Pacific Northwest Annual Conference
 Creation-Care, 365

 PNW United Methodists
Caring for God's Creation

Creation Quote:
PNW Annual Conference

Tools for Renewal:
"Hope for Eco-Activists"

Small Steps:
Environmental Priorities Action Alerts

Lectionary Links

Events & Actions:

Creation Keeper:
Pastor Laurie Sardinia

UMC Creation-Care News


Find us on Facebook

Join Our Mailing List



...and let us know:
  • what you'd like to see in this e-resource
  • of creation-care resources, news, and events
  • about "Creation Keepers" in your church and throughout our Conference 
"CC-365" Archives
Please click on the above link to find an indexed list of our archived issues.
Issue #64 "Environmental Priorities 2013"
January 8, 2013
Olympia Capital Building
On this eighth day of a fresh, new year, many of us may be living into new resolutions -- commitments to better, more faithful living in the year(s) to come.  Three years ago, at Annual Conference, fellow United Methodists made several resolutions for the coming year.  In one, "Call to Hope and Action," we resolved to be more faithful advocates with/for God's creation (please see the "Creation Quote" below).  We resolved to be more faithful advocates with God's creation -- especially those members of God's creation that lack the sort of voices that gain attention of legislators and other decision makers.

We have some excellent resources for living into this resolution.  One of the most important is our decision (continued within the 2010 Resolution) to receive guidance from an excellent, state-wide coalition called the "Environmental Priorities Coalition."  This coalition has carefully researched and chosen three legislative priorities for 2013:
  • Toxic-Free Kids & FamiliesThis commonsense legislation will remove unnecessary flame retardants from children's products and furniture in our homes and prevent chemicals identified by the state as a concern for kids health from being used as replacements.
  • Clean Energy Solutions - This priority would drive Washington  forward by developing a climate policy that accelerates clean energy  investment and helps free consumers from the economic dead weight of  fossil fuel dependence.   
  • Conservation Works - This Priority promotes fiscally-responsible projects that benefit the entire state by protecting Puget Sound, reducing toxic runoff, expanding recreation opportunities, and improving habitat and forest health. These projects preserve the incredible natural resources that make our state a great place to live, work, and raise a family. 

You can learn more about these priorities through the above links and through the events (e.g., Legislative Workshops on Jan. 5 & 12 and Feb. 19) and resources below.


God bless us and strengthen us in all that we resolve to do and be.


Grace and Peace be with you,

Creation-Care Projects Coordinator

PNW Office of Connectional Ministries      

QuoteCreation Quotes

Pacific Northwest Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church  PNW Logo

From Annual Conference 2010 Resolution, "Call to Hope and Action"


"Be it resolved that the PNW Conference of the United Methodist Church will explore ways of encouraging and supporting environmental advocacy through partnership with Earth Ministry in the State of Washington and in the NW region . . . 'We pledge to advocate for justice and peace in the halls of power... .'"


 SmallStepsTools for Renewal
"Hope for Eco-Activists:
Discovering an Environmental Faith"
From Unbound Journal
Unbound Eco-Hope
Image: from Unbound, "Mark�ing the start of . . . UN cli�mate nego�ti�a�tions, activists from. . . Green�peace raise a sym�bolic wind tur�bine on a Dur�ban beach."

Unbound Journal is "An Interactive Journal for Christian Social Justice."  Unbound's November-January issue, "Hope for Eco-Activists: Discovering an Environmental Faith," explores relational and spiritual foundations of a life devoted to sustainability and environmental justice.  "Open�ing Editorials" include: " Environmental Hope: A Better Approach for a Tougher Climate" (Patrick David Heery) and " Sacred Healing for Grieving Earth-Justice Seekers" (Diane Waddell). A feast for the soul, the issue's contents includes rich articles related to the following headings:
  • Eco-Spirituality
  • Eco-Relationships
  • Eco-Community
  • Eco-Justice
  • Eco-Living
  • Eco-Art
  • Eco-Action and Resources  

May we all find hope and healing in these readings!  

Small_StepsSmall Steps... for Greater Good
Environmental Priorities Action Alerts

network of 25 leading environmental and faith-based groups in Washington State that influence policy at the state level.  Over the last ten years, this coalition has carefully researched and prioritized legislative acts that can have a very beneficial impact on creation -- locally and beyond.  You can also be part of this dynamic network by signing up for their action alerts.



Please click here to receive the Environmental Priorities Coalition's email action alerts: "This is the single best way to keep updated on critical environmental issues in Washington State."


Lectionary Links
Some excellent, on-line sermon helps -- most of which coincide with the Revised Common Lectionary:
Events & Actions
Winter 2013
Creation Keeper
Pastor Laurie Sardinia
Littlerock UMC, Littlerock (WA)
Laurie Sardinia
In her letter below, Laurie Sardinia -- pastor of Littlerock UMC -- shares a glimpse of what creation-care looks like in her own neck of the woods (near Olympia).  May God bless and strengthen you and your family, Laurie, in expressing your care for God's world in very practical, hopeful ways!


