Pacific Northwest Annual Conference
 Creation-Care, 365

 PNW United Methodists
Caring for God's Creation

Prayer before Restorative Work

Small Steps:
"Let's Glean"

Tools for Renewal:
"Congregations Confronting Global Climate Change"

Lectionary Links

Events & Actions:
Summer 2013

Creation Keepers:
"Climate-Justice Ministries" Recipients

UMC Creation-Care News


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"CC-365" Archives
Please click on the above link to find an indexed list of our archived issues.
Issue #72
Caring @ Annual Conference II  
July 1,  2013
AC2013 Logo
What a tremendous gift it was to spend time at Annual Conference with so many sisters and brothers who care so passionately for God's creation!

For all who were not at Annual Conference, this issue of Creation-Care, 365 is a small attempt to share with you some of the encouraging stories and learnings from this experience.  Below, you'll find bits and pieces from our "Change the World" gleaning/farming event, our lively "Congregations Confronting Global Climate Change" luncheon, and recognition of our first Climate-Justice Ministries.

Grace and Peace be with you,

Creation-Care Projects Coordinator

PNW Office of Connectional Ministries   

Prayer before Restorative Work
"Change the World" volunteers offered this prayer before
Change the World gleaners 
A few "Change the World" volunteers at Spencer Fruit Organics farm
they began their gleaning and farming work during PNW Annual Conference 2013.

All: God of all Creation, we come together with You, with one another, and with Your larger family of creation and ask that You:


Bless the ground we "till & tend"* today

One: that it might bring us ever closer to You, our Source and Sustainer;

that it continue to bear the fruits of Your compassion to those who hunger most


All: Bless the tools we use today

One: that they may be "instruments of Your peace," for the healing of all creation


All: Bless the hands - our hands - that You use today

 One: that they may know their strengths and limitations, that they may serve and preserve Your earth


All: Bless our hearts -

One: that they might be renewed through this work of compassion and justice.


All: May this be so. Amen



*Gen. 2:15 reads: "The Lord God took the human and put [the human] in the Garden of Eden to till it and to tend it." In Hebrew, these verbs translate as "to serve/clothe (abad)" and "to preserve/keep in a state of wholeness (shamar)." Today, let us abad & shamar!

 SmallStepsSmall Steps... for Greater Good
"Let's Glean!" 
Lois Hines (right) and Jennifer Crane Pyle gleaning carrots for local food banks

On Friday of Annual Conference 2013, hundreds of United Methodists took part in the Conference's Change the World Events.  Over 30 of these volunteers went to two local farm/garden sites to work with Community Harvest: "a regional gleaning project in the greater Wenatchee Valley [that]... helps farmers manage excess, un-marketable products and makes that gleaned produce accessible to the local community through the region's existing emergency food providers."  UM volunteers not only gleaned (in good biblical fashion) healthy, beautiful produce for local food b
anks, some actually helped to prepare new garden/farm space for future food-bank gardens.  
USDA logo
Please click on this logo to download USDA's "Let's Glean!" toolkit
If you'd like to take part in a gleaning effort "back home," the US Department of Agriculture has produced an excellent toolkit for organizing gleaning projects: "Let's Glean!"
In addition, here are a few of the many organizations already engaging in extensive gleaning efforts.  Please consider getting your hands dirty -- with others in your congregation -- in such joyous, life-giving wo

Regional Gleaning Organizations

Washington State:
Small_StepsTools for Renewal
Resources from "Congregations Confronting Global Climate Change" Luncheon

At our luncheon during Annual Conference 2013, we explored a continuum of faithful, effective responses that congregations can take to confront climate change (see below) -- responses that range from "hands-on" actions (e.g., installing energy-efficient light bulbs) to ones that are more "systemic" (e.g., legislative advocacy) in nature.  All actions along this continuum are important and all can (and perhaps should) be greatly enhanced by accompanying theological reflection and worship experiences.  Please click on this link to download the handout that luncheon participants received -- a handout that includes contact information for all presenters; a snapshot of the continuum; and suggested resources for accompanying worship, theological reflection, and education opportunities.  
Climate Action Continuum

Lectionary Links
Some excellent, on-line sermon helps -- most of which coincide with the Revised Common Lectionary:
Events & Actions
Spring-Summer 2013
Creation Keepers
Carbon Footprint
 2013 "Climate-Justice Ministries" Recipients
If your congregation/ministry is interested in receiving this designation, please click here or email Tanya Barnett.

