Creation Care Task Force
Our mission is to help church members, parishes and missions of the Diocese consider environmental stewardship as a practice of faith and to provide resources for the implementation of creation care projects.
Earth and Rogation Days
Earth Day Sunday provides a time to focus on Creation Care in each church. This year, Earth Day Sunday falls on April 18. More resources for Earth Day Sunday from Creation Justice Ministries are also available. Resources for Faith Climate Action Week (April 16-25) from Virginia Interfaith Power and Light are now available.
Rogation Sunday is April 25, and minor Rogation Days are May 10-12. Find out the history of Rogation Days and how to celebrate them with The Episcopal Church’s Good News Gardens on April 20 at 7 p.m. See the calendar below for more resources.
Rogation Day Collect:
Almighty God, Lord of heaven and earth: We humbly pray that your gracious providence may give and preserve to our use the harvests of the land and of the seas, and may prosper all who labor to gather them, that we, who are constantly receiving good things from your hand, may always give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
- The Episcopal Church Task Force on Creation Care and Environmental Racism is offering grants for appropriate projects now. Deadline to apply is April 16, 2021 at 5 p.m. Learn more and apply. Watch this webinar recording for additional information on this grant.
Episcopal Creation Care Resolutions and Resources
The Episcopal Church, on all levels, has made Creation Care one of its top priorities.
The Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ, in 111 dioceses and regional areas in 17 nations; 100 of which are in the United States. The Episcopal Church’s Covenant for the Care of Creation is a commitment to practice loving formation, liberating advocacy and life-giving conversation as individuals, congregations, ministries and dioceses. To ensure our future and that of our planet, learn, get involved and take advantage of resources offered through the links below.
- The Episcopal Church’s vision for creation care.
- Episcopal Covenant to Care of Creation: Putting It into Practice
- Episcopal Creation Care Facebook page
- Subscribe to the monthly Episcopal Church Creation Care newsletter.
- Agrarian Ministries of the Episcopal Church Facebook group
- Cultivate Episcopal Food Movement Facebook page
- Episcopal Beekeepers Facebook page
- The Center for Religion and Environment at Sewanee: University of the South. Subscribe to their newsletter.
- Subscribe to Province III of the Episcopal Church’s by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diocese of Virginia
- 2019 Creation Care Task Force annual report
- 2019 Resolution on Plastics
- 2021 Creation Care Task Force Strategic Goals
Each congregation in the Diocese of Virginia is unique. Having a Green Team within your church means creation care worship, education and action goals can be made meaningful to your own congregation. Environmental justice issues can be addressed at the local level. Even the smallest steps help. The diocesan Creation Care Task Force is here and ready to help. Send us an email at DioceseOfVaCreationCare@gmail.com. Below is a list of additional resources for use by green teams in local congregations.
- The Episcopal Church’s vision for creation care.
- Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake’s Faithful Green Leaders Training Program.
- Blessed Tomorrow offers this Moving Forward Guide to help congregations plan action steps
- Interfaith Power and Light
- Virginia Interfaith Power and Light
- Greening Congregations Handbook: Stories, Ideas, and Resources for Cultivating Creation Awareness and Care in Your Congregation is an excellent resource and includes tools for worship, education, forming mission statements and moving into community outreach.
- How do I begin to help my Planet? Ideas to help you get started.
Climate Change is already happening with unequal impact. How should we respond? To learn about The Episcopal Church’s position, watch, Let’s Talk Faith and Climate, a co-production between The Episcopal Church and ecoAmerica’s Blessed Tomorrow program.
The Episcopal Church Task Force on Creation Care and Environmental Racism is offering grants for appropriate projects now. Deadline to apply is April 16, 2021 at 5 p.m. Learn more and apply. Watch this webinar recording for additional information on this grant.
- ecoAmerica’s Webcast Series: Let’s Talk Climate
- Creation Justice Ministries offer ways to work toward climate justice and resilience.
- Download a Creation Justice Resilience Guide.
- Local Action, National Purpose: Five Ways to Take Action Now on Climate: a webinar from Blessed Tomorrow.
Many people feel overwhelmed by the enormity of our environmental challenges. This is a place where the Church is called to be present. Worship and prayer are pathways for celebrating God’s creation. They are also vehicles for lament, confession, supplication, healing and hope. Read here to learn more about climate anxiety:
- Hope and Mourning in the Anthropocene: Understanding Ecological Grief
- Public Perception: How Americans See Climate Change
The Episcopal Church and other faith-based organizations offer excellent resources:
- Reviving Creation: The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Missioner for Creation Care in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, focuses on these issues on her website. She hosted an online class, “Preaching Hope in a Time of Climate Crisis” March 3, 10 and 17. Learn more.
- Blessed Tomorrow: Blessed Tomorrow is a coalition of diverse religious partners working to advance climate solutions in faithful service to God.
- Read this booklet: Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications and Guidance.
- Watch this webinar: My Neighbor is Hurting: How to Serve Those Experiencing Climate Stress and Grief
- Creation Care Alliance: Creation Care Alliance offers eco-grief circles for safe conversation and support.
- John Luther Adams: The arts provide a way to express grief in a different way. One example is the music of John Luther Adams. Watch this video or read this article to learn more.
- For Children and Youth: The Hopeful Family: Building Resilient Children in Uncertain Times by Amelia Richardson Dress has helpful points and good questions for group discussion. This article also provides more ideas on how to talk about climate anxiety with youth and children.
St. James’s Children’s Center, Richmond, Brings the Farm to the City
An introduction to nature can’t start too early. Children living in an urban area often have few opportunities to be exposed to farm animals, and field trips have been limited this year due to Covid. The Children’s Center, with the help of Caromont Farm, decided to bring the animals to the children. The photos tell the story!
