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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. 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.
Code Red For Humanity: Reflections on the IPCC Report 6th Assessment Report on Climate Change
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UPDATED WITH VIDEO OF THE EVENT WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 7 P.M. via Zoom The recent IPCC report shows that heating from humans has caused irreparable damage to Earth that could worsen in the years to come. Come learn about causes, potential impacts and response options while reflecting how we may find hope in our collective efforts for change. Saint Mark’s parishioner and American Geophysical Union president-elect Lisa Graumlich will lead us in making sense of these findings and explore how … Read More

Autumnal Poetry Reading, hosted by Creation Care
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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3, 10:10-10:50 A.M., Bloedel Hall Fall is upon us with leaves changing, crisper nights, and fruits for foraging. Drawing from a selection of autumnal poems, parishioner and English professor Doug Thorpe will guide us in a time of reading and reflection to discover creation themes and connections. View a PDF of the poetry read at the event here.                      

Intergenerational Hike to Twin Falls
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UPDATE: Check out the Creation-themed liturgy shared at the event here, and some photos below:  SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2021,  2 –5:30 P.M. Let’s hike together! All ages are welcome on this 3 mile roundtrip hike to Twin Falls as we take time to connect, move and pray in nature after church. We’ll meet at the trailhead at 2 p.m. and finish by 5:30 p.m. Bring your water, snacks and appropriate gear – we recommend good hiking shoes, layers, sunscreen and … Read More

Special Parish Forum on the Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action
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UPDATE: This event has been rescheduled for November 17, 2021. Learn more and register here. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2021, 6:30–8 p.m. Hybrid gathering: in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom (registration requested for either option so we can plan accordingly) Earlier this year the Vestry unanimously adopted the Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action as a guide for our important work as individuals and community as we strive for justice and peace and respect for every human being. It is … Read More

Holy Honey: A Cathedral Bees Update
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Honey from the cathedral beehives has been harvested! Thanks to beekeepers Rob and Penny Reid, with help from Jaime, Yoshi, and Keiko, who collected honey from the hives in the cathedral kitchen at the end of July 2021. The honey is separated from the wax using a hand-cranked machine that spins the frames at high speeds. The Cathedral Breadbakers Guild are now using our bees’ honey in their loaves prepared for communion every Sunday. “Bee prepared” for honey to be … Read More

Clean Cars 2030 Coalition Rally
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SATURDAY, AUGUST 14, 12 P.M. Co-hosted by Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light Saint Mark’s is honored to host a Clean Cars 2030 Coalition rally sponsored by Coltura on Saturday, August 14 at 12 p.m. There will be music, art, food, speakers, and an EV parade and car show at this family-friendly outdoor event. Anyone who has an electric car is welcome to hop in the parade and you can meet in the parking lot at 10:30 a.m. to decorate. … Read More

A Creation Care Reflection by Doug Thorpe
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by Doug Thorpe June 21, 2021 In late May, an article in The  New York Review of Books tells me that “a national poll showed that 28 percent of Republicans agreed that ‘things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.”  And what’s driving this fear and anger?  According to political scientist Robert A. Pape, the answer is “fear of the Great Replacement”—meaning, of course, that “minorities … Read More

Dean’s Message on Land Acknowledgment
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Dean Thomason sent the following message to the community regarding the creation and intention behind the cathedral’s Land Acknowledgment. Much more information can be found at Saint Mark’s Land Acknowledgment page. A Message from Dean Thomason Dear friends, You may have noticed in recent months more occasions when we have begun our worship or meetings with a Land Acknowledgment: Saint Mark’s Cathedral acknowledges that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People, who … Read More

Creation Care: Carbon Tracker Training
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UPDATE: A Complete video of the presentation is now available below. Written instructions are available here. For help navigating the video above, please refer to this video timeline, or click “view on youtube” and refer to the chapters in the video description. THURSDAY, JUNE 3, 7-8:30 P.M., via Zoom Saint Mark’s Cathedral has the bold goal of achieving a net-zero carbon footprint by the year 2030 – both for its facilities and for its congregation. We have encouraged our members … Read More

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