CreationCARE is St. James’ environmental ministry. We believe we have a responsibility to care for our natural resources, be responsible stewards of God’s creation, and share the importance of caring for creation with others. If you agree and would like to learn more and/or to be a part of this ministry, please contact Kip@stjmaesskan.org.
 

LATEST CreationCARE NEWS

Keep Connected with the Diocesan Green Corner:  CLICK HERE
 
New Adult EducationCaring for God’s Creation: What, Why, and How?
3 Sessions-All Recorded for You to Watch
 
 

Earth Day is Friday, April 22

Learn more about the effects of climate change, how it affects our Earth and health, and how we can combat it.
 
 

GREEN CORNER

GREEN CORNER #10 – March 2022
CARING FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE – “THE HARMONY WAY”
God’s world is expansive.  We have been created to dwell with all people and all things in solidarity with love and care for the other.  Native American theology has always embraced this idea of caring for every facet of creation, because we are all connected.  This spirit of ubuntu (“I am because we all are”) is a driving spirit of caring for others and for our creation.  Multiple faith communities have ways of expressing this caring.  GreenFaith (a Multi-faith environmental organization) has provided a multi-faith collection of resources for the upcoming Sacred Season of climate care and environmental justice.  This resource can be found at 
Many religious holidays happen between March 19 and May 6, including Ramadan for Muslims, Easter for Christians, Passover for Jews, and April 22 is Earth Day.  So it is an appropriate time to share these opportunities for reflection on how we can “lean into” environmental justice and show ways of caring more and more for where we live, so we leave the earth a cleaner place for the “7th generation” beyond us.
Indigenous author, Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley, explains the “harmony way” in “Becoming Rooted”.  The “harmony way” with each other and with the earth occurs when “a deep respect characterizes those relationships.  The wisdom of Indigenous stories and traditions emphasizes the importance of restoring the relationships that exist among Creator, humans, animals, and the earth.  One of the principle values found within the way of harmony is generosity, often expressed through hospitality.  [Are you being hospitable to your neighbor, to your plants, to your animals?].  Other values include respect for everything and everyone  and a lifestyle of gratitude, especially for each other and to the earth which produces well and in abundance,” especially when we do not tamper with it, ie. with chemicals, resource depletion, or pollution.
All of the major faith communities around the world speak of this recognition of respect and honoring life – humanity and our creation, the earth.  During this Sacred Season for the earth, consider learning more about the wisdom that has been passed down from generations in your faith tradition to help empower you to make a positive difference in how you interact with and care for the earth and your fellow neighbor.
 
 
Green Corner #9-February 2022
LOCAL RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE LIVING
Last month we learned about the importance of our food choices which can be so impacted by national and international organizations and government choices. However we can also have an impact on our local environments right here where we live. In fact there are many local opportunities to care for the environment and make a difference for climate justice.
Local villages and towns may have environmental advisory committees –
Skaneateles’ environmental advisory committee minutes can be found under “Resources” at villageofskaneateles.com.
This committee (Kim Persee, Carol Stokes-Cawley, Tara Lynn, Ed Marx, Dave Middleton, Patrick McDonald, Jessica Millman, and Kip Coerper) meets once a month to talk about ways we can positively impact our environment. We are learning that there is substantial grant money available from NYSERDA”s (NY State Energy Research and Development Committee) Clean Energy Program to give to local communities in support of green initiatives that will “create a healthy and sustainable environment by investing in future-focused clean energy solutions”. Our committee is reviewing the adaptions and changes Skaneateles Village can make, such as more LED street lights and electric vehicle charging stations, to “green” our village. After careful research we then make recommendations to the Village Board to consider on behalf of making our community “more green” – ie. less waste, more alternative energy, cleaner lake, better recycling. If you would like to comment or make a suggestion for us to pursue, go to
https://www.villageofskaneateles.com/contact and your comment will be forwarded to our committee.
CNY Compost (CNYcompost.org) is another local business encouraging composting which aims to reduce methane gas which would otherwise be released when our food scraps go to landfills. And you then will have access to quality compost for your garden. If you are from another local village or town, perhaps you could initiate a village environmental committee to help encourage village leaders to pay attention to climate issues and our environmental impacts and care for climate justice issues.
More and more people of all ages are realizing that we can no longer do business like we used to when we care about the future of God’s green earth. Native Americans have always know this to be true – The Haudenosaunee people, on who’s land we reside, live by the philosophy that “the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future.”
Two more local organizations who are positively impacting our local environment now for the 7th generation and beyond are:
GreeningUSA.org in Syracuse which promotes “10 Steps to Sustainable Communities” and can help you make the adaptions necessary to become a sustainable community.
And citizensclimatelobby.org which has a strong chapter in Syracuse who promote putting a price on carbon with a dividend back to tax payers in order to include the true “cost” of the use of carbon by organizations and corporations in our society.
Pay attention to the impact your life choices make on our environment. Join the movement for climate justice and climate care. We all can live more sustainably.
 
