Home / Justice / Creation Care Ministry - Page 3

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. Read the February 2023 issue here.

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.

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


Parishioner and literature professor Doug Thorpe submits occasional reflections on the environment, faith, and current events:

Resources and Recommendations

View the Creation Care-related resolutions passed at the 2022 Convention of the Diocese of Olympia here.

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.
“Easter Uprising” by Doug Thorpe
with No Comments

April 14, 2022 We will go into the future as a single sacred community or we will perish in the desert. —Thomas Berry People in Gaza rely on water from public filling stations. —Pollution on tap in Gaza It’s Shrove Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras—the night before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. As I’m waiting for a friend, a message on my phone alerts me to the information that it’s World Water Day. Water scarcity in the West Bank … Read More

Belden Lane at Saint Mark’s: Ravished by Nature’s Beauty
with 2 Comments

UPDATED WITH VIDEO FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2022, 6:30–8:30 P.M. and SATURDAY, APRIL 23, 9:30 A.M.–3 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall or online via Zoom. Registration required. An offering from The Wisdom School at Saint Mark’s Ravished by Nature’s Beauty—Longing for God A two-part workshop led by Belden C. Lane The Christian mystical tradition can be deeply earthy and sensual in its yearning for union with the Divine. Hildegard of Bingen and Teresa of Avila found a wondrous God in trees and … Read More

“Lenten Thoughts” by Doug Thorpe
with No Comments

February 23, 2022 A birch leaf held fast In limestone ten million years Still quietly burns, Though claimed by the darkness.   Let earth be this windfall Swept to a handful of seeds— One tree, one leaf, Gives us plenty of light.   —John Haines, The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer: Collected Poems Lent. The word derives from the Old English lencten meaning spring season, perhaps derived from a related root meaning long, connected to the lengthening of … Read More

Winter Solstice Poetry Reading with Creation Care
with 2 Comments

UPDATED WITH POEMS AND SLIDES SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, 10:10 A.M., Bloedel Hall Winter solstice brings the first day of winter and a return of more sunlight. Drawing from a selection of poems connected to light, parishioner and English professor Doug Thorpe will guide us in a time of reading and reflection to discover creation themes. A slideshow of light-inspired photos from Saint Mark’s parishioners will also be shared. Download the poems from the event here (pdf). Download the slides from … Read More

The COP26 Experience: Heathy Skepticism and Abiding Faith—A Forum with Dr Lisa Graumlich
with No Comments

UPDATED WITH VIDEO AND MATERIALS WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 6:45–8:15 P.M, online only via Zoom For two weeks in November many of us sat on edge of chairs following updates from the twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties (COP26), more commonly known as simply the climate summit. As it ended, many felt disappointed that our high hopes for an ambitious global plan of action were not fully realized. What happened? Where do we go from here? Please join us for a discussion … Read More

“We All Have the Potential to Be Activists”—A Reflection by Anna Xie
with No Comments

Heather Sutkus, a youth in the community of Saint Mark’s and member of cathedral’s Creation Care Ministry, wanted to share this essay written by her friend and classmate Anna Xie. Heather writes, “I chose Anna’s article because I was struck by how her experience of childhood was dramatically different from my own. Whereas I grew up unaware of the toll my lifestyle had on the environment, Anna had to live with the consequences every day.” “We all have the potential … Read More

Convention on Climate Change Events
with 2 Comments

COP26 KICK-OFF: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 10 A.M. PST, Register here COP26 WORSHIP SERVICE: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 8 A.M. PST, Register here COP26 CLOSING EVENT: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 8 A.M. PST, Register here  UPDATE: The Episcopal Church’s Creation Care office has published a piece by Dr. Lisa Graumlich titled COP26 — What to watch for? What to pray for?.   Attend Virtual COP26 Public Events From October 31 through November 12, 2021, 120 political leaders will gather in Glasgow, Scotland, for … Read More

19th Annual Community Multi-Faith Summit
with No Comments

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2 P.M. Faith—Science—Sacred Activism. Hear from leaders of various faiths, including First Peoples, Buddhist, Jewish, and Christian, as they share how their faith tradition calls them to act on climate change. And then join in the discussion with panelists about actions communities can take together to be part of hopeful solutions. This online-only event is co-sponsored by Saint Mark’s. Register here, or contact Marjorie Ringness or Libby Carr if you have questions. View the PDF flyer here.

2021 St. Francis Day Outdoor Liturgy with Blessing of the Animals
with No Comments

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2021, 4:30 P.M., on the outdoor labyrinth and front lawn On Saturday, October 2, Saint Mark’s will once again offer its beloved Saint Francis Day tradition. A few years ago this offering was moved from Sunday morning to Saturday afternoon, and the outdoor celebration has a truly festive community atmosphere. Dogs, cats, bird, bunnies, ponies, chickens, and all creatures great and small are welcome! The event will again feature contributions from acclaimed Seattle musician James Falzone, and … Read More

1 2 3 4 5 6