Letter from Presiding Bishop Curry

“God so loved the world that he gave his only son ...” is not a pious platitude or a simple religious refrain. It is a declaration of God’s purpose and mission in the world from the beginning to this very day. “God so loved the world.” That’s not just about us who are human. It’s about the whole of God’s grand and glorious Creation. 

 

During our church’s 2018 General Convention in Austin, Texas, Episcopalians made important promises to care for the world God loved so much. Many of us are keeping that promise this Lent by praying with and taking up the Episcopal Church’s Pledge to Care for Creation goes live Monday. The pledge guides us to make specific commitments to grow loving, liberating, and life-giving relationship with Creation.

 

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. Five early adopter dioceses are piloting it this Lent, and by Earth Day – April 22, 2019 – everyone can come on board. I am personally exploring how to use it as part of my own spiritual practice.

 

The app is organized around life choices clustered in five main areas. The choices range from Easy to Hard – everyone will find something here. But there is more here than tech and data. There are links to church-wide creation-themed formation resources. There is space for online discussion. This is truly a community action.

 

If we follow Jesus and his way of love, then we strive to love as God loves, to give as God gives, to care as God cares. And that means caring for God’s Creation, all of it, and all of us. 

 

God bless you, and keep the faith,

+Michael

 

The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

Follow progress in your Diocese!

One of the greatest efforts humanity will ever make will be the move from the lifestyle of the industrial period to lives of sustainability.  St. Irenaeus in the earliest days of Christianity said that the glory of God is a human being fully alive.  Today we might understand that the fully alive Body of Christ, the active, conscious community of faith, is a further form of God’s glory.  We also know that we need God’s grace to do all we need and hope to do in healing our suffering lives, our suffering planet.

The Episcopal Church has been acting to support care of our Earth, our fragile island home, over several decades, and information about this can be found here.

One tool that has been developed to help us in the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement lead more sustainable lives is the web-based tool, Sustaining Earth, our Island Home.  It is a hopeful, and even a fun app, with elements of games and play within it—in keeping with a world we know is ultimately and always in the loving hands of God.  I recommend Sustaining Earth, our Island Home to you.

As Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry reminded us at the Church’s 79th General Convention, at a gathering where the tool was unveiled, “All of God’s creation is interconnected. The love that thrust the stars into the heavens themselves is the same love that gave birth and created the earth itself and all of the earth’s children, wherever they may be.” 

With prayers for blessings on our common work to care for creation,

Bishop Marc Andrus

If you are blessed to live in Colorado, you know what a beautiful and sacred part of God’s creation we inhabit. The mountains, lakes and rivers here offer such a vision of the Creator who brought them into being. We are blessed to live in a place that invites us, by its majesty, to reverence, playfulness, proclamation and prayerfulness. In the face of the many challenges impacting our planet and its natural resources, we as people of faith must seek to be faithful stewards of this precious gift. We are called to be educated, informed, and equipped as we strive for justice and peace among all people, and tending to our planet that houses and nourishes more than 7.5 billion people is part of that call.

Because we are created in God’s image, we are co-creators in bringing the healing wholeness of redemption to our broken world. We who have been called to the life of redemption cannot ignore the ways in which our choices damage the earth that supports all people. Today we are urgently called to drastically reduce our use of energy sources and modes of transportation that are increasing the carbon dioxide levels of our atmosphere. We must not only be aware of the ways in which our actions are changing our climate; we must also be committed to being better stewards, loving and conserving this precious gift God has given us in this fragile earth, our island home.

I pray that the people of the Episcopal Church in Colorado will join me in committing to living in mindful, ethical, and loving relationship with the earth, its resources, and all of the lives it supports. I invite you into the holy work of reducing our collective “carbon footprint” by promoting the use of the Sustain Island Home Carbon Tracker developed by the Diocese of California: in your home, in your congregations, and across institutions of the Episcopal Church.

We in the Bishop’s office are eager to help you in this work. To find resources, contact Tracy Methe, creation care team leader, at 303.837.1173.