 
Green Corner #8. January 2022
Caring for the Climate with Our Food Choices
January is a time to contemplate New Years’ resolutions. Perhaps it is time to consider how you can help address the detrimental affects of climate change through how we produce and consume food.
Did you know that in the U. S. about 40% of all food is wasted! And when that wasted food goes into a landfill it generates methane gas, which can be 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Could you pay more attention to the food that needs to be eaten in your refrigerator, so less of it gets tossed out? Do you compost your food scraps, which actually can improve your garden and reduce methane dramatically? (cnycompost.com).
– Traditional fruits and vegetables are grown with the use of harmful pesticides like brain-toxic chlorpyrifos, cancer linked glycophosphate (better known as Roundup), and pollinator threatening neonicotinoids. You can keep these out of you body by buying certified organic fruits and vegetables. Not only your body will benefit. Organic agriculture using regenerative farm practices will build soil health (better in the long term for the farm as well as it’s vegetables), mitigate climate change, protect air, water, and habitat for wildlife – all of this will provide more economic stability for famers. Unfortunately, present conventional food is artificially cheap due both to a wide range of public subsidies, as well as laws and norms that do not require farmers to shoulder the full costs of labor, water and air pollution, soil depletion, and other environmental and health harms.
– Some people suggest Meatless Mondays as a way to reduce your carbon footprint. That is a good idea if you are eating conventional grown meat in feed lots and barns. Organicly grown vegetables are more healthy for you and the environment than meat from traditionally raised farm animals. But so too is consuming meat that is 100% grass fed. 100% grass fed beef actually helps the soil because the animals naturally fertilize it, the animals are healthier rarely needing antibiotics, the meat will taste better, and few if no chemicals and antibiotics are introduced into the ecosystem to harm the land, animals, farmers, and you.
– The good news is that organic food is the fastest growing part of the food economy. As we consume more organic food, the prices will come down. So buy organic which will make you more healthy, the animals more healthy, our soils less depleted, the runoff into lakes less severe, our bees and wildlife more plentiful, and our farm workers less impacted by harmful chemicals. And when you go to restaurants always ask if the meat and vegetables are organic. Where are they sourced? Are they from local farms? Perhaps the chicken is local, the beef is from California – then choose the chicken. Our choices as consumers will help determine the food producers and marketers provide us. Read up on Regenerative Farming practices at https://www.nrdc.org/resources/regenerative-agriculture.  
 
 
A Little About the CreationCARE:  St. James’ CreationCARE is the environmental/ecoministry of St. James’ Episcopal Church, located in Skaneateles, New York. Founded on the belief that we have a moral responsibility to be stewards of God’s Creation, this ministry is
 dedicated to fostering ecological practices that will lessen our impact on the earth. Through prayer, discussion, education and action, members of this ministry seek ways to create an earth-friendly environment within their personal lives, their communities, and the world. Members serve our present and future generations by engaging in conservation, education, and habitat improvement projects. We are eager for all people who are interested in improving the environment to participate in our meetings and activities. Questions, please contact Kip Coerper at Kip@stjamesskan.org.
 

