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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
Frank A.
Edmands
Hall
Hammond
Martha
Kirkpatrick
Chuck
Morello
Carla
Pryne
Jennifer
Snow
Alice
Speers
Phyllis
Strupp
Skip
Vilas
Advisory Team
Sally
Bingham
Jerry
Cappel
Fletcher
Harper
Peter
Kreitler
Steve
MacAusland
Van
Tingley
 
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

3rd Quarter 2009: Results of 76th General Convention

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 the impacts of the environmental resolutions coming from the 76th General Convention in Anaheim (July 7-17, 2009).

The basic question underconsideration was: what do these resolutions mean in your spiritual life and the life in your congregation and in your diocese?

Some items to consider in this questions were the impact the resolutions might have, whether these resolutions will give rise to local resolutions, what kind of actions individuals foresee, and what assistance some individuals might need. We received responses from within five Provinces (Province I, Province II, Province V, Province VI, and Province VIII) and the responses are arranged by Province and alphabetically by dioceses within a Province.

The lead article was prepared by Phyllis Strupp (EpEN Leadership Team) and Michael Schut (Office of Environmental and Economic Justice). They were present for much of General Convention and have provided a good wrap-up of what they saw and heard.

There are many more resolutions concerning or impacting the environment than are covered in this e-Newsletter. See instructions at the end of this e-Newsletter for directions on submitting additional comments OR go to our Facebook page and begin/participate in a discussion about any of these resolutions.

 

 

Mike
Schut

Economic and Environmental Affairs Officer, Episcopal Church, USA
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Phyllis
Strupp

Diocese of Arizona
and
EpEN Leadership Team
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This page contains information not in the original e-newsletter

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General Convention Wrap-up

We have some good news to share with you: the 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Anaheim, CA earlier this month was the most Creation-honoring convention ever for our denomination! Between the leadership of Presiding Bishop Katherine, members of the EpEN, and Economic and Environmental Affairs Officer Mike Schut, and the passage of many green resolutions by the Bishops and Deputies, the absence of water bottles, and the Episcopal Ecological Network's booth traffic, the 76th convention was as important for our church as the year 1776 was for our country.

In addition to the above, The Episcopal Church Center offset a portion of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the convention and young adults sponsored a locally-sourced dinner. The feature-length documentary "Renewal," which highlights the religious-environmental movement, was shown as well. (This is an excellent film; see http://www.renewalproject.net/film and consider screening it!)

Finally, the Global Economic Forum, probably Convention's most visible event, featured our Presiding Bishop and the Archbishop of Canterbury; their words and presence left no doubt that the leadership of our denomination sees very clearly the intimate connections between our economic system and its impacts on the rest of creation.

There is still plenty of work to do, particularly with regard to formalizing the Creation Season cycle and liturgy. This is a great time to discuss initiating or expanding the use of Creation liturgies at your parish over the next year to help broaden enthusiasm for it.

Let us all give thanks and celebrate how God's grace worked through this convention, particularly in areas of importance to the Earth and all the species who share this holy ground.

Special thanks to everyone who helped to make our booth efforts a success in raising ecological awareness and expanding our network by many dozens of people from all over the country:

Organizers Booth volunteers
The EpEN Leadership Team and Advisors
Steve MacAusland
Mary Miller from the Consultation
Rev. Peter Rood
Mike Schut

Barbara Bisel
Rev. Wanda Copeland
Rev. Elizabeth Hasen
Roxanne Hill
Cynthia Hizer
Willis Moore
Anson Stewart
Phyllis Strupp
Grace van Thillo
Jane van Zandt

 

 

 

 

Province I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diocese of Vermont

Endorsing the Earth Charter
submitted by Sylvia Knight,
Earth Community Advocate & Researcher;
and St. Paul's Cathedral, Burlington, VT

Earth Care Ministry at St. Paul's Cathedral (Burlington VT) will sponsor a resolution at our November Diocesan Convention endorsing the Earth Charter as a basis of inspiration, discussion and growth. (Attached) As coordinator, I have been looking for an opportunity to present the Earth Charter to the Diocese. The "Charter" is a wonderful expression of the Integrity of Creation, of what Earth Community could be. It is high time the faith community work with this document to build equitable Earth Community.

