Ministries: Organizational: Stewardship: Creation Care
Stewardship is using the gifts God has given us, to do the work God is calling us to do. Christian stewardship is grateful and responsible use of God's gifts in the light of God's purpose as revealed in Jesus Christ. Christian stewards, empowered by the Holy Spirit, commit themselves to conscious, purposeful decisions. It is caring for all of God’s creation. Here at St. Christopher’s, we began recycling, using setback thermostats, and even went solar. But these have been disparate disjointed endeavors. We are now incorporating these into a single ministry of "Creation Care" in line with that of the Diocese of Arizona.
Contact: Bill Lynn
Some of these bring in cash, but all reduce what goes to the landfill or reduce the pollution to our planet. We've been moving to ‘smart’ irrigation timers and valves to reduce the use of water and notify us of potential leaks. We’ve been moving away from Styrofoam and plasticized plates and cups. We recently added a solar array and moved from incandescent bulbs to LED. But these have been disjointed ministries for years. In 2019, however, both our Junior Warden (Bill Lynn) and our Chair of Buildings & Grounds (Jane Meyers) who share a passion for this started to combine recourses and work together. Bill drives an electric car and Jane lived in Seattle for years where recycling started early. In 2021 we will combine and formalize these efforts into a single ministry as part of stewardship of God’s Creation; it will be led by Bill Lynn.
In the larger church, at both the diocesan and national levels, Stewardship of God’s Creation has been an increasing focus. On Earth Day 2019, Bishop Reddall joined Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, the Task Force on Creation Care and leading Dioceses and made the Pledge to Care for Creation. On December 19, 2019, Bp Reddall announced having called the Rev. Pam Hyde as the Canon for Creation Care. Cn. Pam joined the diocesan staff on January 1, 2020. The 2020 diocesan convention (held virtually in October) contained a clear call from Canon Hyde for parishes to begin developing new ways to care for the earth. We are answering that call to be better stewards of creation and are excited to dream about ways we can continue to make our community—both the community at St. Christopher’s and the wider geographic community—more earth-friendly. Stay tuned!
Our efforts at St. Christopher’s have included:
Aluminum Can Recycling - Bill Masters
We have done this for many years. Look for the red can in Middleton to donate your cans. Cans (and other aluminum items including, a few years ago, our broken ice making machine!) continue to bring in hundreds of dollars each year to support the Hospitality Ministry.
Energy Efficiency Project - Bill Lynn
In 2019 when we installed our solar array, we also began replacing every incandescent light bulb in the complex with LED. Some were easy just removed a crew in bulb with an LED energy efficient one but most have meant rewiring florescent fixtures to accommodate the new LED tubes.
Paper Recycling - Office
We have done this for many years. Bring your paper, collapsed boxes, cardboard, and shredded paper (in a plastic or paper bag) and drop it in the collection bin in the parking lot near the breezeway. If you find the bin very full, please notify the office or call the number on the side of the bin and let them know the bin at St. Christopher’s needs to be emptied. Dollars from recycling paper support the Hospitality Ministry.
Plastic Recycling - Jane Meyers
We began to do this in 2019. Parks & Sons stopped charging commercial customers to pick up recycling including paper, cardboard, aluminum, glass, and plastic. We continue recycling paper, cardboard, and aluminum for cash instead and are only recycling plastics with them. Look for the large blue recycling bin in the kitchen.
No more Plastic or Styrofoam Please = Jane Meyers
At the May 20, 2019 vestry meeting, Jane Meyers requested that we as a Church try to cut back our use of plastics and Styrofoam and instead use the dishes we have and the commercial dishwasher that sanitizes better than hand washing. She suggested we bring in recycling containers for glass and plastic. Vestry endorsed the change.
We installed solar in March 2019 and 2020 was our first full year enjoying the benefits of the solar array installed on our flat roofs. This not only saves us money but also reduces CO2 emissions and more.
Use of Recycled Products
In 2018 we began to shift to recycled paper products whenever financially feasible and practical.