Acknowledging the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee People through Prayer at St. James’

Soon, all will notice the addition to the creation prayer: 

We acknowledge the Onondaga nation of the Haudenosaunee People, the traditional custodians of the land on which we are worshiping today. We acknowledge that they have occupied and cared for this land over countless generations and we celebrate their continuing contributions to the life of this region.

St. James’ is joining other churches across the nation in the process of reconciliation to the indigenous people of the land.  It is incumbent upon the church for healing and reconciliation, to acknowledge the first inhabitants of the land upon which the church buildings currently sit.  One of the ways the church begins the road to reconciliation with siblings who identify as Indigenous/Native American, is to acknowledge that all churches sit on Native Land. It was “purchased” through treaties that were constantly broken. Tribal nations were violently forced from ancestral lands to distant reservations.

In Lakota spirituality is the concept of mitákuye oyás’iŋ. The translation into English is “we are all related.” For the church this means that land acknowledgement is not only about the church apologizing to the tribal nations, or the church trying to separate itself from the sins of the past and reconcile what colonialist ancestors did to the tribal nations, it is much deeper and more interconnected than that. It is us apologizing for our sins to our own ancestors and acknowledging the damage we did do to our own siblings, indeed to our own selves. We ARE all related, and when we harm one another, we harm ourselves. When ancestors harmed the tribal nations, they harmed the nations, themselves and all descendants. As Jesus teaches: “just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40). As members of one family, we are called to heal the damage that has been done to all relations, and to ourselves.
 
Read the full article “How to Write a Land Acknowledgment”:  CLICK HERE
 
FACTS about the HAUDENOSAUNEE
  • The present-day territory of the Onondaga Nation (“People of the Hills”) is approximately 7,300 acres just south of Syracuse near Nedrow, New York.
  • Between 1788 and 1822, the Onondaga Nation lost possession of approximately 95% of its land through a series of illegal “takings” by the State of New York.
  • Onondaga (the keepers of the Central Fire) is considered to be the capital of the Haudenosaunee, a name meaning “People of the Longhouse”. The Haudenosaunee are sometimes referred to as the Iroquois Confederacy, or Six Nations.
  • The Haudenosaunee was founded at Onondaga after the Peace Maker visited the warring nations. This is estimated to have occurred around the year 1000 A.D. The five original nations of the Haudenosaunee were the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas. The Tuscaroras joined the confederacy in the early 1700’s.
  • The nations of the Haudenosaunee came together after agreeing to work together peacefully rather than continuing to battle each other. They established a democratic system of government led by a Grand Council consisting of chiefs from each nation. These chiefs worked with clan mothers to ensure the preservation and well-being of the Haudenosaunee.
  • The Haudenosaunee is considered to be one of the oldest participatory democracies on earth, and provided an important structural model for the Founding Fathers developing the United States Constitution.
  • The Haudenosaunee became the greatest Indian power in colonial America, with a homeland that spanned northern New York between the Hudson and Niagara rivers and an influence that extended from the Ottawa River to the Chesapeake Bay and from New England to Illinois.
  • The Onondaga Nation maintains traditional cultural views and a traditional system of government. The Nation does not permit the sale of alcohol and has opposed casinos and online gaming.
  • The Haudenosaunee are known internationally as a peaceful people, with a heritage of statesmanship, government/law and an oral tradition passed from generation to generation.
  • Onondaga remains the meeting place for the Grand Council of Chiefs, the traditional ruling body for the Haudenosaunee. The Longhouse serves as a place of spiritual, cultural and social activities, the seat of government and symbol of security.