[Office of Public Affairs] Eco-ministries in the Episcopal dioceses of Cuba and Ecuador Litoral are among the nine recipients of this year’s Episcopal Church Creation Care grants—totaling $115,000—given to projects ranging from tree equity initiatives to renewable energy efforts.
During its October meeting, The Episcopal Church Executive Council approved a resolution from the Joint Standing Committee on Mission Within The Episcopal Church awarding the grants to collaborative eco-justice projects and long-term ministries addressing the systemic impacts of environmental racism.
“The Episcopal Church is at the forefront of denominations raising investments in grassroots approaches to environmental concerns,” said the Rev. Melanie Mullen, director of the church’s reconciliation, justice, and creation care programs. “The Creation Care grants fund a unique source of wisdom for intersectional justice and faith communities.”
The grant funding cycle opened in June and closed in August and included an informational webinar to learn more about the process and address questions.
This was the third round of Creation Care grant funding since 2019, utilizing funds allocated by The Episcopal Church’s General Convention in 2018. In July this year, the 80th General Convention affirmed the church’s continued call “to recognize Care of Creation and Environmental Justice as integral and ongoing parts of the Church’s loving, liberating, and life-giving work” and authorized a task force to continue the grants program.
“This year’s applicants reflect new awareness of biological diversity, environmental racism, and other stressors on human flourishing and planetary well-being,” Mullen said. “Several projects create bridges between church and under-resourced communities dealing with vulnerability to storms, floods, and heat, preventing the corrosive health impacts of climate change before they add to suffering in their neighborhoods.”
This year’s funded projects are as follows:
God’s Good Earth in Crisis: Liturgies of Lament — $7,000
Saint Ann’s Parish, Old Lyme, Connecticut, Episcopal Church in Connecticut
- Creation of “God’s Good Earth in Crisis,” a collection of 23 liturgies that address lament experienced through extreme weather, climate change, and injustice, and piloting of the liturgies in 18 partner congregations.
Cultivating Beloved Community at Bethany House and Garden — $8,000
Bethany House and Garden at the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, Topeka, Kansas
- Utilizing Bethany House and Garden as a community center to convene small groups and engage in story sharing about environmental racism and creation care toward Becoming Beloved Community.
Tree Equity at the Marfa Housing Authority – $8,000
Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, Texas, Episcopal Diocese of Rio Grande
- Collaboration with the Marfa Housing Authority and residents to plant trees around affordable housing complex and form environmental stewardship team to care for the trees long term.
Generación Verde (Generation Green) — $10,000
Jóvenes Episcopales de Cuba (Episcopal Youth of Cuba Organization), Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba, Episcopal Diocese of Cuba
- Train young Episcopalians across the diocese as promoters of creation care and plan a diocesan camp called “Green Generation” to engage the community in local environmental action.
Environmental Justice: The Tree Equity Initiative – $12,000
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Coconut Grove, Florida, Episcopal Church in Southeast Florida
- Supporting environmental justice efforts in Miami neighborhoods through advocacy and education about expanding tree canopy, in partnership with faith and community groups.
Juntos Aprendiendo a Reforestar y Cuidar Nuestra Casa Comun (Learning Together to Reforest and Take Care of our Common Home) — $13,000
Episcopal Diocese of Ecuador Litoral
- Project based in Episcopal Camp “Adrián Cáceres” to educate and engage young people about waste management, river conservation, and reforestation.
Faith and Community Tree Planting Collaboration for Equitable Climate Solutions – $15,000
Episcopal Diocese of San Diego Creation Care Task Force
- Addressing urban tree canopy and building climate resilience in the greater San Diego metro area by improving tree distribution in 10 key areas, in partnership with community stakeholders.
Daytona Beach Area Flooding Campaign – $17,000
St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Daytona Beach, Florida, Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida
- Addressing the issue of coastal flooding in Daytona Beach, Florida, through local advocacy, research, and education with the FAITH (Fighting Against Injustice Towards Harmony) Environmental Justice Committee.
Episcopal Renewable Energy Nonprofit — $25,000
Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, Fresno, California
- Formation of Episcopal Renewable Energy Nonprofit to share expertise, increase the successful implementation of solar energy in Episcopal dioceses, and reduce diocesan energy expenses.
“It should fill the church with pride and inspire it with courage and compassion that these local parishes and neighborhoods have decided to think creatively about moving the church toward right relationship with God, the earth, and community,” Mullen said.