Environmental Justice at Saint Mark's
About the Creation Care Ministry
The Creation Care Ministry of Saint Mark’s Cathedral strives to faithfully address the crisis of climate change. As stewards of the life-giving goodness of God’s creation, we will work with the Saint Mark’s and broader world communities to educate ourselves and take action together to preserve our shared planet and sustain life for the generations to come. We recognize our commitment as a unique opportunity and responsibility in our time to address the many social justice issues tied to the climate crisis. And through engaging in collective action that makes an effective impact, we will grow into the joy of transcending our fears and sense of powerlessness around the issue of climate change.
Carbon Emissions Reduction
The Vestry has adopted the goal for the entire Saint Mark’s campus and community to have a net zero carbon footprint by the year 2030. We encourage parishioners at Saint Mark’s to sign up with the Episcopal Church Carbon Tracker at www.sustainislandhome.org, a tool to help our community measure its collective carbon footprint and take action to reduce that footprint.
Click here for more detailed instructions about how to use this resource. See the resources and recording from a Climate Conversation about the importance of reducing our household carbon footprints and ways to better use the Episcopal Church carbon tracker tool. Why is measuring your carbon footprint is important? Listen to this excellent podcast about why our collective actions really do make a difference!
The Creation Care ministry has researched several carbon offset programs and suggests that parishioners donate to the Carbon Offset Fund here at St. Mark’s when making offset contributions. These funds will then be directly passed through to either the Carbon Offset Cooperative Mission | The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia (ecww.org) or to COTAP.org.
We were delighted to learn recently that a group of elementary students from Alabama used our Creation Care Ministry webpage in their research to learn about steps they can take to become more eco-friendly at home. They also shared another site they found to help in this effort - “Guide to Going Green at Home" at https://couponfollow.com/research/home-green-guide. Check it out and know that people are connecting across the country to help care for our Earth.
For an update and more information about the Carbon Offset Cooperative Mission partnership between the Olympia Diocese and the Diocese of the Southern Philippines, view this short webinar here.
We recognize our commitment as a unique opportunity and responsibility in our time to address the many social justice issues tied to the climate crisis. And through engaging in collective action that makes an effective impact, we will grow into the joy of transcending our fears and sense of powerlessness around the issue of climate change. Saint Mark’s is a member of Earth Ministry (earthministry.org) and Earth Day NW 2020 (earthdaynw2020.org) If you are interested in being a part of this work at Saint Mark’s, please contact ministry co-leaders Marjorie Ringness or Kathy Minsch.
Creation Care Newsletter
The Creation Care Ministry sends out a special newsletter every two months. It is full of events, reflections, recommendations, and interesting information. Sign up to receive future issues using this form (select "Creation Care" from the list of options), or, if you already receive emails from the Saint Mark's, click the "update profile" link at the very bottom any cathedral mass email, and follow the instructions.
The Creation Care Ministry meets on the third Tuesday of each month, via Zoom.
Note: The monthly meeting is suspended in July. In August, in lieu of the regular ministry meeting there will be an in-person potluck social: Tuesday, August 15, 6:30–8 p.m., in Leffler Garden.
Email Marjorie Ringness for the link.
Creation Care Meeting Minutes
- Meeting June 20, 2023
- Meeting May 16, 2023
- Meeting April 18, 2023
- Meeting March 21, 2023
- Meeting February 28, 2023
- Meeting January 17, 2023
For older meeting minutes please visit the Creation Care Ministry Meeting Archive Page.
Creation Care Ministry Table in The Nave
LAST SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH, AFTER MORNING SERVICES
The Creation Care Ministry hosts a table in the Nave on the last Sunday of each month to explain the Ministry to members of the congregation and to encourage people to participate in Creation Care activities. Please stop by to chat with creation Care Ministry members and review our printed resources to learn more. Contact Marjorie Ringness and Kathy Minsch at email@example.com if you’d like to sign up to help host the table.
