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A Touchstone for Greening Ideas - Grace Episcopal

For over ten years, members of Grace Episcopal Church in Bainbridge Island, Wash., have worked to integrate greening practices in their church’s institutional life. With such a steady presence in their church, the people of Earth & Spirit became touchstones for greening ideas.

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Grace members participate in a Car-Free Sunday

For over ten years, members of Grace Episcopal Church in Bainbridge Island, Wash., have worked to integrate greening practices in their church’s institutional life.  They started with a study of Simplicity as Compassion and continued incorporating Earth Ministry’s resources into their institutional life.  It wasn’t until an adult education program called Soul School started that they were able to formalize the group and take it to the next level.  “It’s been a lot easier to do this work with a platform and formal recognition,” said Marcy Lagerloef, a member of Grace Episcopal and board member of Earth Ministry.  “In our first year we intentionally used different methods to help the congregation connect their spiritual lives with God’s creation.”

With such a steady presence in their church, the people of Earth & Spirit became touchstones for greening ideas.  “People come to Earth & Spirit and ask if we want to participate in various church events….We had created a place for people to hear our message and now they ask us to partner and make their events more environmentally friendly,” said Ruth Blaney, a member of Earth & Spirit.  For example, they have partnered with a rummage sale, a women’s retreat, and facilities decisions.  Earth & Spirit also hosted their own events, including three of Earth Ministry’s Caring for All Creation modules and inspirational and educational speakers.

Grace Episcopal became a Greening Congregation at the 2008 Celebration of St. Francis.  Like a growing number of churches, Grace had a long list of accomplishments before even thinking about becoming a Greening Congregation.  “We realized that we were already there, so we said, ‘Let’s recognize it and celebrate it!’ and our request was met with a hardy ‘Yes!’” recalled Marcy. 

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