Provinces VIII & VI Deacons Conference

Provinces VIII & VI Deacons Conference

Deacons from Provinces VIII & VI Conference
Our Fragile Island Home, Protecting God’s Creation

August 20-23, 2020
Phoenix, Arizona

As a deacon, you have been empowered by God and the Church to model our Savior, Jesus Christ’s servant ministry to all people. The time is now as we are facing environmental degradation, the most serious problem confronting humanity and life on this planet.

As leaders and messengers, you can have a valuable impact as you educate those within your parish and community.

We look forward to providing you with engaging speakers, affordable hotel rates (it’s worth the visit to Phoenix in the summertime!), opportunities for excursions, but most importantly, the tools of resources as to how we all can reduce our carbon footprint.

The Pilgrims’ (Carbon) Footprint

By Dick Zeller, St. Mary’s, Eugene

St. Mary’s, Eugene, Celebrates the 2019 J2A Pilgrimage on September 24

Themed dinners, “Evenings at St. Mary’s,” are a regular part of the program calendar. The theme of the first “Evening” of this year was the 2019 Journey to Adulthood (J2A) Pilgrimage to England and France. 

The Pilgrimage

J2A is St. Mary’s middle-school through high-school Christian education program.  About every three years, high-school youth plan and organize their pilgrimage.  The Pilgrimage is not a vacation, but a carefully designed journey intended to strengthen the faith of participants.

This year, nine youth and 4 adults participated in the 2019 pilgrimage. They visited four cities: London, Canterbury, Oxford, and Paris. In 12 days, they:

  • went to 9 churches and church ruins;
  • worshipped together daily;
  • attended services in four Cathedrals (Southwark in London, Canterbury Cathedral Crypt, Christ Church in Oxford, and the American Episcopal Cathedral, Paris);
  • walked parts of the Pilgrim’s Paths in Oxford and Canterbury;
  • had a special session with theologian and author Alister McGrath;
  • learned more about Anglican tradition;
  • ate meals together;
  • and bonded as a group of friends in faith.

Managing the Carbon Footprint

A part of the pilgrims’ plan was to respect and experience nature throughout the trip. They recognized that while the pilgrimage would be a wonderful experience, transportation for the trip would also come at a cost to the earth.

Pilgrims planned the trip to maximize walking within each city (over 86 miles walked per pilgrim), as well as use of bus and train during their travel within and between cities. The youth calculated the carbon footprint of using airplanes, trains, buses and cars during the trip. They estimated that the group would be responsible for about 42 tons added atmospheric CO2. 

As a part of fundraising, they set a goal of $420 to contribute to two Lane County nature organizations to help offset this CO2 impact. Their efforts, matched by others in the congregation, raised $1,000.

At the Evenings at St. Mary’s dinner, two J2A participants presented $500 checks each to the Faith Community Fund* of the Long Tom Watershed Council (LTWC) and the McKenzie River Trust (MRT) to be used for tree planting and restoration of watersheds/wetlands. Both organizations help protect and reclaim nature’s ways of absorbing CO2 and preserving watersheds.

*Within “Earth Keepers,” a local inter-faith group, St. Mary’s has led in setting up the Faith Community Fund. This fund accepts donations for these two local organizations for tree planting and restoration of watersheds/wetlands. The Faith Community Fund urges members of all congregations to consider supporting these organizations as part of their environmental stewardship. (See “Local Partnerships For Addressing Your Carbon Footprint” at: http://www.saint-marys.org/outreach)

Climate Strike: Spiritual Grounding Pre-Gathering

Organize your Faith Community to Support this Global Action

In Portland, Oregon, join us
Friday, September 20th at
Portland City Hall
1221 SW 4th Ave #110

10:00am – EcoFaith’s Pre-Gathering where we will spiritually ground ourselves and cultivate hope with our voices and instruments across the street from City Hall near the circular speaking area at Terry Schrunk Plaza. (Look for the EcoFaith Recovery Banner.)
10:30am – Climate Strike at Portland City Hall

Using EcoFaith’s Practices for Awakening Leadership, we will follow the lead of the world’s children, ground ourselves in spiritual and relational power, and ACT TOGETHER as people of faith and good will.

What to bring?
– Yourself and a contingent from your faith community
– Wear something that identifies your community or your faith or both
– Instruments! Which section of the EcoFaith “symphonic choir” will your team or community cover?! (Examples: Will your team bring shakers or bells or sticks or bucket drums or flutes or triangles or scrapers or vocals or clapping hands or dance, etc) Choose one and then EMAIL Jennilee at Office@EcoFaithRecovery.org with the particular kind of instrument your faith community will bring to the “symphonic choir” so we can highlight your section of the on the EcoFaith Recovery website and Facebook.

