Creation Care

“And God saw everything He had made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31

The mission of the Creation Care Committee is to be a sustainable and inclusive network of Episcopalians in the Diocese of Virginia, committed to faithfully uplifting, stewarding and protecting God’s Creation.

The Committee successfully presented R-6: Declaration of Climate Emergency, Commitment to Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2045, and adoption of Episcopal Covenant for the Care of Creation to the 227th diocesan Annual  Convention in November 2021, which was passed by Convention.

The Creation Care Committee has working groups focused on three key areas of ministry: Gardening, NetZero greenhouse gas emissions, and Spiritual Resilience.

Questions? Email Kristine Montamat, Creation Care Committee Chair, at creationcare@episcopalvirginia.org.

Committee Members

Clark Abbott (he/him)
St. George’s, Arlington

Paul Amrhein
St. Stephen’s, Richmond

Nancy Smith Brooks
St. Mary’s, Arlington

The Rev. Mary Kay Brown
Co-Chair, Spiritual Resilience Working Group

Kathy Ellis
Little Fork Church, Rixeyville
Co-Chair, Spiritual Resilience Working Group

Hadley Foulk
St. John’s, Tappahannock

Ad Lester (they/them)
Grace & Holy Trinity, Richmond

The Rev. Neal Halvorson-Taylor
Grace Church, Red Hill, North Garden

Kristine Montamat, Creation Care Committee Chair
Grace Church, Red Hill, North Garden
Chair, Habitat Restoration Ministry

Patricia Rowell
St. Aidan’s, Alexandria

The Rev. Deacon Kathryn Thomas
Piedmont Parish, Madison, and Grace, Stanardsville

Alisa Booze Troetschel
St. James’, Warrenton

The Rev. Mark Wastler
Supply Clergy, Charlottesville

Working Groups

The Creation Care Committee has working groups focused on three key areas of ministry: Gardening, NetZero greenhouse gas emissions, and Spiritual Resilience. Learn more about events hosted by these working groups by subscribing to the e-Communique newsletter. Questions? Email creationcare@episcopalvirginia.org. 

Gardening Working Group

Chair: The Rev. Deacon Courtenay Evans

The Garden Working Group is devoted to networking churches and diocesan institutions with one another to share the love of gardening through discussions of best practices, mentoring and development of partnerships. There is a regular meeting schedule. 

NetZero Working Group

Co-Chairs: Dr. Mary Haberl and Doug Gheley

This working group is dedicated to developing the NetZero guidebook for diocesan parishes and institutions to help them meet NetZero greenhouse gas emissions goals as documented in Resolution 6, which passed during the November 2021 227th Diocesan Convention. This group is committed to building an infrastructure making it possible for churches to work together and a diocesan accepted set of guidelines over time to meet the goals outlined in Resolution 6

Spiritual Resilience Working Group

Co-Chairs: The Rev. Mary Kay Brown and Kathy Ellis 

Many people feel overwhelmed by the enormity of our environmental challenges. This is a place where the Church is called to be present. Worship and prayer are pathways for celebrating God’s creation. They are also vehicles for lament, confession, supplication, healing and hope. This working group is dedicated to developing ministry responses to this experience and engaging Episcopalians in a conversation around it.

The Spiritual Resilience Working Group seeks to:

  1. Offer opportunities to seminarians, clergy, and lay people to learn about creation care and climate change; provide support as they initiate discussion in their parishes.
  2. Encourage each parish to provide opportunities for celebration of God’s gift of creation.
  3. Encourage each parish to provide ways for parishioners to recognize emotions in the face of climate crisis, to offer channels for lament and expression of loss and grief.
  4. Encourage each parish to evaluate its level of preparedness for a climate event and to establish a Resilience/Rapid Response Ministry.
Creation Care Resources

National Episcopal Church Creation Care Resolution and Resources

The Episcopal Church comprises 111 dioceses and regional areas in 17 nations; 100 of which are in the United States. The Diocese of Virginia is one of the largest of the U.S. dioceses with 179 churches, two diocesan centers, six diocesan homes, six schools and the largest Anglican seminary in the world.

Diocese of Virginia Creation Care Resolutions and Resources

Gardens

NetZero and Climate Change

Spiritual Resilience

Establishing a Green Ministry

Sermons from Our Churches

Creation Care Reading List

  • Earth Honoring Faith by Larry L. Rasmussen
  • Sacred Earth Sacred Soul by John Philip Newell
  • Active Hope by Joanna Macy
  • Climate Church, Climate World by Jim Antal
  • Crisis Contemplation: Healing a Wounded Village by Rev. Dr. Barbara Holmes
  • Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis, edited by Leah Schade and Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jones
  • The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred work of Grief by Francis Weller
  • Mystical Hope: Trusting in the Mercy of God by Cynthia Bourgeault
  • Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth by Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee, ed.
  • Laudato Si’:On Care for our Common Home by Pope Francis
  • Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of our World by Daniel Sherrell
  • Ladder to the Light; an Indigenous Elder’s Meditations on Hope and Courage by Steven Charleston
  • Beyond Acedia and Wrath: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis by Bishop Hirschfield (Episcopal Diocese of N.H.) and the Rev. Steve Blackmer
  • The Hopeful Family: Building Resilient Children in Uncertain Times by Amelia Richardson Dress

Environmental Justice and Advocacy