities designed to address SC state curriculum standards in many subjects.

Facilitators have been certified in Project Wild and Project Learning Tree, and use group interaction and hands-on activities to educate children and youth about water, forestry, habitats, ecosystems, and care of creation.

So far GEEP has hosted six groups, and looks forward to a busy spring. Questions about GEEP can be directed to Thomas Coleman, or visit our website.




Province V

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Diocese of Chicago

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

In our long established Parish Church our Faith and the Environment (F&E) group is the new kid on the block. We are not yet part of the hard wiring, but we are getting there. In 1 1/2 years we have gone from 7 or 8 assembled to an e-mail list of about 40 families. Increasing constant awareness and actions in our Parish and in the Diocese of Chicago relating to the environmental dangers to God's creation and the solutions is our mission.

Some of our ASSETS at CHS are:

  • Having Bishop Jeffrey Lee installed as the Bishop of Chicago early this year. F&E has established direct communications with him and his office concerning environmental policy where there has been no policy.
  • Expecting a boost to environmental issues in all of the Chicago area by having a President from Chicago who has a focus on the environment, Barack Obama.
  • An in-house connection to the President/Dean of the Vermont Law School which has one of the best environmental law programs in the USA, Geoffrey Shields.
  • A parishioner who is now the executive director of Solar Light for Africa, Katherine Lucey, who gave us a presentation on November 23, 2008
  • An in-house connection to Heifer International, Lynne Atherton.
  • An architect for the Parish who is a recognized leader in the movement to promote environmentally sustainable architecture, design and land planning, William D. Sturm
  • A raised Parish profile by having one of its parishioners win The Next American Model contest, McKey Sullivan, daughter of Gayle and Mike Sullivan. McKey appeared at CHS for the The Heifer Living Gift Market on November 16, 2008 at which more than $30,000 was raised.
  • A member of the community who has won an award for her role in passage of The Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act by the Illinois Senate, Susan Garrett. And another member of the community is Illinois State Rep. Karen May, who launched the green schools initiative for U.S. Green Building Council with 5 other legislators around the USA.
  • A very efficiently run local solid waste agency, SWALCO.
  • Regular e-mail from the Episcopal Ecological Network.
  • A supportive clergy.
  • Individuals who are active in the Faith and the Environment group.

Planned Actions: During Advent 2008 review an Introduction to Brian D. McLaren's book, Everything Must Change. During Epiphany 2009 conduct a series of 3 programs on various practical and spiritual environmental aspects; a Forum on February 23, 2009 to be given by Geoffrey Shields, President/Dean of the Vermont Law School; an appropriate project for Lent.

Actions: continued collection of dry cell batteries for recycling; use of Fair Trade coffee; regular entries in parish publications (F&E Tips); enhanced recycling; improved communication with the Vestry about physical plant design and use; active e-mail communication; being included (imperfectly) in the Parish website; irregular meetings ; efforts to coordinate with other local churches; communications with the Bishop of Chicago, conducting a Heifer Living Gift Market on November 16, raising more than $30,000 for Heifer International



Diocese of Ohio

Bexley Hall Seminary, Columbus, OH
submitted by the Rev Nancy Roth

Nancy's book, Grounded in Love: Ecology, Faith and Action (Foreword by David W. Orr, 180 pages, $18.00 paper.), was released in the summer. It is a very personal book, with stories, practical information, and epigraphs at the beginning – and prayer and reflection exercises at the end – of each chapter, so there is something for everyone. There is also a study guide for groups, available online. Distinguished professor of environmental studies David Orr wrote the foreword. You can order it through the publishers, through a bookstore, or through, where you'll get a discount and also have a chance to read readers' responses.

Book Cover

"Roth's gentle commentary and elegant passion entice us to a oneness with creation and each other that is both active and rooted in faith." – Phyllis Tickle

"Rev. Nancy Roth gets at the big questions here. Christians in our era will be judged by how they respond to the ecological crisis we now face." – Bill McKibben

"This immensely alluring book is a spiritual invitation into a deeper experience of intentional life." – The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston



Diocese of Southern Ohio

Bexley Hall Seminary, Columbus, OH
submitted by Willow Fodor

This year, Bexley Hall Seminary continued its partnership in ecology and stewardship with Trinity Lutheran Seminary. As part of the Green Seminaries Initiative the joint seminary group, SEEDS, supported community greening initiatives to encourage recycling, reduce paper waste, reduce energy waste, and support sustainable living practices.

