The mission of the Creation Care Task Force is to be a sustainable and inclusive network of Episcopalians in the Diocese of Virginia committed to faithfully uplifting, stewarding and protecting God’s Creation.
The Task Force successfully presented R-6: Declaration of Climate Emergency, Commitment to Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2045, and adoption of Episcopal Covenant for the Care of Creation to the 227th Convention in November 2021, which was passed by Convention.
The Creation Care Task Force has working groups focused on three key areas of ministry: Gardening, NetZero greenhouse gas emissions, and Eco-Grief. Click here to learn more.
Questions? Contact Stacey Remick-Simkins, Task Force Chair, at DOVA.CCTF@gmail.com.
Stacey Remick-Simkins, Chair
Stacey Remick-Simkins has worked at George Mason University for 25 years as a program coordinator and a long-time community activist within the university. She helped form and has continued to serve on the Staff Senate, served on the board of the Virginia Governmental Employees Association from 2012-2019 and now is serving on the George Mason University College of Humanities and Social Sciences Inclusive Excellence Advisory Council. She is a certified Master Naturalist with the Fairfax Virginia Chapter involved with such projects as the Frogwatch, Bluebird nest box monitoring projects throughout the state, completing photographic portfolios of habitat restoration projects for various organizations, serves as a Nature Conservancy Preserve Steward for Fraser Preserve in Great Falls and Voorhees Preserve outside of King George, Virginia. She serves as a member of the Vestry and Creation Care Ministry team at St. Peter's in the Woods, Fairfax Station, which is an Audubon Sanctuary.
The Rev. Mary Kay Brown
Chair, Eco-Grief Working Group
Kathy Ellis is a 70+ year old grandmother with deep concerns about both the future of our planet and the emotional and spiritual implications for young people who will live on it. She has degrees in both biology and nursing and retired after a career in community health. She mentored EfM and, chairs the Green Team at St. James’, Warrenton, and serves on the Burial Ground Committee at Little Fork Parish, Rixeyville. A lifelong Virginian with roots in both the foothills of the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay, she is a voracious reader of classics, lives on a family farm (now in conservation easement) where she plants trees and is continually learning about sustainable agriculture.
The Rev. Deacon Courtenay Evans
Chair, Garden Working Group
Deacon at Buck Mountain Parish, Earlysville, Courtenay Evans was ordained in 2021 to the Vocational Diaconate. As a Deacon, Courtenay feels called towards garden and creation care ministry. Courtenay also works at Christ Church, Charlottesville, as the Outreach Minister and Newcomer Liaison. You will often see Courtenay in the Buck Mountain food pantry garden or in her spare time, taking long walks, mountain biking or practicing yoga!
Doug Gehley, AIA, LEED AP
Co-Chair, NetZero Working Group
Doug Gehley is a member of Church of the Holy Cross, Dunn Loring. He is an Architect with over 40 years experience designing and shepherding to completion learning environments in the Mid-Atlantic region, and sustainable design has been his passion since his college days at UVA and VPI. Experienced in all aspects of design leadership, Doug brings a wealth of collaborative know-how and sensitivity to client and community needs to each project and initiative. He constantly seeks out the latest in best practices to elevate design dialogue and further conversations about 21st century learning environments. He has experience working for public and independent schools and universities, government institutions, and ecclesiastical organizations.
An established leader in the sustainable design field, Doug served as the first chair on the US Green Building Council’s National Capital Region (2001-2004) as well as co-chair of the organizations Green Schools Committee (2012-2013). He is the author of several articles and presentations on sustainable school design, including an article for ARCHITECT Magazine, “Class Session: What’s New in Green Schools.” He is the past Board of Directors member for Casey Trees, the non-profit whose goal is to replenish the tree canopy in Washington DC.
Mary Haberl, Ed.D
Co-Chair, NetZero Working Group
Mary has been an advocate for environmental education in schools and institutions in the communities where she and her family lived as teacher, principal, executive director, college professor and Member of BOD positions for several sustainable for-profit and non-profit businesses in New York and Virginia to include ownership of SolarFour LLC. She is a member of St. David’s, Ashburn.
Why is Mary involved in sustainable educational programming? For her children and grandchildren, that they will always enjoy the earthly wonders of the world.
Barry O'Keefe is an artist and arts educator in Richmond. He teaches at VCU and works with several local arts nonprofits, creating murals, prints and sculpture that often engage with ecological themes. In 2019 he helped start Richmond's chapter of the international climate action group Extinction Rebellion. XR Richmond led a coalition of local organizations working on Richmond's Declaration of Climate Emergency, which was passed unanimously by Richmond City Council on September 13, 2021. He is a member of St. Stephen's Environmental Stewardship ministry at St. Stephen's, Richmond.
Dr. Nancy D. Searby
Dr. Searby manages the NASA Headquarters Earth Sciences Capacity Building Program in Washington DC, USA. Nancy champions applying Earth Science data to decisions and actions that improve society. Through training, feasibility projects, and services co-development through programs called ARSET, DEVELOP, and SERVIR, the program builds individual and institutional capacity In the United States, in and through regional networks in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, and globally to improve disaster resilience, biodiversity and ecosystem sustainability, water resources management, public health surveillance, and food security and sustainable agriculture. She participates in the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and regional AmeriGEO, and serves as Co-Chair of the GEO Capacity Development (CD) Working Group (WG), Co-Chair of the Inter-American CD WG, and Chair of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites’ WG on Capacity Building and Data Democracy. Dr. Searby was primary author and researcher on Resolution R-6 that passed at the 227th Diocesan Convention in November 2021. She is a member of St. Dunstan’s, McLean.
Hello, my name is Sharon Wayne. I am a native of Richmond, Virginia, but I have lived in many parts of the US. While I have a BS degree in psychology, I consider most of my education as a self-taught journey. I am extremely interested in all things environmental. It is my love of nature and my wellness journey that has made this especially important to me. I study every day on ways to reduce my personal toxic load, as well as those I may impose on others. I approach this from several directions including the use of essential oils. I do not use toxic chemicals and commercial cleaning products, insect repellent, or toxic lawn care. I have solar power and I utilize air purification and water purification for pH balance. This has also been a vehicle to reduce the cleaning products I use. I have been very mindful of environmental choices in the renovation work I have been doing for 31 years including recycling and up cycling. My role on the Creation Care Task Force is a humble one. We have such wonderful informed talent that do the heavy lifting. I come to this group from a perspective of "the man on the street." It is my intention to bring awareness to the larger community as a spark plug for the work we do. It is my honor to serve.
Sharon served for three years as a member of the original Creation Care Task Force before being reappointed to the current Creation Care Task Force. She is a member of St. James's, Richmond.
The Rev. Kristin P.R. Wickersham, SOSc
Mother Kristin serves as the Associate Rector at St. Thomas, Richmond. She is a second-career priest and the mother of two daughters. In addition to her Master of Divinity, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry. In her first career, she was an environmental chemist with the U.S. EPA where she specialized in surface water quality standards. Following work at Headquarters in Washington, D.C., she transferred to Connecticut where she led work to create a geographic information system and water quality model for the Long Island Sound. At seminary, Mtr. Kristin’s theological studies included course work in ecotheology and the interrelationships of religion and nature. She is an associate member of the international Society of Ordained Scientists and was appointed to the Creation Care Task Force in 2021. She also serves the Diocese on the Committee on Constitution and Canons and the Standing Committee.