St. Andrew's Creation News
On Sunday during our worship service, Jim Couture spoke briefly about St. Andrew's creation seasons over the years. He stated that we established a season dedicated to creation "to celebrate the incredible beauty and diversity of our planet, and to celebrate communion: the mutually enhancing relationship among all things." ( 1 Creation (Sunday, October 3, 2021)) 
In the coming weeks, this newsletter will take a look at:
  • Our themes of Creation Seasons and how we've incorporated the arts & music in our worship to honor God in creation
  • Our practices and events that aim to bring healing to our hurting environment
But today we will start with a brief history of St. Andrew's growing desire to care for creation.
It all began in the early 1990's with a Sunday Morning Adult Formation on the environment that led to the development of Tree Group. Tree Group explored caring for creation through the lenses of theology and practice. Through the years, both Sunday Morning Adult Forum and the Monday Night Study Group did studies on creation and the environment.
In 2008, vestry approved an Environmental Policy Statement drafted by our earth care group and including such things as a commitment to using recycled paper, educating the congregation on recycling and practicing it throughout the church building, and upgrading the building in ways that conserve energy. Implementing these changes brought us to becoming a Greening Congregation through Earth Ministry.  
In the fall of 2012, we began our annual 8-week Creation Season with changing themes and special liturgies.
From 2013-2016, Earth Stewardship Ministry, along with the vestry, worked to fulfill the requirements in Justice, Stewardship and Spirit to become a GreenFaith Congregation. The certification program is designed to help churches, synagogues, mosques and temples earn recognition as environmental leaders by carrying out more than two dozen environmental activities over two years. To be certified, a congregation must implement activities in areas such as education, worship, social action, and stewardship (of financial and environmental resources). You may remember some of the things we've done:
  • participated in climate marches in Olympia and Port Angeles
  • installed heat pumps and insulation
  • potted plants in preparation for reforestation around the Elwha River
  • contributed to the Diocese of The Philippines Carbon Offset program
  • tracked our energy use
  • established a Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary
We received our certification in early 2017. 
Today, creation care is a vital part of the year-round ministry of St. Andrew's. We host the Interfaith Creation Care Coalition. We emphasize recycling and composting. We continue to upgrade and repair our building to improve energy conservation. We promote social and environmental justice. And we honor God's creation and the beauty all around us in our worship and our lives.
Many thanks to Pat Milliren who put together this history of our ministry for creation care.
In his talk, Jim mentioned the following books Global Conference on Ecological Spiritualities
Congratulations, Jim, for being invited to present at this conference! 
Jim's presentation is titled "Awakening An Ecological Spirituality Through Songs"
Look for more news about Jim's work next spring.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
510 E. Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362
(360) 457-4862

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