On October 2, 2008, the group sponsored a joint eco-night with a screening of the documentary film "The End of Suburbia" and guest speaker, Dr. Heidi Ballard from Otterbein College.





Province VI

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Diocese of Iowa

Cool Congregations of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light
submitted by Sarah Webb

Cool Congregations is surfing right along on the wave that is transforming the way we make and use energy. To date representatives from 178 congregations in Iowa have attended training sessions to learn how to conduct a Cool Congregations stewardship program in their home congregations.

Cool Congregations is designed to help congregations engage their members in caring for creation by reducing their carbon emissions at home. At our pilot congregation, where it began, St. Luke's Episcopal in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in the first year participating members collectively reduced their emissions by 67 tons, saving $5000 on utility bills in the process. The web version of this e-Newsletter contains a photo of the award winners.

Biggest Losers
Cool Congregations' "Biggest Losers" for 2008

The next training workshop in Iowa is Feb. 21, 2009, at St. John's Lutheran Church, Cedar Falls, Iowa. Contact Carolyn Martin to register.

To find out more about Cool Congregations contact Sarah Webb and see the new website. Cool Congregations is a program of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light.



Diocese of Iowa

Iowa Interfaith Power & Light
submitted by Tim Fink

After hiring their first full-time director, Tim Fink, in July, Iowa Interfaith Power & Light (Iowa IPL) has launched a new website. This new site provides information about the organization's mission and programming, as well as helpful spiritual and technical resources. In the coming year, Iowa IPL is looking forward to offering additional presentations on the connections between faith and the environment, hosting Cool Congregations workshops, and playing an active role in the state legislative session. Iowa IPL is a statewide organization which helps people of all faiths care for creation and safeguard society's most vulnerable by providing education about global warming, assisting with carbon footprint reductions, and advocating for sustainable policies. Please join them by signing up for their free newsletter on their new website.



Diocese of Minnesota

Headwaters Center for Life-long Learning,
Park Rapids, MN
submitted by John G. Gibbs, PhD

The "Resources for Global Warming Confronts Worldviews" were compiled for use by the local Headwaters Center for Life-long Learning" in Hubbard County, MN (Park Rapids). For a decade I have been a member of the Minnesota Episcopal Environmental Stewardship Commission. You may find the writings of MEESC, mine included, at

This list of resources includes both print material and websites. The objective is to put non-scientists directly in contact with what scientists report to the public about global warming and its effects. Included also is a section on the deniers of global warming, and scientific answers and corrections to their denials.


Diocese of Minnesota

Ascension Episcopal Church, Stillwater, MN
submitted by Sally Giese

Our group begins each gathering with a reading from Earth Prayers, edited by Roberts and Amidon, and a short nature study. This year we studied among other things barn swallows, the importance of pipestone to Native Americans, and identified some common garden weeds. We end each meeting with a prayer for the healing of the earth. Our activities for the year included:

  • A forum on locally grown food. We invited an owner of a CSA farm, a manager of our local food co-op, and a community garden representative to speak to us, and we provided a lunch of locally grown foods.
  • Made and sold reusable grocery bags to celebrate Earth Day
  • Sponsored an outing to view spring wildflowers
  • Hung a bulletin board to inform parishioners of upcoming environmental legislation and post green ideas
  • Arranged a presentation on honey bees and beekeeping
  • Began a study of recycled paper use by the church
  • Created an opportunity for parishioners to share extra garden produce and flowers


Diocese of Minnesota

Minnesota Episcopal Enivronmental Stewardship Commission
submitted by Chuck Morello

In 2008, MEESC's major project was the preparation and distribution of two sets of Creation Season materials (Liturgies, Religious Education Ideas, Music, Sermon support materials, etc.) – one for Easter Season and one for the month of October. Early in 2008, the Rev. Wanda Copeland was appointed Environmental Minister for the Diocese of Minnesota.

In September, MEESC held a retreat, Remembering Sigurd Olson, at the Mary Brown Environmental Center, Ely, MN. The retreat included discussions and presentations on the life and writings of Olson, a visit to The Writing Shack, Sig Olson's former home, and The Listening Point. Participants in the retreat also were present at the formal unveiling of the plaque placing The Listening Point on the National Historic Register. Photos from the retreat are available online.