I pray for our collective wisdom and reverence as we do this work together.

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Reverend Kim Lucas
Bishop of Colorado

In the Diocese of El Camino Real, we are blessed to live in an environment with abundant natural resources: the coast with beautiful shoreline, rich coastal waters supporting both recreation and the fishing industry, valleys with fertile and productive soil and a temperate climate. As well, our region boasts numerous environment restoration and protection efforts. Notably the Monterey Bay Aquarium and its work of healing the Monterey Bay, as well as protected redwood forests and coastlines. Alongside the calls of scripture and The Episcopal Church, we are vividly aware of our need to increase our stewardship of God’s sacred creation.

Today with climate change moving at such a rapid pace, we face new challenges. We have seen more severe storms, droughts, fires and floods in our diocese. The good news is that with God’s help, we can make a difference. Research has shown that as much as 40% of US emissions come from five categories of household activity — electricity, home heating, transportation, food and waste. While it will take many layers of change in the numerous ways humans across the planet use the earth’s resources, improving personal responsibility and deepening our love and care for the earth can and does make a difference.

The Episcopal Church has issued a call to action that will help us increase our awareness and practical care of the earth. In partnership with the Diocese of California, they have produced a carbon tracker tool that lets us estimate how our household activities affect the environment and suggests how we can reduce our impact. I urge you to register and see how, as the Episcopal Branch of The Jesus Movement, we can make a difference as individuals, congregations and as a diocese. As we pray for the well-being of the earth, may we enact that prayer in the conservation efforts of our daily lives.

Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves

Dear Friends,

One of the Five Marks of Mission for the Episcopal Church is, “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” We, in the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, have made this one of our priorities.

In today’s news we hear so much about the environment and especially climate change and the affect it presents to us. Our water, our food and our commerce all depend upon natural resources that were once were so abundant in our state. But we have been neglectful and sometimes reckless with our resources.

We now find ourselves facing significant challenges. Our climate is changing and this shift is affecting our water, food and commerce. Our coastline is disappearing and with it wildlife. Extreme rainfalls have caused estuaries to overflow and flood homes and businesses, while also impacting the crab, fish, and oyster industries and the tourism trade. All this to say we can no longer be complacent. We are being called to sit up and pay attention.

One of the greatest transformations humanity has the potential to experience will be the move from the lifestyle of the industrial period to lives of sustainability. By making better choices in our own households, we not only make a substantive, measurable difference in addressing the climate crisis but we align our lives with Jesus’ mission. One tool that has recently been developed to help Episcopalians lead a more sustainable life is the web-based tool, Sustain Island Home (https://www.sustainislandhome.org). Rebecca and I invite you to join us and explore this new platform which will help you assess your carbon footprint and take action to reduce it.

Our environmental commission is in the process of contacting your clergy, and plans are being made to invite every member of every church in our diocese to learn about and participate in this great work of personal and corporate transformation, for the love of the earth.

We have been given a gift. Let us use it wisely with good intentions.

Faithfully Yours,

The Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Jr.
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana

Sustaining Earth, Our Island Home

Dear Friends in the Diocese of Massachusetts, Through our diocesan mission strategy we have committed ourselves to “Embracing Brave Change,” and affirmed our calling “to join God in repairing a broken covenant with our Earth, creating a more sustainable life for ourselves, for our future generations, and for all life.” We join with our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who has urged all Episcopalians to protect and renew the Creation which God has entrusted to us. A resolution adopted by our 2019 Diocesan Convention called upon members of our diocese to place the care of God’s Creation at the heart of our common life, “pledging to change our habits and choices in order to live more simply, humbly and gently on Earth.” A specific way to do this is by committing to use the “Sustaining Earth Our Island Home” Carbon Footprint Tracker. The online tool provides a host of specific ways to monitor and reduce our own environmental impact. It can be used individually. It also allows for members of a congregation to aggregate their efforts, to build community and even to have a little friendly carbon-reduction rivalry with other congregations. Explore the tool at www.sustainislandhome.org, or be in touch with our diocesan team, convened by the Rev. Laurie Rofinot (LARofinot@aol.com / 617-335-2994), to arrange an introduction to the tracker and help in getting started with this good work. I have logged onto the tracker and begun to see what patterns could be changed in my own household. Already I am using some appliances differently, thinking harder about auto usage and looking forward to ever-more substantive adjustments. Your bishop now has an “Island Home” dashboard for carbon tracking! Don’t you want one too? As followers of Jesus and members of the Jesus Movement, we have available to us this practical yet profound way to respond to God’s call to help restore Creation. May God bless us in this work together, The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates Bishop of Massachusetts

