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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.


Resources & Recommendations

Becoming a Climate Activist - an newly-updated version of a flyer by ministry member Libby Carr

Prayer Practices to Nourish Primordial Hope - October 8, 2023

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


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.


Environmental Justice

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.

Current issue:

Recent issues:

For older newsletters please visit the Creation Care Ministry Meeting Archive Page.

Ministry Meetings

The Creation Care Ministry usually meets on the third Tuesday of each month, usually via Zoom only.

Please note that there will be no meeting in December 2023. Meetings in January, April, and October 2024 will be in person in Cathedral House Room 210. Other meeting will be online-only.

Starting in January 2024, the meeting time will move to 7–8:30 p.m.

Email creationcare@saintmarks.org for the link.

Creation Care Meeting Minutes


Reflections

Parishioner and literature professor Doug Thorpe and parishioner, writer, and environmental consultant Richard Hartung submit occasional reflections on the environment, faith, and current events:


Climate Conversations

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.

  • JUNE 13, 2024: Solar, Wind, and Geothermal Energy, and How to Tap Renewable Energy

While solar panels on roofs get the most attention for renewable energy, there are plenty of other options. Wind and geothermal, and other sustainable sources of energy are being used to provide the quickly-increasing amounts of electricity we need to power everything from lights and ovens to EVs and phones. We’ll discuss the variety of sources of renewable energy, how you can use them, and how to ensure a reliable power supply with storage, microgrids, or other innovative solutions.

  • JULY 11, 2024: Heat! How to Stay Cool, Sustainably, and How to Prepare for Hotter Summers 
  • AUGUST 8, 2024: How to Cope with Seattle’s Shift from Water Deluges to the now-frequent Droughts 
  • SEPTEMBER 12, 2024: How to Reduce the Huge Impact that Homes & Building have on Climate Change
  • OCTOBER 10, 2024: Plant Trees for Cleaner, Healthier, Cooler Air
  • NOVEMBER 14, 2024: Eat Pizza for the Planet—Making Meals that Reduce Climate Change
  • DECEMBER 12, 2024: Reduce Plastic to avoid Gigatons of Carbon Emissions

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.

In the latest installment, Sue & Ed Tierney share changed they've made in their house both big and small, Alexandra Thompson talks about choosing an e-bike over a second car... and more stories to come!


"Collective Impact" with Andrew Himes

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 7–8:30 P.M., in person in Cathedral House Room 210 or online via Zoom

The monthly meeting of the Creation Care Ministry in February will include a presentation from Andrew Himes, Director of Collective Impact for the Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) at the University of Washington. Andrew was previously a long-time Saint Mark’s parishioner and former member of the Vestry. Andrew will share the CLF’s work building a global movement to decarbonize the building industry — the largest industry on the planet — and the impact of building materials and construction on climate change. Andrew asserts that, rooted in justice and compassion, working together to solve the climate crisis gives us the opportunity “to regain a sense of our shared humanity.” Please plan to participate in this informative and inspiring presentation, with time for Q&A afterwards.

A video and other resources from this presentation are now available here


Greenbelt Update

Guy Oram, the Saint Mark’s Greenbelt Work Party Volunteer Coordinator, had written a summing-up of the work that was done on the Greenbelt in the recent series of work parties. Check out his update here!

 


A Creation Care Message from Dean Thomason


Click images to enlarge.

Creation Care Updates and Events

Urban Birding Day
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SATURDAY, MAY 25, 8 A.M.–12 P.M., Leffler garden, the Greenbelt, and around the cathedral campus Join Creation Care and Intergenerational Ministries for a morning of exploring nature and learning about birds on the campus of Saint Mark’s. Activities will include learning about local birds and making a simple bird feeder. There will two guided bird walks in the Saint Mark’s Greenbelt: at 8 a.m., Gordon and Jacquelyn Miller will lead a bird walk designed for adults and older youth, and … Read More

Greenbelt Work Parties, Spring 2024
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FIRST AND THIRD SATURDAY IN APRIL, MAY, & JUNE, 10 A.M.–2 P.M., meet in the lower parking lot; registration required Spring work parties in the Greenbelt are starting up again! Come commune with the forest while helping weed and maybe plant. Get your hands/gloves dirty as you remove non-native plants and create native habitat in the middle of Seattle’s urban environment. Wear sturdy, close toed shoes that can get wet, long-sleeved shirt, pants, and hat. Bring water, a snack, and … Read More

Let There Be Light: How to get government funding for your faith community’s solar and electrification initiatives
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WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 7–8 P.M., via Zoom All are invited to a presentation and conversation about new ways to engage and advance sustainability and carbon reduction goals in faith communities. Presenters will include Dean Steve Thomason, Shelby Ketchum (Seattle City Light Inflation Reduction Specialist), and Stone Fennell (Saint Mark’s parishioner and UW Materials and Science Engineering student). Join using this Zoom link. About the presenters: Shelby Ketchum Shelby Ketchum, Inflation Reduction Act Specialist at Seattle City Light, is a dedicated … Read More

Intergenerational Creation Care Forum: All About Trees
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SUNDAY, APRIL 14, 10:10 A.M., in Bloedel Hall The Creation Care Ministry and the Intergenerational Council are hosting the Sunday forum on April 14. Come hear about the importance of tress for our climate and in our lives. Share your own stories of trees in your lives. We hope to spend some time outside, weather permitting.

Creation Care Stories, Volume 3
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The Creation Care Ministry has created a Story Sharing Project to allow 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 … Read More

“Collective Impact” with Andrew Himes
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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 7–8:30 P.M., in person in Cathedral House Room 210 or online via Zoom The monthly meeting of the Creation Care Ministry in February will include a presentation from Andrew Himes, Director of Collective Impact for the Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) at the University of Washington. Andrew was previously a long-time Saint Mark’s parishioner and former member of the Vestry. Andrew will share the CLF’s work building a global movement to decarbonize the building industry—the largest industry on the planet—and the impact of … Read More

COP28 Roundup with The Rev. Lisa Graumlich, Ph.D.
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UPDATED WITH VIDEO TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 7–8:30 P.M., in person in Cathedral House Room 210 or online via Zoom The Creation Care Ministry invites everyone January’s monthly monthly meeting, in person in Room 210 (large conference room), or online via Zoom. The January 16 meeting will feature a special debriefing from the Rev. Lisa Graumlich, Ph.D. about the recent annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). What actions were taken/not taken at COP28? What can we do as individuals and as The Episcopal Church to make … Read More

Creation Care Tips!
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The Creation Care Ministry will be offering tips on a variety of topics related to carbon reduction in the cathedral newsletter this season.  Heat Pumps In spite of their name, heat pumps are a way to cool AND heat your home, and they have a lighter impact on our planet. According to Energy.gov, heat pumps can reduce the electricity you use to heat your home by as much as 65%! The IRS offers a tax credit of up to $2,000 … Read More

Greenbelt Update—Fall 2023
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Guy Oram, the Saint Mark’s Greenbelt Work Party Volunteer Coordinator, had written this summing-up of the work that was done on the Greenbelt in the recent series of work parties: The colors of fall are giving way to frost and filtered light in the Greenbelt as winter approaches. The Saint Mark’s Creation Care Ministry is working with the Seattle Green Partnership and Forest Stewards Robert Hayden and Joey Baumgartner to support the recovery and restoration of the 9-acre woodland greenbelt … Read More

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