The Northfield Chapter, under leadership of Emily Nesvold, held a series of meetings in conjunction with Carleton College and St. Olaf's College to set up community education and action projects pertaining to the Cannon River Watershed. Students from both colleges attended and assisted in the projects. In Libraries, and Supermarkets in Faribault and Northfield, MN, they handed out colorful flyers with a piece of candy attached. The flyer contained Ten Actions you can take to reduce pollution in the Cannon River Watershed. Three parishes were approached to work with the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour, Faribault, with their Adopt a Highway cleanup area.

The Twin Cities' Chapter held a series of meetings to bring individuals from various Episcopal congregations together to work on projects. MEESC Co-Chair, the Rev Tom Harries, brought together individuals from at least 8 different congregations.

The highlight meeting of the Northeast Minnesota Chapter was a discussion led by Dr. Jay Austin discussing the impacts of Global Warming on Lake Superior. Dr Austin presented data and anecdotal information about water temperature, weather, and winter ice cover. About 25 people attended the presentation. Photos from the presentation will be available online shortly.

For the third year, MEESC created and printed creation care placemats for use at the dinner at diocesan convention. Members sat at different tables and used the placemats as ways to engage others in discussions about the environment.



Diocese of Minnesota

St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, Bemidji, MN
submitted by Julia Plum

St. Bart's now has have an official 'green team' in action. One of the team's recent activities was an energy audit.



Diocese of South Dakota

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

Energy conservation and frugality (not austerity) were policies for extensive Rectory remodeling to preserve the historically significant building. For starters, an energy audit helped target upgrades and purchases. High efficiency lighting and climate control equipment and appliances were installed , new insulation was installed in "leaky" areas, new equipment packaging was recycled, and we donated removed materials [e.g., sinks, cabinets, etc] and purchased second-hand construction materials [e.g., tiles, wood]). Most expenses for conservation will be recovered through energy savings; expenses we don't recover are our environmental tithe. Also, the parish added compact fluorescent bulb recycling to the recycling program and sent 55 pounds of batteries to be recycled into Episcopal power and light.

Coming soon: photos of the rectory renovation and battery recycling.

Rectory in Brookings, SD
Recycled Batteries




Province VII

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Diocese of Kansas

Trinity Environmental Stewardship Team,
Lawrence, KS
submitted by Ellyn Owen

The Trinity Environmental Stewardship Team is proud to announce they have had a part in creating the new Kansas Interfaith Power and Light chapter. Kansas is now the 28th. state to have a chapter in the national Interfaith Power and Light movement. The Team also held a break-out session at the recent diocesan convention in Topeka, Kansas, and plans to conduct a workshop in March, 2009, for those in the diocese interested in starting "green teams" in their own parishes. In May the Team held a hike for our young youth group and conducted the environmental portion of our vacation bible school. In July, the Team built a railing for residents of a senior citizens' home to access a Girl Scout camp next door. Currently we are conducting an energy audit for our parish. In early December we will hold an Alternative Christmas Market to provide church members the opportunity to donate to charities in a recipients name as Christmas gifts.




Province VIII

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Province VIII

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Province VIII

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Province VIII

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Diocese of Arizona

Nature & Spirituality Program
submitted by Phyllis Strupp

The Nature & Spirituality Program (NAS) aims to raise the Diocese of AZ's awareness of how we can honor God by honoring life in our spiritual activities and stewardship of resources. Milestones in 2008:

  • Our 2007 parish survey indicated that congregations needed our help in launching green teams and finding green resources for formation programs and stewardship. As a result, that is where we focused our efforts in 2008.
  • We introduced a new green spiritual formation curriculum entitled "Adventures in Grace" that engages all ages in the leading ecological issues of today with scripture, science and fun!
  • In 2008, the number of green teams in the diocese doubled from 6 to 12! Over half of our congregations have an NAS ambassador.
  • Our two programs at the Ministry Fair in March attracted over 60 clergy and lay leaders.
  • At the May clericus meetings, we offered a presentation entitled "The Green Thing: Healing the Earth and Renewing the Church," which was also attended by over 40 clergy and lay leaders at the diocesan convention in October 2008.
  • NAS Chair Phyllis Strupp taught teleclasses through eMinistry on congregation greening tips for over 40 people from various states.