Our parish has committed to tolling our bells 350 times at 3:50PM on October 24. Our Canon Precenter supports Earth Care and has volunteered to do the ringing himself. Earth Care Ministry's job to work on the PR for this action.

In June my husband Bob and I attended the Atlantic Seminars in Theological Education in Truro, Nova Scotia, in June. The theme was Elemental Faith: Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Larry Rasmussen and Heather Eaton were excellent presenters. They brought a strong message that we are dependent upon Earth, that we need to be converted to love for Earth, and that we need to advocate for Earth. I felt my ministry confirmed and inspired to a new level. I am reading Larry's 1997 book: Earth Community Earth Ethic and heartily recommend it to everyone.

I am also working with my community in Charlotte, VT to find alternatives to toxic herbicides used at electric substations located in or near wetlands, streams and neighborhoods. These chemicals can endanger surface water and groundwater quality, biodiversity, and human health.

Question: If you know of a utility that is using non-toxic alternatives to control weeds at electric substations, PLEASE contact me ASAP at sknight@gmavt.net. We expect to present alternatives to the Vermont Public Service Board in October.

 

 

 

Province II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diocese of New Jersey

submitted by the Rev Joe Parrish

We were pleased that both of our Diocesan environmental resolutions passed at General Convention, humane treatment of food animals and environmental justice:

 

 

 

Province V

 

 

Diocese of Chicago

Faith & Environment at Church of the Holy Spirit, Lake Forest, IL
submitted by Fred Chase

The impact of the General Convention on environmental activity at The Church of the Holy Spirit has been slight to nil. The fact that the documentary RENEWAL was shown at Convention, however, has led to our obtaining the DVD of it for Fall presentation. We are also publicizing the September 21 showing of the independent film, THE AGE OF STUPID at 400 theaters in the USA.

Otherwise, Faith & Environment (F&E) has been inactive since Spring except for continuing recycling, use of Fair Trade coffee, battery recycling, communicating with the Diocese and with a "green" group at St. Gregory's, Deerfield and the preparation of a basic plan of reorganization of F&E as a work in process. We did make an appearance with the Vestry in April.

Weekly "Prayers of the People" are now regularly introduced as follows: "Let us pray for the church and for the world God has created. Almighty God, give us reverence for the earth as your creation, that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to your honor and glory"

 

Diocese of Southern Ohio

Green Summit
submitted by the Rev Frank Edmands,
St. James', Columbus, OH

The Diocese of Southern Ohio is looking to the "Green Summit" on October 2, 3, and 4 at Procter Camp and Conference Center, London, OH. The Summit will bring together people who are practicing environmental stewardship from a variety of interfaith congregational and non-profit organizations dealing with eco-justice, energy and environmental advocacy. The Green Summit will introduce participants to both practical and spiritual ways that promote the care of the land and stewardship of creation. Furthermore, the summit will encourage networking and the exchange of educational and practical resources for the stewardship of the environment and sustainable life-styles. This gathering will be helpful to people who want to learn more about creating green teams, energy efficiency and conservation, and creating a more sustainable and green life-style. Keynote speakers include Michael Schut, Director of the Economic and Environmental Affairs Office, ECUSA, and Matthew and Nancy Sleeth, inspiring and nationally known speakers on creation care.

more information

 

 

 

Province VI

 

 

 

Diocese of Minnesota

Minnesota Episcopal Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)
submitted by Chuck Morello

Despite the failure of General Convention to pass a resolution for the celebration of creation, the MEESC will be celebrating creation during the four Sundays of October (Propers 22-25). The MEESC has prepared bulletin inserts, background materials for homilists, alternative liturgies, additional music, and information for religious education. The theme is Humans Interaction with "this fragile earth, our island home".

