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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.

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:

Ministry Meetings

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

Email Marjorie Ringness for the link.

Creation Care Meeting Minutes
For older meeting minutes please visit the Creation Care Ministry Meeting Archive Page.

Creation Care Ministry Table in The Nave

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 encourage parishioners to stop by, and please volunteer to assist if you have time. Please contact Marjorie Ringness at marjorie@ringness.org if you’d like to sign up to help host the table.


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

Resources & Recommendations

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

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 8, 2023: Practical Ideas to Use Renewable Energy

Talk of renewable energy such as wind and solar or reducing energy usage with heat pumps or other technology is all around us. Actually tapping into these solutions can seem hard. However, state and national initiatives have made it easier to access renewable power and use less energy. We’ll discuss practical solutions for solar panels in homes, accessing community solar, installing heat pumps, driving EVs and more. We’ll include information about grants and rebates for renewable energy too. Participants will have opportunities to share their experience and ideas.

  • JULY 13, 2023: Changing our Daily Routine to Save the Planet
  • AUGUST 10, 2023: Stay Stylish with Climate-friendly Clothing Choices
  • SEPTEMBER 14, 2023: Simple Seattle Solutions to be a Voice for Conservation and Creation Care
  • OCTOBER 12, 2023: Save Money by Caring for Creation
  • 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.

THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2023: Plan, Cook, and Eat Great Meals
APRIL 11, 2023: Recycle
MARCH 14, 2023: Reuse
FEBRUARY 7, 2023: Reduce
JANUARY 3, 2023: Advocacy for Systemic Change

2022 Climate Conversions — resources, slides and videos of past conversations may be found here.

DECEMBER 6, 2022: Creation Care Perspectives on Shopping at Christmas Time
NOVEMBER 1, 2022: Investing with Your Values
OCTOBER 4, 2022What you can do about Transportation
SEPTEMBER 5, 2022What you can do on the Carbon Tracker
AUGUST 2, 2022What you can do about Water
JULY 5, 2022What you can do about Energy
JUNE 7, 2022: What you can do about Food

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

Convention News

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.

A Creation Care Message from Dean Thomason

Past Events

Click the images for video and resources of past events:

Winter Solstice Poetry Reading

Click images to enlarge.
Intersectionality and Environmentalism: A Reflection by The Rev. Edie Weller
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The Intersection Between Environmentalism, Racism, and Privilege A Program at Town Hall Seattle on May 10, 2022 Reflections by The Rev. Edie Weller Leah Thomas, author of The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People and Planet (2022), recently spoke with Hannah Wilson, Farm Manager at Yes Farm, leader of the Black Famers Collective and co-chair of the Environmental Justice Commission of the City of Seattle, as part of a program offered by Town Hall Seattle. … Read More

“Moments in the Wilderness” by Doug Thorpe
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July 19, 2022 It’s an old game I’d often play with my students to jog them into writing, especially in Spring Quarter as we moved into May.  We all get a little restless indoors by this point in the academic year, sitting in a sterile classroom; we start to feel some warmth rising up from the earth and can imagine again a life beyond the rain and cold. So I’d ask: if you could be anywhere in the world right … Read More

Eat! Play! Love! 2022: Water of Life
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UPDATED WITH PHOTOS THREE WEDNESDAYS: JUNE 22, JULY 27, and AUGUST 24, 5 P.M.–8 P.M., in Bloedel Hall and throughout the cathedral grounds. Registration requested. Fee: $10 in advance; $12 at the door. UPDATE: On the Sunday following all three evenings (JUNE 26, JULY 31, and AUGUST 28) between the morning services at 10:10 a.m., participants in the Wednesday gathering will share some of what was presented and created at the event. Meet on the front patio. The gathering on … Read More

Climate Conversations
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SECOND THURSDAYS, 6:30–7:30 P.M. (NOTE NEW DAY), 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 will be held on environmentally-friendly Zoom on the second Tuesday Thursday evening of each month (starting in May). Register to participate using this link (same Zoom link each month). Scroll down on this page to find materials, slides, and videos of past conversations … Read More

Made in Faith: Forum on Clothing and Sustainability
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UPDATED WITH VIDEO AND SLIDES WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 6:45-8:15 P.M., online via Zoom only Join Creation Care for a special forum featuring parishioner Clara Berg, fashion historian and curator, and Richard Hartung, sustainable writer/blogger to discuss connections between clothing, the environment and our faith. We’ll share ways to buy less, choose well and make clothes last. UPDATE: The slides form this presentation may now be seen here. A video can be seen below:

Beekeeper Forum & Blessing of the Hives
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SUNDAY, MAY 29, 10:10–10:50 a.m., Bloedel Hall  The cathedral beekeepers will share about their ministry and the current state of the bees who live on the roof above Bloedel, and we’ll conclude with a blessing of the hives. Note: Doreen Tudor’s birthday celebration, previously announced for this time, will be rescheduled for a later date. See a video introduction to the beekeeping ministry from Fall 2020 below:

A Rogation Day Liturgy
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WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person only, outdoors on the cathedral grounds Rev. Stahlecker, Canon Rosario-Cruz, and Canon Barrie will lead this intergenerational, prayerful exploration of the tradition of Rogation days, an ancient practice, dating from the 5th century, of blessing and giving thanks for the earth which sustains us. The service begins with a blessing of Leffler House gardens, followed by a procession with stations, and concludes with the Great Litany (including the Supplication for use “in times … Read More

Group Viewing of “Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water” at SAM
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SATURDAY, MAY 21, 10 A.M. TO NOON, Seattle Art Museum Come explore the vast connections of water in the context of artwork at a new exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum. A group from Saint Mark’s is planning to attend on Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m. and then discuss the art afterward at SAM’s cafe, MARKET. Interested in meeting up? Email Wayne Duncan (duncan.sw@gmail.com) or Emily Meeks (emcmeeks@gmail.com). This exhibit closes May 30, and It’s what SAM calls “an experiment in artistic … Read More

A Creation Care Message from Dean Thomason
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Dean Thomason has shared the following massage with the cathedral community:

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