Diocese of California

Commission for the Environment (COE)
submitted by Barbara Bisel

Two Environmental Resolutions were passed at Diocesan Convention, and will be brought to General Convention:

The 70+ Parish Liaisons of the COE

  • Attended a diocesan-wide Liaison Conference in September, with inspiring liturgy, program information, and networking.
  • Published Sunday Bulletin and Newsletter articles
  • Organized special services, events, and seasonal programs promoting environmental stewardship
  • Performed energy-saving improvements in church facilities.
  • Advocated environmental stewardship legislation
  • Communicated via monthly e-news from the COE and our new blog.

Solar Installations: St. Paul's Walnut Creek completed installation of solar panels last spring. Visit the COE blog for details. Grace Cathedral received a $65,000 grant from Pacific Gas & Electric to install solar panels on the cathedral in San Francisco. Bishop's Ranch conference center opened its new, green Swing Pavilion.



Diocese of Northern California

Celebrating Creation, the Episcopal Ecological Network in Northern California
submitted by Phina Borgeson

The Diocese of Northern California, meeting in convention November 15, passed the following:

"That every commission, committee, board, council, network and task group in this diocese will review its meeting frequency, duration and locations with the goal of achieving a 1/3 reduction in travel miles by 2010."

We tied this to the diocesan priority of strengthening communication in the diocese, and hope that the soon to be hired communication staff member will be helpful in developing more ways for groups to work together without adding so much to our collective greenhouse gas output.

To support the resolution we distributed a half-sheet handout with tips for better transportation choices for individuals and congregations. We are fortunate to have Elise Keddie, the manager of the Zero Emission Vehicle Implementation Section, California Air Resources Board, among the members of our Celebrating Creation Network. Elise helped with the preparation of the handout.


Diocese of Oregon

Environmental Stewardship Team
submitted by Alice Speers

This year we began a new initiative. With $500 we offered small energy conservation grants designed to help churches get started on reducing their energy use and carbon footprint. Three churches were successful, with a variety of projects ranging from full-scale energy audits and planning renovations, to small tweaks of existing systems and insulation.

At our convention in November we also presented two Environmental Awards. One was for a tiny rural church which has been working on green building renovations for five years. The other was a large urban parish which calculated their carbon footprint both for building energy use and also driving and then decided to purchase carbon offsets, while also seeking ways to reduce the driving. The latter totaled about 60% of their emissions. The carbon footprint calculations were done by the Girl Scout troop. We were also successful in passing a Genesis Covenant resolution, and will be providing parishes with more links and resources to tackle their green house gas emissions.






Outside of the Episcopal Church

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Anglican Church of Canada

Saint James Anglican Church, Manotick, Ontario
submitted by Lindsay Kellock

This year marked the start of an eco-justice newsletter, Eco-Echo, for our parish. We use topical and local information on justice and ecological issues from a variety of sources. We also refer to the many items in the Canadian Kairos organization. Eco-Echo is circulated in print form at the church entrance, and occasionally in our church service bulletin. It is also posted on our web site. We especially welcome items sent to us by Chuck Morello from Copies of Eco-Echo available on request to the editor, Lindsay Kellock.

Our green event this year was a tree-planting project organized by a local municipal councillor on the banks of the Rideau River. St. James priest and pastor, the Reverend Canon Rick Marples, led the St. James delegation in the numbers planted.

We wish you all continuing progress in this stewardship of God's earth.






About this Project

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This another in a series of the e-Newsletter where we look at environmental stewardship activities occurring within the Episcopal Church. The submissions and links represent a sampling of environmental activities around the Episcopal Church. If you wish to contact any of the contributors, please send an e-mail to news[] (please remove the square brackets before sending) for forwarding.

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 provide templates and ideas for our readers to use when approaching their priest or vestry about what can be done in the area of environmental stewardship.

If I missed listing your input, please send me another copy. If your congregation's or diocese's efforts are not listed here, please send your information to news[] (please remove the square brackets before sending). The webpage for this newsletter will be updated about every 2 weeks through early February to add additional information. Submitted photos will be posted starting in mid-December.











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[] (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[] (please remove the square brackets before sending).

The next issue will come out in late February 2009 (deadline for submissions to be around February 13, 2009). If you have information to share with the wider church, please send your input at any time to news[] (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: 2009-03-03


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