The diocesan electronic news has circulated information about these materials and they will be available permanently online along with the previous 4 years of celebrations.

Information is available on the MEESC website.

 

Diocese of Minnesota

St. James' Episcopal Church, Hibbing, MN
submitted by Chuck Morello

In conjunction with the diocesan efforts to celebrate of a season of creation in October, the Outreach Group at St. James will be putting on an environmental awareness event for the community at the church. This event, which will encompass several of the resolutions from General Convention, will be held on the Saturday before the start of the diocesan-sponsored activities (October 3) and run from 11 AM to 3 PM. The focus of this event will cover:

  • The Genesis Covenant
  • Bottled water
  • Economic and environmental justice
  • Environmental degradation
  • The Earth Charter
  • Environmental education for children

This is a first effort by a new group forming at St. James'.

 

 

 

Province VIII

 

 

 

 

 

Diocese of California

submitted by Barbara Bisel

In June, clergy and lay members of the Commission for the Environment participated in California Interfaith Power and Light's Lobby Day at our state capitol. We visited approximately 45 legislative offices, urging them to support specific state bills that will result in increased renewable energy and reduced carbon emissions.

Having worked together to sponsor two of the environmental resolutions which passed at Convention (C011, Government Policy for Environmental Stewardship and C012, Scientific Integrity), the Commission was very interested in their outcome at Convention, and hope they will be utilized for federal lobbying efforts. In support of the Genesis Covenant, we look forward to developing more resource materials for our congregations and furthering our relationship with solar energy providers so that we can all meet a target of 50% energy use reduction by 2020. Three of our churches, including Grace Cathedral, utilize solar energy, and numerous others are in the development phase.

On September 19 we are hosting our annual conference for our parish liaisons, but this year have broadened it to be interfaith and invite the general public. The focus is on Human Health and Toxics, and Jane Houlihan, Sr. V.P. of Research at Environmental Working Group in Wash., DC, will be the keynote speaker.

Diocese of Los Angeles

submitted by Lynn Holland

The display at the General Convention was very effective in introducing me to EpEN. I am thrilled that our church is taking environmental stewardship seriously and intentionally working to elevate awareness to all. Resolution A045 was particularly enlightening. I was well aware of the toxicity issues and waste issues associated with bottled water, but I had never considered the notion of water as a profit-making commodity possibly diminishing the potential availability or quality of potable public water supplies on which the poor depend.

There is a need for safe containers to store water in - hence the appeal and convenience of bottled water. If the church promoted the use of reusable safe containers, perhaps using the collective buying power of the organization to make them available at a lower price, people would have more incentive to move away from the plastic containers... I plan to make such a switch.

 

Diocese of Olympia

Bishop's Committee for the Environment (BCE)
submitted by Nancy McConnell, Chair

The Diocese of Olympia sponsored the resolution to Memorialize the Genesis Covenant which was passed at General Convention. The Genesis Covenant commits the Episcopal Church to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from every facility that it maintains by 50% in 10 years. Because a similar resolution was passed at the diocesan convention in the fall of 2008, the diocesan committee, the Bishop's Committee for the Environment (BCE), has been actively investigating how the Covenant might be implemented. A Genesis Covenant task force was established and sponsored two pilot projects. The first was to retrofit lighting at five Seattle churches working with the local electricity utility and special funding from the Diocese of Olympia. That project has been completed, and it is estimated that the cost of the retrofits will be repaid by energy cost savings in about 3½ years. The second project, to develop and test a carbon footprint calculator appropriate for church facilities, is nearing completion. The BCE is planning how best to assist churches in using the calculator and in reducing energy use. Workshops, an on-line forum, and displays at diocesan events will raise awareness while trained mentors will assist individual churches in taking the first steps to calculate and reduce their carbon footprints.

