Creation Care

Commission on Creation Care

Created October 2021

Our purpose is to engage Episcopal parishes in Wisconsin to live sustainably as God commissioned us. All faith communities are welcome to participate.

 Statement of Beliefs: Earth and all life are God’s great gift. We have not been good stewards. Time is short. We must do our part in restoring God’s gift in a way that does not result in injustice to the vulnerable. We believe in the interdependent web of God’s creation.

Projects and Actions

We will carry out our mission by:

  • Worship: Gathering resources that congregations may draw on for homilies, liturgy, and Christian formation.
  • Education: Educating ourselves and our congregations about the global environmental crisis

    • Organizing study groups on the Biblical foundations of Creation Care.
    • Organizing Creation Committees
  • Buildings and Grounds: Working toward alternative energy sources; cleaning water and air, using non-toxic cleaning supplies; and creating habitats for pollinators and our non-human neighbors
  • Advocacy: Networking at the local, regional, and national level with related organizations
  • Accountability: Setting goals and measuring the results of our efforts including our investments

Our focus is on the relationship between God and all of creation, of which we are but one small part. While we honor the science and what it is teaching us, our focus is on our faithfulness to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The Commission was created by resolution at the October 2021 Diocesan Convention. 

Be It Resolved:   that the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee shall create a Commission on Creation Care tasked with bringing to the Diocese and congregations an initial plan to reduce our carbon footprint and ways to care for God’s creation no later than the 2022 Diocesan Convention.

Our focus is on the relationship between God and all of creation, of which we are but one small part. While we honor the science and what it is teaching us, our focus is on our faithfulness to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Our work is divided into three different categories following The Episcopal Church's format:

  • Loving Formation,
  • Liberating Advocacy, and
  • Life-giving Conservation

For more information or to join us email .


Liberating Formation

For God’s sake, we will grow our love for the Earth and all of life through preaching, teaching, storytelling, and prayer.

Jesus, God so loved the whole world. We follow Jesus, so we love the world God loves. Concerned for the global climate emergency, drawing on diverse approaches for our diverse contexts, we commit to form and restore loving, liberating, life-giving relationships with all of Creation.

Worship

A Litany for the Planet, Book of Occasional Services 2018, pgs 302-307
Liturgical Materials for Honoring God in Creation, Book of Occasional Services 2018, pgs 289-307
Creation-Focused Worship Resources, Diocese of Massachusetts
Environmentally Responsive Lord’s Prayer, Church of England

Prayer

Prayers of the People 1, Deacon Gregg Schneider
Prayers of the People 2, Deacon Gregg Schneider
Creation Sunday Prayers

Prayers of the People: Open Your Hand   Here’s a prayer of intercession which draws on Psalm 145 and Matthew 14:13-21 (the feeding of the 5000).  Feel free to revise it to suit your context.

Theology

To create a common understanding of how our tasks are linked to our beliefs, we engaged the Center for Religion and Environment to ground us in our faith and theology.  Links to the presentations from Collin Cornell appear below.

Deep Green Leadership, Fr. Jerry Cappel
Creation Theology, Matthew Fox
Real Presence,  Richard Rohr
Climate change is a symptom of deeper planetary dysfunction, Ragan Sutterfield

Study: For Adults

Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts

ELCA Caring for Creation

Faithful Resilience  How can our churches be hubs of resilience, helping our communities weather the physical, social, and spiritual storms of the climate crisis?

Multi-Faith Environmental Curriculum, Faith in Place

Faith & Science Curriculum, ELCA

Educational Resources for All Ages   Creation Justice Ministries

Study: For Youth 

Climate Justice Curriculum for Youth and Young Adults These lesson plans are written by experienced church teachers using practical approaches to respond to the needs of volunteer teachers. They are designed to follow the Revised Common Lectionary and published by The Episcopal Church.

Season of Creation and Earth Day Resources

Weathering the Storm
Season of Creation 2022 

Climate Education

League of Women Voters of Beloit Climate Videos
PBS At the Core of Climate Change (grades 6-12)
Conserve Energy Future
Governor's Task Force on Climate Change Report


Liberating Advocacy

For God’s sake, standing alongside marginalized, vulnerable peoples, we will advocate and act to repair Creation and seek the liberation and flourishing of all people.

Becoming An Advocate

Advocacy Tools for Loving Your Neighbor | ELCA Advocacy | July 9, 2020: 'To advocate is to do the work of the spirit of God, which is nothing less than the work of love.  Advocacy is the practical work of love, seeking justice, working compassion, living humbly, advocating for equality, and human dignity for all, who have been created in the image and likeness of God."