In their 2009 pastoral letter, "God's Renewed Creation," the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church pledged, "to measure the 'carbon footprint' of our episcopal and denominational offices, determine how to reduce it, and implement those changes. We will urge our congregations, schools, and settings of ministry to do the same." By "carbon footprint," the Bishops were referring to "an estimate of how much carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) is produced to support life activities, including travel and home energy use"; they knew that the greater an individual or institution's "footprint," the greater the negative impact on every life system connected to God's intricate climate systems, especially the poorest of the poor - the poor who contribute the least to this global crisis and bear the greatest hardship for it.   


At Annual Conference 2012, we (the PNW Office of Connectional Ministries) launched our own "Climate Justice Ministries" initiative to encourage and equip congregations to take a "snapshot" of their carbon footprints (whether through a calculator or energy audit). Then, based on this snapshot, each congregation would prioritize at least 3 actions to reduce their carbon footprint in the coming year.


At Annual Conference 2013, we announced and celebrated the first five of our Conference's "Climate Justice Ministries" recipients.  Here is a very quick (and very incomplete) sample of their inspiring, climate justice effort:  

Fairwood Community UMC (Renton, WA) Fairwood UMC Bike

  • Replaced all clear windows with energy-efficient, dual-pane windows

  • Replaced old refrigerator with a more energy-efficient model

  • Replaced 50 incandescent lights with LED bulbs (which use about 1/10th the wattage)

  • Discontinued use of energy-inefficient pop machine

  • Purchased $76/month of green energy from local utility (PSE) to offset their electric use (this is equal to planting 1,750 trees and offsetting 91,093 lbs of C02)

  • Host an annual "Hike-Bike-Carpool Sunday"  

  • Restoring 3.5 acres of forest/trees and wetland area

  •  Named by Earth Ministry as a Greening Congregation  

Federal Way UMC (Auburn, WA) Federal Way UMC 

  • Retrofitted lights in the "old wing" of the church to up-to-date energy-efficient bulbs; This involved changing the lamps (and ballasts) in 51 two lamp fixtures and 20 four lamp fixtures for a total of 182 lamps; this will save 4597 kWh per year
  • Brought in a recycling expert from the city of Federal Way to help build the church's recycling and composting program
  • Providing financial assistance through local utilities to people in the community who are in danger of having their power or water shut off 
Haller Lake UMC (Seattle, WA) Haller Lake UMC
  • Tabulated church electrical and gas heating energy billings for the two previous years for Carbon Footprint calculations  
  •  Attended the Shoreline Solarfest at Shoreline Community College to preview solar electric power feasibility
  • Met with the Director of the Northwest Stream Foundation to verify the safest approach to moss control on the church grounds  
  • Hosted a luncheon with Earth Ministry centered around coal export issues
  • Organized and led a beach clean-up at Camp Indianola

  • Purchased and installed an energy-efficient kitchen range, washing machine, and clothes dryer in the parsonage as replacements were needed

  • Purchased and installed energy-efficient lighting fixtures and ballasts in all offices and meeting areas within the main church facility, as well as the Youth Center building 

  • Purchased and installed LED "EXIT" signs  

  • Purchased, installed, and provided education for the use of two sets of commercial-grade interior recycling and compost containers  

  • Regular participants in Seattle's "Adopt-a-Street" program in a heavily-used, urban area 

Liberty Park UMC (Spokane, WA) Liberty Park UMC

  •  Helped to found the Spokane Alliance, which created the SustainableWorks program -- now a statewide program "pioneering residential neighborhood-based, large scale energy efficiency"
  • Engaged in a program to do energy retrofits to cut costs and increase efficiencies -- a program in which they went door-to door, neighborhood-by- neighborhood to sign up neighbors for energy audits
  • Had building audited and, as a result, replaced their old, inefficient gas furnace; their new, highly efficient gas units -- plus the use of four "heating zones" --  have freed up precious monies for ministry and cut their energy usage in half  
  • Created a community, front-yard garden at the parsonage and associated composting  

Wesley UMC of Yakima (WA) Wesley Green Team

  • First church in the Conference to install solar panels 
  • Hosts the the largest community recycling center in Yakima County -- a program that collects 60,000 pounds of recycleables per monthOrganic Church Garden: produce raised approximately $500 for Solar Project and Noah's Ark; excess veggies donated to NW Harvest

  • Hosted a "Green Education Series"

  • Created a water-efficient, drip-irrigation system for the church vegetable garden
  • Named by Earth Ministry as a Greening Congregation

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.