TEST TIDBITS: NEW DIOCESAN TASK FORCE ON CREATION CARE
To say that Bishop Cathleen Bascom is interested in the role of prairie lands in our environment is an understatement. She loves them and sees prairie restoration as a big part of addressing rising emission levels. In fact a new research study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and led by The Nature Conservancy with 21 institutional partners and published in Science Advances, shares her enthusiasm. It estimates that improved maintenance of grasslands, wetlands and forests would allow for more carbon to be absorbed—as much as 1/5 of all US greenhouse gases. Increasing and maintaining these spaces is an effective and cost efficient way of mitigating climate change and also increases soil health, improves water quality and welcomes more biodiversity.
Thus, the very first meeting of The diocesan Task Force on Creation Care, September 28, 2019 had three main goals: renewing our deep spiritual connection between faith and stewardship of creation, dreaming and praying about creating or renewing parcels of land around the diocese (different sizes from “postage stamp” and “pocket” to larger parcels) into “prayer spaces” of prairie grassland or forest glen, and also learning how to use the new Episcopal Carbon Tracking System. Most all of the convocations sent representatives. The second meeting will be held on Saturday afternoon of the diocesan convention. Nancy Hanson, Garth Burns and Ellyn Owen attended the meeting from Trinity.
One of the highlights of the day was “praying the green” of Grace Cathedral. We gathered outside in a line and began praying silently as we walked the green space concentrating on its use now and in the future. We ended the meeting with Holy Communion using the liturgy from the new 2018 Book of Occasional Services. The emphasis of this liturgy is care for the entire web of life. It was an inspirational day and a great beginning for the new Task Force on Creation Care.
EARTH STEWARD ACTION: Please, get outside this week and into nature in some way—walk in a park, hike a trail at Clinton, or visit the Baker Wetlands. Use this time to pray as you walk. Allow this time to renew and refresh you and encourage you to protect & advocate for all green spaces.
SOURCES: The printed Holy Communion Prayers from the 2018 Book of Occasional Prayers used at the Sept. 28, 2019 Creation Care Meeting
New Study Reveals Natural Landscapes Can Fight Climate Change, Nov. 2018 by Bekah
McBride (handout at Creation Care Meeting).