"As an environmentalist and the partner, then spouse, of a fairly radical environmentalist, I entered into this lifestyle before I had returned to my walk with God and the faith of my childhood. One of the many things that helped to draw me back into a relationship with God and Christ, and into the United Methodist church, was the Creation/environmental movement connection. I realized that my respect and love of the natural world and my growing faith were harmonious, complimentary. It gradually came to me that living here, keeping this small space safe, leading an intentional, somewhat more simple life, was a big part of how I was following and serving God.


"[Our family's] primary focus for the past 20 years has been to live intentionally. When possible, rather than just accept the way things are done, we made decisions based on understanding, experience and personal conviction.


Laurie Sardinia's house
Photo of the front of Laurie Sardinia's house

"...Based on the significant damage caused by the Centralia coal fired power plant and fisheries issues with hydro-power, we made a decision not to be on the grid. This has meant living with, at times, no electricity, and then very limited electricity. I am in the process of installing some photovoltaic solar panels now, a very slow process due to serious money and time constraints. I use car batteries charged at another location (yes, from the grid), relying on their limited capacity and the effort required to keep usage low. We have only compact-fluorescent and LED lights, propane for cooking and wood heat in a re-burner wood stove to minimize particulate and gas emissions. House temperature is 60-68 degrees.


"A decision was made to build the house with as limited impact as possible. Site location was chosen to be above potential high waters in this little valley and on a spot, which had no trees older than 3-4 years. The house was built without foundation, on pier blocks, with about 40% recycled materials (26 years ago, before re-stores had become more common). If the house were torn down, the area would return to a completely natural state within a very few years. Working right now on re-insulating using recycled jeans and/or wool.


"In past years, we raised food animals for personal use, focusing on small animals to balance impact - sheep, turkeys, ducks, pheasants, rabbits and chickens. Currently I only have egg laying chickens and my daughter's horse.


"The property is 16 acres: three adjoining parcels. The surrounding area, a large rural property used previously for agriculture and also containing the remnants of oak groves, has been broken up into 5-acre lots. The idea we had was to preserve an area larger than 5 acres, maintaining and promoting significant, contiguous 'wild' portions. So there is a large portion that is wetlands - mature ash, poplar, and oak trees (which have been wired against beaver incursion) -and only a small area that is permanently fenced (for animal pens/sheds/garden).


Mature Oak Trees
Mature oak trees on Laurie's land

"One goal has been restoration of the oaks, including some very limited selective cutting of other trees to encourage their growth, and restoration of salmon to the small creek which flows through the property. We have worked with neighbors (with varying success), Thurston co., the Nisqually Nation (Stream Stewards) and WA fish and wildlife. We started seeing a late run of wild coho about 7 years ago.


"So all of this sounds very ambitious and fine, but things have not always gone smoothly or as intended. In some cases, what is being done is not necessarily the 'greenest,' most efficient, or terribly attractive. It is definitely a work in progress (and probably always will be!) and, again, is mostly an exercise in intentionality - think about what we are doing before we do it, both large scale and on a daily basis. Another point, which arose somewhat from 80s environmental activism, was to demonstrate that money need not be the central issue. You don't always need to use the most advanced (expensive) technology, or conform to general cultural expectations. Nor do you need to be able to do it all at once. It's more about redefining what is truly necessary and/or important to how you live.


"There are a great many more things I could write about, good and bad experiences over the past 20 years. ...I will offer one story: Several years ago, shortly after the salmon run had returned to the creek, Thurston county decided to put in a bridge to replace the culvert which went under Bald Hill Road for Lackamas Creek (just upstream from us). There was a Washington Fish and Wildlife biologist assigned to oversee the project, which was designed for flood mitigation and fish enhancement.


"When the biologist went on vacation, there were insufficient funds for a replacement and the contractor, either in error or trying to cut costs, laid down inappropriate rock in the creek bed. Lackamas Creek runs very low in the summer, which is when construction was taking place, but it doesn't ever run completely dry. The large load of the wrong kind of rock cut off the flow entirely. We were left with large but rapidly shrinking puddles. Salmon fry, small fish, crayfish and other inhabitants were threatened. [My daughter] Ruth, 13, was horrified. She went up under the new bridge and tried to create a channel, moving rocks with her hands and a small shovel. She prevailed on her father to help, but it was insufficient. I started calling - the county, who referred me to the state, where I got the voicemail of the vacationing biologist that referred me to an emergency number in Snohomish. The biologist there was also horrified and was onsite within 24 hours. He enjoined the contractor to immediately provide mitigation, but 'immediately' was an additional 48 hours. By that time, all the stream dependent life on our property had died. We don't the full extent of the damage downstream.


"A positive aspect for Ruth, and me, was that we were put in touch with Nisqually Stream Stewards. Since then we have received training in and performed salmon monitoring and Ruth completed Stream Steward training - a fairly extensive, 80-hour classroom/fieldwork class. For her, the idea of Creation care has never been separate from her faith journey. As she recently put it, 'I'm not sure how accurate God talk is, but I've always thought we were told to take care of the earth.'"


UMC Creation-Care News
"Creation-Care, 365" is a free, e-resource of the PNW Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Subscribers are welcome to reprint any/all of the materials contained within; cite "Creation-Care, 365," Thanks and God bless you in your creation-caring efforts.