Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 21, 2010 Meeting Highlights

The Creation Care Committee met at Atomic Coffee in Moorhead and enjoyed the sun and heat - and wind - while sitting outside for our meeting. Thanks be to God - even for the wind!

Youth Project: Clean Up The Red
Plans for a Youth project with River Keepers are underway. Minister for Youth & Family Discipleship, Melissa Pickering, is on board and excited to do a "Clean Up the Red" day with the Youth. She has been very busy with the Mission Trip and will be able to plan more details in the coming weeks.

We anticipate the event would be on a Sunday afternoon in late summer and be no more than two hours long. Information on safety and what to wear when cleaning up the Red River is available from River Keepers. The Creation Care Committee will put this information into a packet to be sent home with the students. Carrie will check with Melissa about sending permission forms to be signed by the parents with these packets as well.

Rain Barrel Class
Carrie has been in contact with Lauri Winterfeldt at River Keepers about doing a rain barrel making class at Our Savior's. We feel it would be best to hold the class on a week night before the fall, while people are still interested and can still get some use out of them this summer. We don't have a date nailed down yet so we will put a general "head's up" announcement in the coming church newsletter. River Keepers is busy with other projects until July 28, so our class will have to be after that date.

The Use of Styrofoam on Church Grounds
Our goal is to address the use of styrofoam on church grounds this fall. We will propose that the church grounds be kept a styrofoam-free zone. This would mean using the ceramic coffee cups the church already has or supplying biodegradable cups rather than the styrofoam cups we currently supply. This would be the rule for Sunday fellowship times as well as for groups meeting in the church building throughout the week.

The Women's Board is currently without a president so we feel it is best to wait until after their fall elections.

Carrie has an article about the toxicity of styrofoam and why it's important for churches not to use it in the Web of Creation materials to include with the proposal. We will also include a short synopsis of the other ways Our Savior's cares for creation so it is understood that this is a church-wide effort and part of a grander plan.

Blessing the Animals, October, 2010
St. Francis of Assisi is remembered as a lover of all creation. Learn more about St. Francis and the custom of animal blessings here. The Creation Care Committee would like to hold a Blessing of the Animals on October 16. We would like to hold the blessing in Hansman Park and invite the surrounding neighbors to bring their pets as well.

We would need to create fliers and organize a time and volunteers to distribute them to neighborhood homes. This may be a wonderful opportunity for outreach!

Pr. Keith Zeh has done animal blessings before - Carrie will check with him to see if he would be willing to help us with this one.

Greenies Among Us
Laura will come up with some interview questions to use for email interviews of Our Savior's members who Care for Creation in various ways. Their answers and photos will be posted on the blog and advertized in the church newsletter.

Next Creation Care Meeting
Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 5:15 at Atomic Coffee in Moorhead.

If you have comments about what was discussed in our meeting, or if you would like to suggest a project to help Our Savior's care for God's creation, please click on the "Comment" link below or contact us by email.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Benefits of an Energy Audit

Benefits of an Energy Audit

The article above is written by Jason Parmer and appears on the Blessed Earth website (see the post below to learn more about Blessed Earth).

When was the last time you took a tour of your home's crawlspaces?

My own home was built in 1921. It's a fairly small house so one would think the energy bills wouldn't be too high - wrong! Our energy bills are through the roof during the winter months, despite several "do-it-yourself" attempts to winter-proof.

So what's the next step? An energy audit! Why haven't we done it yet? Honsetly, there is no good reason. We just haven't gotten around to it. I think that might be the default answer for many people who care about creation, but still haven't made any significant changes in lifestyle. We just "haven't gotten around to it yet." But how long will the earth wait for us?

The effects of climate change are increasing every single day - what are we waiting for? Most utility companies provide this service for free - there is nothing to loose, except energy loss of course.

Read Jason Parmer's article, Benefits of an Energy Audit, and find out what he learned by doing an audit on his home.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Blessed Earth

Blessed Earth is an organization I just discovered this spring. A person in Illinois was reading our blog and sent me a link to their website suggesting that we might find it interesting. Let me tell you, "interesting" is quite an understatement!

I perused their website, read their blogs, viewed a few videos about an educational series they created and could hardly stay in my chair I was so excited.

"Blessed Earth is an educational nonprofit that inspires and equips faith communities to become better stewards of the earth. Through outreach to churches, campuses and media we build bridges that promote measurable environmental change and meaningful spiritual growth" (Blessed Earth mission statement).

Not only do they provide resources for churches in pratically every context I can think of, but it is also completely founded in Scripture. The founder of the company, Dr. Matthew Sleeth, is a surgeon turned Creation Care Expert. He may know more about this issue than anyone in the nation.

Please, if you're looking for inspiration, check this out!! blessedearth.org. Read - learn - watch the videos - join the mailing list - be inspired. I was.

Of particular interest is their page with Creation Care tips - talk about an incredible resource! Click here to check it out!