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

Newark, OH 43055 USA
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Eco-Justice Resolutions
from Dioceses of the Episcopal Church

Formation of “green teams” in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas

Passed at the Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas,
October 22-23, 2010


Formation of “green teams” in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas

Resolved, that the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas pledges, as a priority, to promote environmental stewardship teams in all congregations of the Diocese, for the purposes of (1) educating parishioners in caring for the natural environment, and (2) encouraging ecologically sound practices in the daily lives of parishioners, in parish actions, and in the maintenance of parish facilities and properties.


Proposer: Trinity Environmental Stewardship Team, Trinity, Lawrence

RATIONALE:

  • Because by God's design, humankind has been commissioned to be the stewards of God's creation on earth;
    Scripture basis: Genesis 2:15 tells us that "The Lord took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it."
    - "Till" in Hebrew is "abad," meaning "work, serve, be a servant to, keep, be bonded to."
    - And "keep" in the Hebrew is "shamar," meaning "guard, protect, watch over, attend, observe, save." Clearly, God placed humans on earth to care for God's creation here!
  • Because the continuance of human existence and of human endeavor to further the Kingdom of God on earth requires the continuance of a thriving, healthy, well-sustained natural environment;
    Reason basis: If the inter-related ecosystems of the natural environment (air, water, soil, energy, plant and animal life)-the grace by which God sustains our life on this planet-should degrade to become nonfunctional, the human institutions that support civilization-food production, civil order, commerce-would become chaos, and the very existence of human life would become questionable. This would make sharing Christ's message of love and salvation extremely difficult!
  • Because the continuance of the health and sustainability of the natural environment is seriously threatened on many levels by destructive practices and actions by humankind;
    Reason basis: Human-induced global climate disruption ("global warming"); careless and excessive extraction/harvesting/use of "resources"; destruction of natural habitats; pollution of air, water, soil; constantly increasing human population; attitudes and institutions that value short-term profits over long-term sustainability-all are contributing to imbalances in the ecosystems of land, oceans and waterways, and atmospheric conditions, which threaten and are already harming countless populations of God's creatures, including human beings.
    Clearly, we haven't been doing a very good job of caring for God's creation!
  • Because our baptismal vows include the pledge to "renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God";
    Tradition basis: Service of Holy Baptism, pg. 302, The Book of Common Prayer.
  • Because our concern for all God's creation and our commitment to its preservation are reflected in our Eucharistic Prayers, in our Prayers of the People, and throughout our Book of Common Prayer;
    Tradition basis: Examples:
    - "You made us the rulers of creation; but we turned against you and betrayed your trust" (Eucharistic Prayer C, pg. 370, BCP).
    - "You made all things...you created them to rejoice in the splendor of your radiance" (Eucharistic Prayer D, pg. 373, BCP).
    - "You formed us in your own image, giving the whole world into our care, so that, in obedience to you, our Creator, we might rule and serve all your creatures" (Eucharistic Prayer D, pg. 373, BCP).
    - "For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it, let us pray to the Lord" (Prayers of the People, Form I, pg. 384, BCP).
  • Because the Diocese has pledged, at Convention in 2007, to uphold the Millennium Development Goals, #7 of which is to "Ensure environmental sustainability";
    Tradition basis: "Convention supports MDGs, hears challenge to 'not do anything small,'" article by Melodie Woerman, Harvest, Nov.-Dec. 2007,
    and
  • Because team action within parishes has been shown to be an effective, continued motivator for sound environmental practices.
    Reason basis: Since 1989, Trinity Environmental Stewardship Team has been active at Trinity, Lawrence, providing parishioners with education and opportunities to develop sound environmental practices, and recently leading an energy audit and energy-saving maintenance actions in parish facilities. The Episcopal Ecological Network (www.eenonline.org) provides numerous accounts of success by "green teams" in Episcopal parishes and dioceses across the United States. In the Kansas Diocese, we have been informed of environmental stewardship teams now active at St. Aidan's, Olathe; St. Andrew's, Derby; St. Michael and All Angels, Mission; and St. Paul's, Leavenworth; and of environmental stewardship efforts recently begun at St. Margaret's, Lawrence; and St. John's, Parsons. Patty Minx, Diocesan Deacon for Environmental Sustainability, is available to be a resource for the spiritual and theological dimension of this ministry. We sincerely urge the formation of environmental stewardship teams, as they provide a means for sustained emphasis on this important aspect of Christian commitment, as well as great opportunities for Christian fellowship and witness.

    Caring for the environment-it's a Christian thing to do!

 

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The 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 around the Episcopal Church USA.  The activities of the EpEN are focused on the areas of Reflection, Education, and Action. 

If you would like to contact any of these groups or to find out more about the EpEN, please click on the links on the left.

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