Creation Care Ministry
As Christians, we are asked to care for creation and to be good stewards of the Earth. Genesis 2:15 The Lord God took the man (and woman) and put them in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Today, as the population grows and spreads across the Earth, we see an Earth under stress. Climate change, pollution, loss of habitats, endangered species and a disconnect from Nature are just some of the indications of this stress.
As gardeners in this Eden of Montana, Holy Spirit is taking a more active role as Creation Caretakers. If you are interested in being a part of this new Creation Care ministry, please contact Karen Simons Gartner at to join the discussion on how this ministry will take shape.
We will post new ideas of how you can help each week. Click here to read the most recent ideas.
Creation Care Contemplative Retreat, May 19-21, 2023
We fully support the challenge posed by the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a speech at Columbia University, in which he calls on humanity to make 2021 the year to end its "war on nature." Read the AP article here, or read or watch the complete speech here.
Some specific Guidelines for Personal Actions can be found here, or click on the images below to enlarge them.
Learn How You Can Help
Where and what to recycle
Don’t feel overwhelmed at the # of things we will be listing, just focus on finding one or a few that you can incorporate into your lifestyle. Each step forward does make a difference. Read more here.
Recycling Pilot Program
The Creation Care Ministry at Holy Spirit is beginning a pilot program to reuse/recycle a few items that are difficult, if not impossible, to recycle through normal programs. We have identified 3 items to begin our pilot program. We have ordered 3 stackable bins which will be placed in the Parish Hall. We anticipate starting this program in June so please start saving these items and bring with you to the Sunday service beginning on June 4. Learn more about the Recycling Pilot Program
Solar Panel Project
The limitless energy of the sun will now power Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Missoula. Its new solar array will meet its electrical needs, slash its monthly bill, and demonstrate the church’s commitment to caring for the earth.
Read more here.
So, What's a Carbon Footprint Anyway?
Your carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases—including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases and others—that you produce as you live your life. Once they are in the atmosphere the gasses create a “blanket” in the atmosphere that keeps heat from the earth from spreading out in space. This then raises the temperature of the earth - called Global Warming.
Read more here.
Personal Action List
- Before buying an item you will seldom use, consider borrowing from a friend or relative instead.
- Don’t throw out clothes that are not worn out. Do we really need a new wardrobe every year?
- Repurpose old clothes into pet clothing.
- Turn old t-shirts into rugs, blankets. There are many ideas and instructions online.
- If clothes no longer fit your lifestyle or body, donate to thrift shops.
Reducing the flow of items to the landfill is an important step we can all take. Read more here.
The easiest goal to remember while shopping is that you only want to take home the items you went for - with as little packaging as possible. If you’re spending time when you get home unwrapping things and throwing away or recycling the packaging then it’s time to rethink.
Mindfully shopping can take some research. You can look for alternatives while you are shopping, or you can plan ahead. Take little steps. Try taking produce bags until it’s a habit, and then switch to buying safer cleaners. Eventually you’ll be caring for creation in many different ways. Here are some easy suggestions to get you started.
As we look forward to spring, our thoughts turn to spring cleaning. This year we can focus on eco-friendly cleaning products. Agents with harsh or toxic chemicals, such as phosphates or chlorine, make their way into our soil and water and are a danger to our planet and other living things.
One challenge in finding eco-friendly cleaning agents is that many of them come in plastic containers, which is another problem.
It’s amazing how much time we spend in the kitchen. Food procurement, preparation, and clean up take a lot more time than actually eating!
This week our Creation Care attention is focusing on the bathroom. There are many ways we can help preserve our planet by making different choices in this area of our lives. Not all of us are aware that not only are most floss containers made out of plastic, but most of the floss itself is plastic. How many trees are cut down to provide us with toilet paper. How many toxic chemicals from our cleaning agents find their way into the water table or local streams. How many plastic toothbrushes are floating in the ocean. There are alternatives.
This week we are looking at our laundry room. Many of our modern conveniences found in the laundry room are anything but ecosystem friendly. We don’t have to go back to the day of pounding laundry on rocks in the nearest creek or handwringing laundry before hanging it out to dry, but given that laundry seems to be the real never-ending story, any changes we can make in this area will have an impact. Please feel free to contact Karen Gartner, or Kate Laney, with questions or more ideas.
With spring approaching, we are anxious to get outdoors and our thoughts turn to our yards. Our yards are in many ways a micro-environment. Whether doing clean-up, planting, maintenance, or harvesting, there are many eco-friendly choices we can make to care for the insects, birds, plants, animals, water and soil. There is so much we can do in our outdoor space that this is a wonderful opportunity to create biodiversity, to respect all life, to make wise choices in what we plant, what we use to nurture our plants, our soil, to attract beneficial insects (and others).
The garage is easy to overlook when you are finding ways to become more environmentally aware.
To wrap up our series of articles looking at what you can do in different areas of your personal space or lifestyle, we want to offer a consolidated list of resources we have used. This list is certainly not everything that is available out there. We encourage everyone to do a little browsing and see what you can discover. The possibilities of what we can do to help are almost endless. Rather than feeling discouraged at the enormity of the problem, we should feel empowered as there really is a lot we can do. Just pick one or a few that you can fit into your lifestyle or that meets your own passion for Creation Care. Every little bit really does help.