Dear Friends in Christ,

In Jesus, God walked the ground of this planet. Jesus drank, was washed and was baptized in its waters. Jesus was nourished by the food the ground and sea and lakes provided. Jesus felt and breathed the air on his skin and in his lungs. By the Holy Spirit, the Body of Jesus Christ--you and I--do the same things. Thus, we draw closer to Jesus when we care for the earth God continues to infuse with presence, love and life.
As Jesus knew, life on this planet earth is fragile. Seeking to grow in my relationship with Jesus has led me and many others to an awareness of how damage done to the earth grieves the very heart of God, the same God who loved the world so much that he gave his only son to save it. Christians stand in need of repenting from sinful habits of reckless consumption and lack of concern for those who share this life now and for those who come after us.

To help us with joy and hope make this turn toward a renewed relationship to both God and creation, Sustain Island Home Carbon Tracker was developed by the Diocese of California and was endorsed by our 2018 General Convention. The Carbon Tracker can help us in our daily lives take practical steps to examine and reduce our carbon footprint. New Hampshire Episcopalians are now part of this restorative and life-affirming work. We can take small but multiplying actions in our households, congregations, diocese, and the world to make a real difference for the healing of our world.

I invite you to join me and faithful people throughout the Church to use Sustain Island Home as a spiritual practice by being more conscientious of our choices as caretakers of "this fragile earth, our island home" and thanking God for its amazing blessings.

Faithfully,

The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld
Bishop of New Hampshire

The very first words of the Bible tell the story of creation. Before anything else, we hear how God created the world. Even before he made us, God made the sky, the land, the water and every living creature that came to populate it all.

When he finished, only then did he make us. And when he did, he gave us this magnificent planet as a gift, telling us, “I have given you every plant yielding seed…and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.” (Genesis 1:29)

The magnitude of that gift is astounding. It should still inspire us to protect and care for it as fiercely as we do anything else of value, but we don’t. Our gift sustained us so well for so long, we began taking it for granted. We took more than we needed for the sake of comfort and convenience, and we are learning the cost of those actions. We are destroying the very thing created to sustain us.

The good news is it’s not too late to make our gift a priority once more. No single one of us can repair all the damage done, but if each of us starts to make changes in our own corners of the world, collectively it will add up to a massive shift in a healing direction. 

In doing so, we also heal ourselves, because the planet on which we live is not separate from us; it is a part of us. God created it to sustain us, and it is time to return to thinking of our island home as the gift it is. Join us, as an individual or as a congregation, in making changes to help the gift God gave us flourish once again.

The Rt. Rev. Sam Rodman                The Rt. Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple
Bishop, Diocese of NC                       Bishop Suffragan, Diocese of NC
 

Dear Ones,

As part of the Episcopal Church's commitment to caring for this earth we call home and being good stewards of the environment, Presiding Bishop Curry has issued an invitation to reflect and commit to grow a loving, liberating, and life-giving relationship with God's creation. There are many activities you can participate in to help you honor this pledge.

I'd like to take a moment to share with you an exciting new tool that is being developed by the Diocese of California. "Sustaining Earth, Our Island Home" is a new carbon tracker that is being made available to the entire Episcopal Church, and we in the Diocese of Olympia have been invited to be part of a group of dioceses that will be testing the tracker.

