2015 Earth Matters Report for St. John's Annual Report

Earth Matters is an initiative of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Minneapolis

February 4, 2016

From Doug Mensing:

MINNEAPOLIS - Earth Matters is an initiative of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Minneapolis, created to work against the harmful effects of climate change. It is dedicated to encouraging people to mindfully change how they live, how they pray, and how they work for systemic change. It consists of three sub-groups working in distinct, yet overlapping areas: 

  1. Spiritual Practice - to bring consciousness of the Earth and its health to your daily spiritual practice
  2. Practical Action - encourages people to gradually reduce their carbon footprint and begin to live a life of health and sustainability
  3. Systemic Change - provides opportunities for people to engage in changing the systems that contribute to climate change

Originating at St. John’s several years ago as more of a practical “Green Team,” the Earth Matters Committee has evolved (largely through the passionate work of the late John Ackerman) into a more concerted effort to more broadly address climate change. It has become more widely recognized that climate change is really a social justice issue, and we all can play an important role in facing this challenge, using our varied gifts and personal passions.

During 2015, Earth Matters accomplished many things, including: monthly meetings (generally the third Monday of each month), a weekend of Earth Day events, a screening of the documentary “Do the Math,” participation in the Tar Sands March in St. Paul, an updated energy audit of the building, research on solar options (both on-roof or a community solar garden), and a lot more. Through our partnership with the Episcopal Earthkeepers Circle, St. John’s helped to establish the Episcopal Church in Minnesota’s 2016 Mission Opportunity as “Engaging God’s Mission Through Engaging All God’s Creation.” With this focus in mind, the Episcopal Earthkeepers Circle sponsored a weekend of events in November at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral focusing on education and inspiration for Earthkeeping. In addition, Pope Francis’ inspiring Encyclical was discussed.

We have taken some important steps and actions, but there is much more work to be done! The 2016 Mission Opportunity of Earthkeeping offers some unique opportunities we should capitalize on this year. If you have time, energy, and/or interest, please contact Doug Mensing at dougm@appliedeco.com, or Dan Vogel at danvoge@gmail.com to discuss how you can get involved.