Please join us! And take public transportation if possible! It reduces carbon emissions, eliminates parking frustration and expense, and will get you there on time!

Consider donating towards the youths’ Climate Festival, which is expected to require about $15,000 for event production, equipment rentals, sanitation, security, insurance and permits. A website for donations is available via this link (www.gofundme.com/f/portland-youth-climate-strike-2019).

Climate Strike Oregon Week of Action

Earlier this year, Greta Thunberg and 46 other youth activists issued a call to everyone around the globe to join them in a massive climate strike on September 20th. The Climate Strike will kick-off a week of mass, escalated actions between Sept 20-28.

School strikers are calling on everyone ― young people, parents, workers, and all concerned people ― to join a massive climate strike on September 20th to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels.

In Portland on Friday, September 20, there will be an interfaith service and spiritual gathering time from 10:00 to 10:30 at Terry Schrunk Plaza (across the street from City Hall). This is led by EcoFaith Recovery and supported by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. All Episcopalians are welcome! We encourage you to come together with members of your congregation. Wear your congregational t-shirts, bring your singing voices, banners and musical instruments if you like, and be prepared to make a joyful noise.

Our house is on fire — let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone.

This week is our chance to show the politicians and fossil fuel billionaires that the real power lies with the people. This week is your chance to join the climate justice movement, and put a stop to business as usual.

In every state and every city people are stepping out their normal routines for a day or a week by taking action locally, whether that means sitting in at city halls, shutting down fossil fuel infrastructure, or marching to the governor’s office. It’s going to take all of us to change everything and there’s no better time to join us.

Learn more at climatestrikeoregon.org.

Congregation Receives GreenFaith Certification

Congratulations to St. Michael & All Angels, Portland, who have been awarded GreenFaith Certification!

GreenFaith Certification is a two year environmental leadership program for houses of worship. The goal is to give these communities the resources they need to put into practice a working program that inspires, educates, and mobilizes people around environmental stewardship with the belief that it is a religious value and a moral responsibility.

The Green Team/Environmental Stewardship Committee writes,

Some three plus years ago, we took the plunge at St. Michael’s and through the efforts of many fine people, began the journey to become a Greenfaith Certified community of faith.  And today, on Earth Day 2018, we celebrate reaching this goal, knowing that we don’t stop here.  Through this process, we have gotten  inspired and are now looking at potentially reducing our carbon footprint even further by letting the sun’s energy produce about 25% of our electrical cost.  We hope to realize that goal in the Spring of 2019.  A big thank you to all who helped and supported this effort.

Fellow Workers in Creation

Environmental CommissionFrom the Rev. Bingham Powell of St. Mary’s, Eugene

And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:9-10)

April 22nd is Earth Day; some are now referring to the whole month of April as Earth Month. For the past century, we have come to realize more and more the destructive capacity of humanity on the natural world. We have the capability to alter radically this creation that God called good. And we are. Tragically so. On Ash Wednesday, we repented to God “for our waste and pollution of your creation” (Book of Common Prayer p. 268). Some of what we have done has been unintentional, but far too often, it has been because of “our lack of concern for those who come after us” (BCP p. 268). We have concerned ourselves too much with short-term gain without taking into consideration the long-term costs. Our children and our grandchildren will be paying off the environmental debts that we are racking up right now.

As Christians, we have a responsibility to care for God’s creation. At the end of the first chapter of Genesis, we are told that humanity has been given dominion over creation. This has been misunderstood by some to mean that we can use, even abuse, creation however we would like. But Scripture teaches us quite clearly that dominion from a Christian perspective means to be servants, not lords. We were invited to be stewards, not rulers, of creation. We are to appropriately use, not abuse, this gift that God has given us.

There is a beautiful prayer in the Book of Common Prayer on page 827 that reminds us of the proper meaning of the first chapter of Genesis. Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Throughout this Earth Month, I invite you to pray this prayer with me. And may each of us do our part to care for and be stewards of this gift that God has given us.

EcoFaith Recovery Mini Institute

Saturday, February 10th from 9:00am – 5:00pm

At last! Something to say “YES” to!

 

This mini Institute will be an inspiring introduction to…

  • working with ecumenical partners to fight climate change AND amplify social justice
  • engaging EcoFaith Recovery’s city-wide, faith-based strategy for passing the Portland Just Energy Transition Initiative
  • developing leadership and collective power through coaching in EcoFaith’s powerful Practices for Awakening Leadership

We will meet at Augustana Lutheran Church (2710 NE 14th Ave Portland, OR 97212) on Saturday, February 10th (9am-5pm).

 

Cost: Recommended donation $30 – $60 (lunch is included)

(Financial assistance provided upon request)

 

Learn more and register at:

www.ecofaithrecovery.org/one-day-mini-institute-feb-10

Questions? Contact us at Office@EcoFaithRecovery.org