Resources & Recommendations
Ideas to Live Lightly and Nourish the Soul - September 27, 2023
Creation Care Ministry Fact Sheet - September 2023
CLICK HERE for a list of resources and recommendations commended to you by the Creation Care ministry team.
The Buzz: Facts about Bees - resource for the Beekeeper Ministry Forum, May 29, 2022
Tools to Spread Climate Activism - a flyer distributed at Cathedral Day 2022
Creation Care Story Sharing
The Creation Care Ministry Story Sharing Project allows parishioners to share actions they are taking related to Creation Care, as a way for parishioners to share their good work and to encourage others to help reduce climate change. Stories can be about any action you are taking, large or small, to care for creation and mitigate climate change. Stories can take the form of a brief written essay, a video, a photo album, an infographic, or a piece of podcast-style audio. Sharing these stories can help others to learn, lead to new ideas about what to do, and be an inspiration for others to take action too. Find more details about sharing your own story here.
In the fist installment, Elizabeth Clark-Stern reflects on choosing to eat vegan, Marjorie Ringness shares a strategy for saving water in the kitchen, and Richard Hartung writes about buying second-hand.
In volume 2, Judy Raunig-Graham tell the story of her climate-related actions, Carolyn White on clothes-drying, and a delightful video from Nicole Thomson about motor vehicle idling.
SECOND THURSDAY OF THE MONTH, 6:30–7:30 P.M., online via Zoom
Looking for practical ways to reduce your impact on the environment? Saint Mark’s Creation Care Ministry is hosting Climate Conversations about everyday things in our lives. These monthly conversations are held on environmentally-friendly Zoom on the second Thursday evening of each month from 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Register to participate using this link. You can be part of any or all of these conversations with the same Zoom link each month. Learn more about upcoming conversations and find resources and video of past offerings here.
- OCTOBER 12, 2023: Save Money by Caring for Creation
It seems like buying climate-friendly food and clothing, installing devices to use less carbon-spewing energy and doing more to care for creation would be costly. In reality, the opposite is true. You can save money by consciously caring for creation. We’ll discuss how to buy groceries and clothes in ways that save money. We’ll look at alternatives that can save energy or use less water. And we’ll take advantage of the insights on the St Mark’s Carbon Tracker to learn to do more. Our discussion will focus around how to spend less while caring for creation more.
- NOVEMBER 9, 2023: Celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with a Creation Care Mindset
- DECEMBER 14, 2023: Find Great Deals for Local Foods and Plant-Based Meals
Previous 2023 Climate Conversations — resources, slides and videos of past conversations may be found here.
The COP27 U.N. Climate Change Conference
In November 2022 the Episcopal Church sent a delegation at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt. The delegation include the Diocese of Olympia's Missioner for Climate Care and Climate Justice, John Kydd. John wrote a series of reports from the event, which can be found here.
One of the greatest achievements of the conference was the creation of the "Loss and Damage Fund," a development which Saint Mark's member Dr. Lisa Graumlich discussed over a year ago, in an article written during the COP26 Conference in Glasgow: "Loss and Damage: Why these two words hold the key to a just transition in a warming world."
Visit the Episcopal Creation Care Facebook page to see this very inspiring video report back from the delegation. More information about the denomination's work can be found here.
UPDATE: The Diocese of Olympia is hosting two online conversations, on Wednesday, April 5, and Wednesday, April 19, featuring John Kydd and Dr Lisa Graumlich among others, offering a report of the conference and connected the developments there to locals actions on the ground here. Learn more and find the link to register here.
Local, National, and Global Updates
A highlight of 2022 was the adoption of resolutions related to Creation Care at both the General Convention of the Episcopal Church (8 resolutions) in July and the Diocesan Convention of the Diocese of Olympia (2 resolutions) in October. The General Convention also included passage of the Mind of the House on Climate and Our Vocation In Christ from the House of Bishops.
Joint Message for the Protection of Creation
On September 7, 2021, three of the world's top Christian leaders—Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby—issued a press release and joint statement warning of the urgency of environmental sustainability, its impact on poverty, and the importance of global cooperation. Read the full statement here.