Adapted from the Office of Public Affairs
The Episcopal Church’s Advisory Council on the Stewardship of Creation offers a report of its work following a recent meeting:
The Advisory Council on the Stewardship of Creation met in New York City July 20-22 to discern the Church’s ongoing response to environmental issues. The Advisory Council members were appointed by the presiding officers as called for by Resolution A030, adopted at the 78th General Convention. A list of the members of the advisory council can be found here.
Resolution A030 calls for the council to form Regional Consultative Groups (RCGs) for local technical support and networking of environmental ministries and initiatives. Each RCG will include individuals who can support needs in education, theology, and liturgy, as well as ecological experts to equip dioceses and congregations as they live into the church’s mission to join in the reconciliation of all God’s creation. The council is developing a plan for forming the RCGs and expects to announce the process later this year.
The advisory council will also oversee $300,000 in grant funding for environmental ministries that focus on the intersection of social and environmental needs, faith and eco-justice, and congregational engagement. Funds for the grants will come from monies allocated to the Fifth Mark of Mission as approved by the 78th General Convention in 2015. The council is currently developing the granting process, which it expects to announce publicly later this year.
During the meeting, the advisory council had the opportunity to meet with the two presiding officers of the Episcopal Church: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, and with Executive Officer of the General Convention the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe. The presiding officers expressed their commitment to continue embracing and embodying the spirit of Jesus by caring for creation. From the Presiding Bishop, the council heard a commitment to three major ways the church can live into the Jesus Movement: evangelism, the work of racial reconciliation, and care for creation. These issues are the work of the church and are intimately connected to each other.
The advisory council issued a statement to the wider church: “Grace and peace to you in Jesus’ name. We rejoice that our church’s officers affirm that eco-justice work is core to God’s mission. We commit to develop a church-wide network and grant making process to resource this ministry. We ask your prayers and we offer ours for you.”