Wondering where to find resources for creation care? Trying to start an Earth Care or Environmental group in your church?
The most comprehensive source is Creation Care section of The Episcopal Church website It is regularly updated with ideas and links, and also has an email list that you can join. Plus, right now you can apply for a grant or get involved in the solar farm project.
Read more about the Diocesan Solar Farm Project here.
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE 200TH CONVENTION OF THE DIOCESE OF MAINE
Establishing Community Solar Farms
St. Luke’s Public Policy and Environmental Action Team
RESOLVED that the Diocese of Maine comments the Governor of the State of Maine for setting the goal of being carbon neutral by 2045, with 80 percent renewable energy for the State by 2030, up from 40 percent today and a goal of 100 percent by 2050; and be it further
RESOLVED that the Diocese of Maine supports these same goals for our congregations and diocesan buildings and ministries, and encourages our parishioners to do the same in their homes and business; and be it further
RESOLVED that the Diocese of Maine honors the congregations who have begun exploring the possibility of obtaining their electricity through community solar farms and encourages all congregations to consider the same and to encourage their ecumenical and interfaith neighbors to join these efforts; and be it further
RESOLVED that the Bishop be asked to appoint a body to help guide this process, working with public and private sectors and report back to Diocesan Convention on this matter in 2020.
According to Genesis 1:2, light was the first created element and is, thus, foundational to the rest of God's created order as well as to the Christian story.
Increased carbon emissions associated with human-produced industrial development has contributed mightily to an increase in Earth's average temperatures the past two centuries (https://www.ipcc.ch/).
The Rev. Jim Antal asserts that "[b]ecause Christians regard God as Creator, the church must proclaim God's love for creation and work to stop humanity from running Genesis in reverse." Climate Church, Climate World (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018, p. 48).
Solar farms are among the top ten most viable options for halting catastrophic global warming, potentially eliminating 36.9 gigatons of CO2 emissions by 2050 (https://www.drawdown.org/solutions/electricity-generation/solar-farms).
In his most recent book, Falter (Henry Holt, 2019), climate activist Bill McKibben argues that solar power, by virtue of being distributed energy, cannot be controlled by elite interests in the way that has become the case for fossil fuels. This technical quality of energy generation resonates with the spirit of promoting justice that constitutes part of the Episcopal Church's mission (Catechism, BCP, p. 855).
Taking action to promote solar generation at the Diocesan level would follow in the spirit of General Convention Resolution D053 "Stewardship of Creation with Church-owned Land" adopted in 2018.
The Diocese already has members with technical expertise and connections who can take leadership roles in overseeing and implementing this project.
Recent changes in Maine state law make CSFs more feasible just as the need for concrete, collective action is at its more urgent point.
Learn more in this letter to the Diocese: Exploring Faith Based Community Solar Farm Project 9/20/19
Portland Press Herald article: Faith groups exploring solar power possibility 10/30/19
FMI contact John Hennessy
Other sources on this page are grouped under these headings:
If you have additional resources that you think should be added to this page, would like to discuss any of the items or have quesions, please be in touch with Sarah Braik, , and/or Liz Parsons, . Sarah and Liz lead the Cathedral of St. Luke's Eco-Justice/Creation Care team and would love to hear from you!
The Green Faith Christian Resources webpage has tips, prayers, sermons, music, and journal articles to help Christians integrate care for the earth into worship services and people's spiritual lives.
There are prayers for Rogation, Garden Blessings, and Liturgical Materials for Honoring God in Creation (beginning on p.289) of the online Book of Occasional Services 2018.
You can download a liturgy from the Church of the Woods, which is an outdoor Episcopal church in New Hampshire.
Ask other Episcopal churches in Maine and you'll find a variety of creative worship services that emphasize the earth, including Celtic evening worship (at St. Alban's in Cape Elizabeth), creation-centered evening worship (at the Cathedral), and special Eucharists in spring or harvest season (at St. Paul's in Brunswick and St. Columba's in Boothbay). There are more every year.
Have a summer worship service outside - like the Mass on the Grass offered together by St. John's in Brownville Junction and St. Augustine's Dover-Foxcroft.
Experience the outdoors together as a church and invite the community - plan a hiking trip, picnic, etc.
Rev. Nathan Ferrell at The Episcopal Church of St. Mary in Falmouth has researched Conservation Burials.
Check out the articles and links at the Creation Care section of The Episcopal Church website.
The Rev. Jerry Cappel developed the concept of the Deep Green Church. He says, "We need a shift from seeing this as an environmental crisis to seeing it as a faith crisis." He recommends a spiritual transformation for each congregation from being a Light Green Church which advocates for creation into being Deep Green Church which is in kinship with creation.
If you're interested in advocacy for the environment, check out the Maine Episcopal Network for Justice and join their email list and facebook group.
See the top of the page for information about the Solar Farm project for Maine churches.
Host a storm window building project for your community through Window Dressers, like St. Paul's Church in Brunswick did.
Build and bless recycling and trash stations, and then teach all the groups who use your church how to use them - like St. Paul's Church in Brunswick did.
Create a community garden with and for your neighbors - like St. Patrick's Church in Brewer did.
Make your church building green.
Subscribe to the email list at the Creation Care section of The Episcopal Church website.
Check out the Creation Care pages on other churches' websites. Here is the link to the Cathedral's pages.
If you want advice about starting a group at your own church or creating a web page, you are invited to contact volunteers Liz Parsons or Sarah Braik at the Cathedral.
Finally, in the words of Sarah Braik, "Immerse yourself in the natural world...Fall in love with it. You are part of God's creation."