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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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If you would like to find out more about the Episcopal Ecological Network, please click on the links below.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Contact information:

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

A Resolution Regarding Faithful Stewardship of Energy

Passed by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, January 2005


Faithful Stewardship of Energy

Recommended actions by the Diocese, parishes, and organizations, to conserve energy, use energy from renewable sources, and cooperate with Virginia Interfaith Power and Light

Resolved,
(1) that this 210th Annual Council supports with renewed urgency all measures that reduce energy use and strongly urges that all parishes and Diocesan organizations, wherever feasible, plan to adopt renewable sources of energy at the earliest possible date.

Resolved,
(2) that the Diocese, parishes, and other Diocesan organizations subscribe to the newly formed Virginia Interfaith Power and Light organization to learn of opportunities for reducing energy use and introducing renewable energy.


Background and Rationale:

(1) Although one of the first commands God gave to his human creatures was to work and care for his garden, our increasing human ability to use the gifts of His earth to gain energy to add to our own possessions and ease our life has not been paralleled by increased care for the garden to preserve those gifts.

Fossil fuels have many deleterious effects on God's earth and His living creatures. This was recognized by our Presiding Bishop Dr. Griswold, on 19 May 2000 when he joined 29 other religious leaders of many faiths and scientists in urging the U.S. Senate to revisit the question of climate change and seek reduction in "greenhouse"gases–principally the excess CO2 from burning fossil fuels to supply energy. Earlier springs and melting of the Arctic and Antarctic ice packs confirm that human activities are affecting the world's climate, rainfall, and air and ocean currents. The particulates and other gases released affect human health, increase childhood and adult respiratory problems, and threaten the wellbeing of all of God's creatures. The Episcopal Church recognizes social justice issues arise when toxins from fossil fuel energy production near their homes directly affect our brothers and sisters who live in poverty.

(2) Good stewardship of energy is also good stewardship of congregational operating funds. Money wasted on unnecessarily high utility bills could be saved with energy efficiency investments, and the savings more productively used on the church mission.

(3) It is therefore increasingly necessary to turn to renewable, or "green", sources of energy and energy conservation. Among "green" sources we include wind energy, solar energy, water power, underground thermal energy, methane recaptured from waste dumps, and biomass. Technology that permits us to reduce energy consumption and use renewable sources is rapidly improving; and information for study and planning is increasingly available from engineering, governmental, and commercial sources.

(4) While the Church can properly assist our Lord's mission to bring a healthier and more abundant life, it can also bring together consumers in a market place to gain the advantages of bloc purchasing power. This was shown several years ago in the Diocese of California when a priest, Sally Bingham, organized Episcopal Power and Light. A General Convention Resolution supported the project in 1997. The movement has become ecumenical, and Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) energy planning and purchasing cooperatives are now established in 17 or more states, including the Greater Washington Area and Virginia, just this past November. There is no membership fee in Virginia. These organizations are made up of parishes and individuals that agree by covenant to take advantage of one or more options to educate themselves on renewable energy matters, arrange audits, exchange reports, and seek renewable energy through listed vendors, creating a breadth of demand to encourage investment in supply, and thus sharing in reduced costs of installation and operation.

 

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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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last update: 2007-04-04

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