We in the Diocese of Olympia have begun the journey to live our faith as we carry out the Genesis Covenant. Our first steps have been hesitant, but we are moving now with more confidence. The commitment to the Genesis Covenant has energized faith and environment groups in our churches. It has energized our youth. We are eager to share what we have learned, and we look for ideas and help from other individuals and groups who have also begun this journey. Together we can, in the words of Bishop Steven Charleston, "put our faith to work. Now is the time for you to bring the Genesis Covenant to your community and let a miracle begin to happen."

 

Diocese of Oregon

Environmental Commission of the Diocese of Oregon;
Founding member of Oregon Interfaith Power and Light;
St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church,
Portland, OR
submitted by Jane Peters

With the passage of these resolutions I feel that the journey in from the wilderness is truly underway. After the initial burst of energy in the 1970s for environmental concerns the 1980s and 90s brought a tension to discussions of the threats to creation that are a result of human actions. Working with small diocesan and ecumenical groups in that time I found others who see the spiritual domain that also drives my concern for creation. With the passage of these resolutions, I feel that there is a growing acceptance of the spiritual value of the earth as it is. I feel less a lone voice, more a part of a community. Thus, to ask my congregation and diocese to consider making changes seems to be less daunting. This is our responsibility: to preserve the world for the future, not to destroy it, but to ensure that it is a safe and hopefully better place for all living beings.

 

Diocese of Oregon

Church of the Resurrection in Eugene, OR
submitted by Jane Renfro Smith

Generally heightened awareness and concern within the Church of the Resurrection (COR), Eugene, Oregon, coupled with the realization that communities of faith have a moral imperative to be good stewards of creation, mobilized a group in our congregation. As a result

  • We are using our Sunday Adult education and Formation classes to expand our understanding that Earth is in crisis with sessions on our wasteful consumer society, the facts about water, quality of air and soil.
  • COR is hosting a workshop, "Cool Congregations" on Sept. 13, 2009, to learn how our families and our church can reduce our carbon footprint.
  • We will participate in the global 350 event on Oct. 24, 2009, with films, a sacred labyrinth walk, children's activities and a commitment to doing our best in the effort, "Saving Creation".
  • We plan to initiate a six week dialog between our rector and various scientists during Advent.
  • We will also facilitate families signing up for a "Climate Master" assessment of their homes, a free service sponsored locally through the Climate Leadership Initiative at the University of Oregon.
  • Finally, we hope these activities will motivate people to consider taking action to persuade our nation's leaders to join the international community in salvaging God's great creation.

 

Diocese of Spokane

Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Spokane, WA
submitted by Evita Krislock

In the Diocese of Spokane, the Cathedral of St. John the evangelist is taking an active role in moving forward as we address the resolutions as well as living into modeling Creation Care. We are attempting to incorporate Creation Care into regular worship, and continue retrofitting the Cathedral to be energy efficient. After conducting waste audits we are recycling and have reduced our waste stream by 1/3. As we start our fall education program, we will be offering environmental topics on a monthly basis. We are modeling and offering educational opportunities.

At the Diocesan level we continue to plan for an eco-friendly annual convention, providing workshops and materials on 'how to' live into caring for Creation, reducing our carbon footprint, and living smarter. We support the Faith and Environment Network which offers resources for churches and groups to access and network with environmental agencies.

 

 

 

About this Project

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This another in a series of the e-Newsletter where we look at upcoming environmental stewardship activities occurring within the Episcopal Church – this issue focused on the impact of resolutions from the 76th General Convention. 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[@eenonline.org] (please remove the square brackets before sending) for forwarding.

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[@eenonline.org] (please remove the square brackets before sending). The webpage for this newsletter will be updated about every 2 weeks through the end of October to add additional information.

Back issues of the e-newsletter are available online through http://eenonline.org/educate/newsletter.htm

 

 
 

 

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 is also present on Facebook as a group. You can search for us using our full name or the short-title.

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 November 2009 (deadline for submissions to be around November 15, 2009). This issue will focus on environmental activities undertaken in 2009. As space permits, information about activities at congregations and in dioceses will also be provided. 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) and indicate that the information is for sharing.

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

Chuck Morello
EpEN Webminister

 

last update: 2009-09-03

 

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