The tracker is easy to use - you create your household profile, browse the list of actions you can take to reduce your impact on the environment, add them to your dashboard, and the tracker will provide you with the next steps you need to take. I have personally signed up, and I can attest it is easy to use and fun. Even more exciting - once you sign up for the tracker, you'll be added to your congregation group so that you can work together and cheer each other on!

I also want to commend the Creation Care Pledge, a link to which you can also find below. I have signed this too along with all the Province VIII Bishops (a link to the video can be found below), and I hope you will join me in this. We are trying to get 1,000 people to sign across the Episcopal Church by Easter Day. Currently, Olympia is in second place among all dioceses in the Episcopal Church on signing the pledge! Let's be first!!! Please take the time to follow the link below and sign the pledge. It only takes a few minutes.

I would also like to encourage you all to share this widely within your congregations and communities so that we in the Diocese of Olympia can come together and care for creation.

Blessings,

+Greg

“God of all power, ruler of the universe, you are worthy of glory and praise. At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their course, and this fragile earth our island home.” (From Eucharistic Prayer C – Book of Common Prayer)

We believe that God is the creator of all that is. When God created us, he gave to us the responsibility of being the stewards of the creation. Yet, we in our own selfishness have not lived up to and into that responsibility and high calling.

We Episcopalians have made promises through actions of The General Convention of 2018 to care for the world. The environmental crisis is huge and makes any one of us wonder how my action or your action of conservation and care can do anything to contribute to the healing of our planet.

This can make us feel powerless. The good news is that we are not powerless. Together we can make a positive difference!

I invite you to take the pledge with me. Thanks to the Diocese of California, we have a tool to support anyone who wants to make more life-giving choices about how to inhabit the earth more responsibly. The app is organized around life choices clustered in five main areas. The choices range from Easy to Hard – anyone can find something here.

I invite you to take the pledge with me!

God be with you,

+Scott

The Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi

Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Utah

Bishop Fisher's invitation to Sustain our Fragile Island Home

Friends,

It is a joy to follow Jesus in his mission of mercy, compassion, and hope. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry says that if we are serious about following Jesus, we will seek to create loving, liberating, and life-giving relationships with God, each other, and the whole of Creation.

One of our most urgent calls as people of faith is to work to avert catastrophic climate change and to prevent the web of life from unraveling.  By making better choices in our own households, we not only make a substantive, measurable difference in addressing the climate crisis, but we also align our lives with Jesus’ mission. 

I invite you to explore this new platform, Sustain Island Home, which will help you assess your carbon footprint and take action to reduce it.  Feel free to explore the platform on your own, but the project works best when a congregation joins it together.  We have formed a diocesan team to help you introduce Sustain Island Home to your congregation.  Please contact Team Convener, the Rev. Eric Elley (860/394-8728; email: eelley (at) live.com), and he will arrange for someone on the team to help launch Sustain Island Home in your congregation. 

With prayers that God will bless our work together,

+Doug

 

The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher

IX Bishop of Western Massachusetts

El clima está cambiando: todos lo notamos.  El cambio climático está ocurriendo más rápido de lo previsto y ya está afectando a nuestro planeta con terribles tormentas, sequías, incendios e inundaciones.  Estos cambios perjudican primero y con más gravedad a las personas que menos recursos tienen, pero sus consecuencias las sufrirán todos por igual en las próximas generaciones.  Las decisiones que tomemos en los próximos 10-15 años son muy importantes para proteger nuestra salud y nuestro futuro.  La buena noticia es que tenemos soluciones y hay muchas cosas que todos podemos hacer para contribuir a este fin.  De hecho, juntos podemos hacer una gran diferencia.  Y lo que es mejor, estas soluciones no reducirán nuestra calidad de vida; al contrario, pueden ayudarnos a ahorrar dinero, mejorar nuestra salud y crear empleo a nivel local.  Únete al desafío e infórmate para tomar decisiones que te ayudarán a crear un futuro más seguro y saludable.