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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.
“Wonder in Creation”: Two Wednesday Forums
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TWO WEDNESDAYS, SEPTEMBER 16 & 23, 7–8:30 P.M., via Zoom Wonder in Creation: A Two-Week Series of Spiritual Practices in Creation How do you experience God in everyday life? How might your daily living itself be and become a spiritual practice? The Creation Care and Faith Formation ministries will jointly host a two-week series in September to explore how spiritual practices outside bring opportunities to encounter presence, connection and reflection. Each evening, a panel from Saint Mark’s will reflect on their own … Read More

A Season of Creation
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SEPTEMBER 1–OCTOBER 4, 2020 Saint Mark’s and the greater Episcopal Church joins Christian churches across the world in celebrating the Season of Creation September 1 – October 4. From the Season of Creation website: “The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator through repenting, repairing, and rejoicing together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.” Be inspired by watching Presiding Bishop … Read More

Come Hell or High Water: Climate Justice Webinar
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FILM: WATCH ANY TIME BETWEEN MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3–5 WEBINAR: WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5, 5 P.M., via Zoom Please note that some information listed in this week’s Sundays & Beyond about this event was in error. A generous member of the Creation Care Ministry has made it possible for people from Saint Mark’s to watch the film for free. Visit https://interfaithpowerandlight.salsalabs.org/comehellorhighwaterfilm to register and indicate “Saint Mark’s Cathedral” under “congregation.” Also, note that the free webinar begins at 5 p.m. … Read More

Cathedral Bees Updates—Summer 2020
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The cathedral building has two beehives on the roof of Bloedel Hall. Thanks to beekeeper Rob Reid, our bees are thriving! Scroll down to view pictures. Your prayers for the health of our hives are welcome. For more information about protecting pollinators, visit this link. If you are interested in helping out with the bees, contact the cathedral and we will put you in touch with Rob. Sundays & Beyond Update August 30, 2020 The bees and beekeepers have been … Read More

Climate Change Forum
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Climate Change Forum with Drawdown Seattle: MAY 4 & 11, 7–8:30 P.M., Via Zoom Led by his faith to be a steward of life on this planet, Scott Henson is the co-founder of Drawdown Seattle, a collection of concerned and engaged Seattle citizens who are interested in enacting proven solutions which create the possibility of reversing the global climate crisis we face. Scott will lead two sessions focused on introducing “Project Drawdown” as well as facilitating the beginning of your … Read More

Partner Organizations
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Earth Day Northwest 2020 is a coalition of businesses, non-profits, faith communities, indigenous tribal leaders, and community groups from the Pacific Northwest who have come together to create meaningful change towards the goal of a more livable, equitable, and sustainable city, region, and planet. These effort are focused around the 50th anniversary of Earth Day (April 22, 2020). On the EDNW2020 website, you can learn about local and regional initiatives, take the pledge to take action and empower change, and … Read More

Creation Care Resources
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Click here for an extensive list of books, articles, videos, and web resources assembled by the Saint Mark’s Creation Care ministry team. The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia’s Climate & Creation Care page contains a number of useful links, including a message from Bishop Greg Rickel. The Diocese of Olympia’s Carbon Offset Cooperative Mission is a joint project between our diocese and the Episcopal Diocese of the Southern Philippines. The Carbon Tracker is a tool offered by The Episcopal Church to … Read More

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