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|Issue #53 "Another Year of Caring" ||June 29, 2012|
As Annual Conference season gives way to summer, I pray that these fruitful days find you and yours enjoying God's blessed Earth.
It was a gift to spend time with many creation-caring friends at our recent PNW Annual Conference. At our Creation-Care gathering last Thursday, some of you shared brief stories of how you, your congreg
ations, and your broader communities are engaging in creative ministries to care for God's creation. We heard of life-giving efforts ranging from introducing homeless children in the natural world, to living "off the grid," to creating/sustaining trails for walking and bicycling. Throughout the coming year, Creation-Care, 365
readers will have a chance to hear these stories and many others in greater detail.
At Annual Conference, our PNW Office of Connectional Ministries (OCM)/Creation-Care Projects team introduced a new initiative: "Climate Justice Ministries."
This initiative will identify and celebrate those local churches/ministries that are working to address global climate change: perhaps the most all-encompassing, creation-care challenge of our day.* This initiative will announce such congregations to the broader community -- helping church-seekers to easily identify congregations/ministries that see climate justice as an imperative
To learn more about this initiative, please see the "Tools for Renewal
" section below. You may also want to download the initiative's flier
and/or watch the video from Annual Conference
that introduces this initiative.
Grace and Peace be with you,
Creation-Care Project Coordinator
PNW Office of Connectional Ministries
*For a few examples of UMC concerns about/responses to global climate change, please see the Council of Bishops' pastoral letter/foundational document, UMC Social Principles and Resolutions (click on "Our Beliefs"), and the UMW's Carbon Footprint Toolkit.
|Small Steps... for Greater Good|
|United Methodists Respond to Japan Tsunami Marine Debris
Excerpted directly from the "Vancouver District Connection" e-newsletter
The PNW Annual Conference has a team of interested persons who are watching over the situation of tsunami debris that will begin to reach the Washington Coast this summer, fall, and winter. At this time, we are not sure how much our coast will be affected but we are preparing for various stages of response.
The Grass Roots Garbage Gang
Pacific County, cleanup day in the Long Beach area, July 5, providing cleanup bags and instructions at numerous beach access points. Also need volunteers to pass out garbage bags to beach users on July 4 to reduce the amount of litter to be picked up. More info at http://www.ourbeach.org.
International Coastal Clean Up Day
September 15; join a world wide effort to clean up our coasts; check out the Ocean Conservancy website to keep current www.oceanconservancy.org also check
If you are at the beach this summer and you find debris, be safe: If you don't know what something is, don't touch it. Collect as much information from a safe distance as you can -- including photos -- and report to DisasterDebris@noaa.gov. If the item appears unusual or hazardous, contact the local authorities for specific guidance and instructions.
|Tools for Renewal|
| NEW INITIATIVE:
"Climate-Justice Ministry" Designation
A project of the PNW Conference
"Climate Justice Ministry" Icon
Our PNW Office of Connectional Ministries would like to recognize and announce those churches/agencies that are working to understand and reduce their "carbon footprints." We will do so -- on our online church/ministry directory and at Annual Conference 2013 -- by designating such ministries with the "Climate Justice Ministry" icon that appears to the right.
As church-seekers browse our online, PNW Church & Ministry Directory, they will be able to look for church according to this designation -- they'll be able to match their creation-caring values with the life of your ministry. If your congregation/ministry has already measured its "carbon footprint" and taken steps to reduce it, please contact Tanya Barnett so that we can give you this designation.
If your congregation/ministry would like to receive this "Climate Justice Ministry" designation, please follow these steps:
- Please visit the UMW's Carbon Footprint Toolkit and read "What is a 'carbon footprint?'" and "Why is it important to reduce our carbon footprint?"
- Calculate your congregation/ministry's carbon footprint by using Interfaith Power & Light's "Congregational Calculator" at www.coolcongregations.org.
- Based on these calculations, identify at least 3 priority actions for reducing your congregation/ministry's carbon footprint.
- Develop and enact an action plan for addressing these 3 priority actions - please contact Tanya Barnett if you would like help with this step.
- Prior to Annual Conference 2013, report your church's progress to Tanya Barnett
Throughout the 2012-2013 year, all churches and ministries that make reasonable progress toward addressing their 3 priority actions will:
- Receive the "Climate Justice Ministry" designation (pictured above) in our PNW Church & Ministry Directory
- Receive special recognition at Annual Conference 2013
If you'd like to learn more, please contact Tanya Barnett, Creation-Care Projects Coordinator, PNW Office of Connectional Ministries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, and blessings on your ministry.
|Some excellent on-line sermon helps -- most of which coincide with the Revised Common Lectionary:|
|Events & Actions|
|Summer 2012 |
|365 Days of UM Inspirations |
Creation Keepers' year in review
Since Annual Conference 2011,* Creation-Care, 365 has featured over 26 "Creation-Keepers" -- individuals and congregations throughout our region who are engaging in creation-care in practical, inspiring, faith-filled ways. Below you'll find a compilation of these amazing people and their efforts, with links to the archived issue in which they are profiled (when you open each archive, please click on "Creation Keeper" in the left-hand column). Together, these Creation Keepers display great faith, creativity, and hope for God's renewed creation. Thanks and blessings to you all!
- Bothell UMC (Bothell, WA): Food bank and community gardens ministries
- Rev. Joel Aosved/Winds of Grace (Bellingham, WA) "A Maritime Ministry of Presence and Sustainability"
- Camp Birchwood (Chugiak, AK): Climate-caring youth
(Seattle, WA): Clean neighborhood, caring church
(Langley, WA): Greening worship, transportation, and education
- Edmonds UMC (Edmonds, WA): Comprehensive composting, energy audits, creation-caring worship and other actions
- Blaine Memorial UMC (Seattle, WA): Food bank gardens and composting
- Joesph UMC (Joseph, OR): Gardens vs. childhood obesity
- Trinity UMC (Seattle, WA): Energy retrofits, gardens, greening worship and education
- Cheney UMC (Cheney, WA): EPA Energy Star Congregation
- Rev. Mary Brown (Snoqualmie UMC, WA): Life-long creation-care minister
- Rev. Paul Graves (Sandpoint UMC, ID): Creation-care preacher
- Cass Community UMC (Detroit, MI): Solar panels, green jobs, recycling, fighting obesity, and pedal-powered energy
- Wesley UMC (Yakima, WA): "Recycling Heroes"
- Queen Anne UMC (Seattle, WA): In-home blessing of the animals and farmers market gleaning
- Denis Long (Grangeville, WA): Creation-caring rancher and pastor
- First UMC Bellevue, WA: Creation-caring field trips, forums, and preaching
- Sander & Jan Kallshain: Seattle Seed Company
- Valley & Mountain UMC (Seattle, WA): "Green from the Start"
- Pat Watkins (VA Conference): "Caretakers of God's Creation"
- Gretchen Engle/PNW Office of Bishop: Measuring and reducing our carbon footprint
*To view the "Creation Keepers' year in review" between 2009-2010, please click here.