The new EDOW Creation Care Task Force has leapt into spring 2022, learning and listening to the many exciting ways our parishes are taking care of God’s Creation – and is looking for more examples from you!
Various parishes in the Diocese of Washington have redesigned their grounds to include pollinator gardens, regenerative agriculture, and to better manage water runoff. They’ve planted trees, contemplative gardens, and community food gardens. They’ve eliminated pesticides and gasoline-powered landscaping equipment. Parishes have also seen big savings on energy costs through more efficient lighting and heating equipment, switching to solar, wind power, and geothermal heating and cooling.
Creation care has fostered spiritual growth through developing outdoor worship areas (a real advantage during the pandemic!), labyrinths, Earth care-centered retreats, hikes along the C&O Canal, and stream clean-ups – a favorite activity for energizing young people to join in.
Parishioners have become expert at recycling, reusing, and reducing to zero waste. They’ve also reached outside their church walls through advocacy, educational forums, book discussions, parish presentations, community action for environmental justice, and fruitful partnerships with organizations like Interfaith Power and Light, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, the Washington Interfaith Network, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), Anacostia Watershed Society, Georgetown Ministry Center, Charlie’s Place, Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington, So Others Might Eat, Montgomery County Interfaith Council, and many more.
Charged by Bishop Mariann to learn how our parishes understand God’s call to care for Creation and to take stock of their Creation care activities, the Creation Care Task Force is in the process of making personal calls to all parishes in each of the eight EDOW regions. It has been exciting for Task Force members to hear about all the fruitful work already underway, to gather best practices and information about Creation care efforts, and to brainstorm how the Task Force can offer the most effective assistance.
If you can help us learn more about what your parish is doing or planning, please reach out to the Task Force leadership at [email protected]. The information we acquire will be shared with EDOW parishes, and will guide the next efforts of the Task Force.
The Task Force’s co-chair, Doug Holy, of St. James, Potomac, is enthusiastic about the Task Force, whose 18 members bring an array of talents and passion for God’s Creation from around the Diocese. “We have a team with the experience and the passion to learn from the successful efforts of many of our parishes and to assist all parishes in strengthening their focus and actions regarding Creation care,” he said. “We know that, with the continued strong support provided by Bishop Mariann and the diocesan staff, we will be successful.”
The Creation Care Task Force was commissioned at January’s Diocesan Convention to promote Creation care practices in all our communities by:
- Amplifying and expanding the efforts of our Creation care leaders
- Sharing best practices among us; and
- Establishing regional and diocesan goals for reducing waste, preserving natural resources, and lowering our carbon footprint.