Make Me an Instrument of Peace: A Guide to Civil Discourse from The Episcopal Church

How It Works: Becoming a Creation Justice Church in Five Steps  The UCC’s Creation Justice Church program assists congregations in making the ministry of environmental justice an integral strand in the DNA of their faith community. A congregation can be designated as a Creation Justice Church by taking these five steps

Religious Ministries

UCC Environmental Justice Ministries

Creation Justice Ministries: Creation Justice Ministries (formerly the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program) represents the creation care and environmental justice policies of major Christian denominations throughout the United States. We work in cooperation with 38 national faith bodies including Protestant denominations and Orthodox communions as well as regional faith groups, and congregants to protect and restore God's Creation.

Faithful Resilience

Justice Organizations

5 Ways To Engage In Environmental Justice  Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright gives an instructive discourse on why environmental justice is so critical to progress.


Life-Giving Conservation

For God’s sake, we will adopt practical ways of reducing our climate impact and living more humbly and gently on Earth as individuals, households, congregations, institutions, and dioceses.

Planning How to Reduce Your Church’s Carbon Footprint

  1. Gather 12 to 24 months of gas and electric utility bills and put in a spreadsheet to analyze your energy cost and use. (An in-house Energy Audit)
    1. Find out where the problems are
    2. Your maintenance person can help here,
  2. Make a list of equipment that needs to be replaced today or soon,
  3. Educate yourselves: do research in the areas you have problems.
  4. Watch the Commission on Creation Care video: How to Decarbonize your Facility: A roadmap and guide to reduce the carbon footprint and save money.
    1. Click here to watch Part 1.
    2. Parts 2 & 3 coming soon.
  5. Plan your strategies: your building and grounds committee or and energy consultant.
    1. Changing to LED lighting is an easy place to begin and saved money for years, but it is best to bundle several items together for a larger project,
    2. Reducing air leaks in your building envelope is a high priority and helps with comfort,
    3. Next, look at HVAC and alternative energy options that fit your situation.
  6. Get started on behalf of the planet’s future.

Personal Responsibility

Greening Your Personal Life and Environment
Conserve Energy Future
Install Renewable Energy at Your House of Worship  Faith in Place

Church Property: Buildings

Energy Audits: Focus on Energy: Focus on Energy empowers the people and businesses of Wisconsin to make smart energy decisions with enduring economic benefits.

Church Property: Grounds

Good News Garden: The mission of the Good News Gardens movement, as led by The Episcopal Church, is to partner with people in transformational agrarian ministry that feeds body, mind, and spirit. Good News Gardens is a church-wide movement of individuals, congregations, schools, colleges, seminaries, monasteries, camps and conference centers involved in a variety of food and creation care ministries – gardening, farming, beekeeping, composting, gleaning, feeding, food justice advocacy. The list goes on and on. Collectively Good News Gardens share their abundance, their prayers, and the Way of Love in their communities and beyond.  

The Environment: Land 

Land Committee

Tree Equity Score: A map of tree cover in any city in the United States is too often a map of race and income.

One-Acre Permaculture Garden Feeds 50 Families

joe gardener:  Dig into your new one-stop shop for the best gardening online coursesvideospodcasts and articles. Whether you’re a newbie or veteran gardener, these resources will take your gardening to the next level!

Carbon Tracker

Thanks to the Diocese of California, our whole church has a new tool to support anyone who wants to make more life-giving choices about how we inhabit the earth. The Carbon Tracker is a web-based application that helps individuals, households, congregations, and even dioceses to measure your carbon footprint and take steps to shrink it to fit a sustainable life.    

Cool Climate Calculator: a carbon footprint estimator, to figure out how much greenhouse gas you are emitting and how to cut down.  

Alternative Energy

Midwest Renewable Energy Association: Promoting clean energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration since 1990.

RENEW Wisconsin: RENEW Wisconsin’s Solar for Good initiative fosters the expansion of solar power among mission-based nonprofits and houses of worship in Wisconsin.

Couillard Solar Foundation: We have one mission: to help Wisconsin nonprofits get solar for their organizations.  Nonprofit organizations all over Wisconsin are looking for ways to take part in the renewable energy revolution happening right now.  The Couillard Solar Foundation (CSF) was created to help them do just that.

Power Purchase Agreement  A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost. The developer sells the power generated to the host customer at a fixed rate that is typically lower than the local utility’s retail rate. 

Legacy Solar Co-op: Legacy Solar Co-op is a Wisconsin-based, member-owned cooperative providing solar and energy efficiency products and services. Our goal is to bring people together to support local and statewide solar and other clean energy initiatives.

Solar Providers, etc.

isea Illinois Solar