St. James’, Warrenton, Transitions to LED Lighting
In 2019, St. James’ in Warrenton engaged in a complete re-lamping project in cooperation with Dominion Power and their sponsored contractor, Electric & Lighting Solutions of Richmond. The scope of this project included two phases. Phase one involved replacing all incandescent lighting with appropriate LED lighting. This was done completely at Dominion’s expense, with the exception of replacing several dimmers at a modest fee. The second phase involved replacing all fluorescent fixtures with LED fixtures. In this phase Dominion covered 30% of the cost. Electric & Lighting Solutions estimated the payback period for phase two is approximately 38 months. The observable effect of this project is higher lighting levels in the nave, parish hall and other areas of the church with a reduced cost. Due to COVID induced closures, month-by-month cost comparisons have not yet been made, but the savings are expected to be significant. For more information, contact St. James’.
Catholic Diocese of Richmond Transitions Seven Diocesan Entities to Solar Power
In response to Pope Francis’ call to care for creation, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond has partnered with Catholic Energies, a service of Washington-based nonprofit Catholic Climate Covenant, to install solar panels and/or complete LED lighting retrofits in four churches, two schools and the diocesan Pastoral Center. According to Catholic Energies, the projects will save more than $2 million in energy and operating costs during the term of the solar agreements and generate over 1.6 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity each year for decades to come. Learn more about this project.
Community Garden at All Souls’, Mechanicsville
The Community Garden at All Souls’, Mechanicsville, produced spring, summer, and fall crops last year. Over 18 thousand pounds of fresh, beautiful vegetables were grown and distributed to people in need in the Mechanicsville area. Guests are always welcome! If you’d like to learn more about the All Souls garden, contact Lee Hanchey, Senior Warden.
Browse resources from The Episcopal Church on community gardens:
- Good News Gardens: Join the movement – Plant, Pray & Proclaim! Sign up for their monthly newsletter.
- How to Host a Community Garden: A webinar explaining how to pull together community members to plan, build and manage a garden.
- Harvesting Abundance: Local Initiatives of Food and Faith by Brian Sellers-Petersen: Engaging stories of the church in action.
- Food and Faith Podcast: Conversations from the soil and across the table, distributed weekly.
- Agrarian Ministries Facebook group
- Episcopal Beekeepers Facebook group
- Cultivate: Episcopal Food Movement Facebook group
Aluminum Pop Tabs Benefit the Richmond Ronald McDonald House
St. James’ the Less, Ashland, collects aluminum pop tabs to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities. Collecting and recycling pop tabs brings in additional funds for this “home away from home” for parents and their hospitalized children.
April 11, 2 p.m. | 3rd annual Interfaith Summit CREW
April 16, 5 p.m. | Deadline for submitting creation care grant applications. Learn about applying.
April 18-21 | Ecumenical Advocacy Days “Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored”
April 21 | National Hanging Out Day Clothes driers use a large percentage of home energy. Use a clothesline this spring.
April 22 | Earth Day Click to request printed Earth Day resources.
April 25 | Rogation Sunday
April 27-29 | American Climate Leadership Summit: Ambition, Restoration, Justice
April 30 | Arbor Day
June 21-27 | National Pollinator Week
September 1 - October 4 | Season of Creation
Other Episcopal & Interfaith Resources
- Blessed Tomorrow (a program of ecoAmerica) is an Episcopal-supported faith network with webinars, information and support groups.
- Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW) is a Massachusetts-based group which helps communities plan for weather resilience with environmental Justice a priority.
- Creation Care Alliance has excellent resources and provides eco-grief circles for individual support in climate grief.
- Creation Justice Ministries Information on climate resilience.
- Dayenu is a Jewish community devoted to climate concerns.
- Greenfaith The Rev. Fletcher Harper is Executive Director.
- Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake
- Interfaith Power & Light
- Reviving Creation Read past newsletters or sign up to receive the Reviving Creation newsletter monthly.
- Sacred Earth Community
- The Society of St. Andrew is a leader in preventing food waste. It brings people together to glean and share healthy farm produce that would otherwise be wasted.
- Southeast Faith Leaders Network is a collaborative effort building sustainable grassroots power by lifting up the principles and values of a just transition throughout the southeast United States.
- Virginia Interfaith Power and Light
Resources Outside of the Faith Network
- Broken Ground podcast by the Southern Environmental Law Center centering on Southerners living along the coast, navigating sea level rises.
- Caucus on Climate Change and Mental Health (American Psychology Association)
- Chesapeake Bay Trust works for and provides grants to other nonprofits for a healthy Bay and its tributaries.
- Citizen Climate Lobby focuses specifically on climate change. There are numerous chapters around Virginia and the U.S. View recordings of past guest speakers on their website or Facebook page.
- Climate Psychology Alliance has excellent resources including “toolkits” for dealing with extreme heat.
- Earth911 Provides good advice on recycling including where and how.
- Friends of the Rappahannock works toward the health of the Rappahannock River and its tributaries.
- Mothers & Others for Clean Air
- Piedmont Environmental Council supports work on and provides a weekly email digest of environmental issues in Piedmont Virginia.
- Science Moms is a group formed by Katharine Hayhoe to educate and motivate mothers for a healthy planet.
- Sierra Club works to protect wildlife, wild places, and working for environmental justice.
- Virginia Conservation Network focuses and reports on specific legislation and related events within the Virginia General Assembly.
- Virginia Green Initiative encourages communities to take innovative steps to reduce energy usage and promote sustainability.
- Virginia Outdoors Foundation works toward protecting open and farm land.
- Zero Waste Food Management