Environmental Stewardship

Environmental Stewardship Team (EST) Mission Statement

To promote the stewardship of God’s life-sustaining creation at St. Andrew’s and in our community. To work in concert with the church mission Proclaim Jesus Christ, Live in Christ, Serve!,  so that the whole world will know the healing power of Christ’s love.

Why do we care for creation?

God first created Earth, and then created humankind.  The first task God gave to humankind was to care for this “good” and amazing creation.  Joining together to care for the masterpiece that God has made should be something that unifies us; a universal way to honor God through our actions.

God exhibits over and over again that God loves all of Creation, knows it in incredible detail, and does not find humankind separate from it but rather a trusted partner in its care.  When we make environmentally wise choices, we are celebrating and respecting creation, giving thanks for Earth’s abundant resources and being good stewards with what we have been given.

When we look to Scripture, we see that God cares deeply about all of creation, not just humans.  In the story of Noah and his ark, God makes sure all the animals are on the ark.  And when the flood recedes, God sets a covenant, not only with Noah and his descendants, but “with also with every living creature that is with you … every animal of the earth with you.”  (Genesis 9:12). In the Ten Commandments, God commands not only humans but also the livestock to rest on the seventh day and observe the sabbath.  In Job 38 and 39, God speaks about all of the creatures and environments he has made and how intimately God knows them—and of the joy and delight God takes in all of his creation.  In John 3:17 we learn that God did not send his Son to condemn the world but to save it!  God is in the business of saving the WORLD and is using us to do so.

Scientists have said there is a problem, but they cannot fix it; inventors and engineers can design new sustainable products and processes, but they cannot ensure people will use them; governments can make laws and incentives to coordinate the effort.  But the heart is the place where a person decides that this is important enough to act. So we are dedicated to getting at the heart of the matter, and we hope you will join us as we together not only enjoy and appreciate creation but care for it.

How do we care for creation?

Things people can still do (while still sheltering in place) to care for creation:

  1. Read the book Lab Girl and plant a tree – or many trees
  2. Pick up trash while you go on walks
  3. Adopt a storm water drain – and keep it clean
  4. Feed birds – and if you want to, learn their names, calls, and keep track of their visits
  5. Plant flowers (or lawn) for pollinators. More info at Pollinator Friendly Alliance https://www.pollinatorfriendly.org/events
  6. Build a compost bin
  7. Find some activities for kids at Greener Together https://environmentamerica.org/feature/ame/greener-together-0
  8. Put up a clothes line
  9. Engage and learn online with the National Audubon Society, The Food Revolution, Environment America, Friends of the Boundary Waters, etc.
  10. Advocate for the environment: Write or call your legislators and let them know that we all need clean air, clean water and healthy soil in order to live healthy lives and pass a sustainable world on to future generations
  11. Watch movies that inspire:  Living in the Future’s Past – a movie by Jeff Bridges;  The Game Changers – movie on plant based diets and athletic performance

Make Better Choices in Our Yards and Gardens

This presentation covered the fundamental considerations to make when selecting the right edible and native plantings for your property, and techniques to create productive chemical-free gardens which build soil and provide food for humans and wildlife. Presented online by Stillwater landscape designer Pete Widin MLA, from Artisan Environments LLC.

Wanted: Caregivers for God’s Creation

Environmental Stewardship Team Meetings
SUSPENDED DUE TO COVID-19; check back for more information

Everyone is welcome to attend! The group shares current ideas and plans events for the church community. Please consider joining the St. Andrew’s Environmental Stewardship Team. We have many activities under the theme of “Caring for Creation.” Here are a few activities that need your help to succeed:

Worship:

St. Andrew’s presents an annual “Caring for Creation” Sunday.  It includes a special worship service, adult forum and other activities to emphasize our natural world and how we can better care for it.

Buildings & Grounds:

Assist our church staff by making sure that St. Andrew’s does as much as possible with energy savings, reducing waste, and environmentally responsible landscaping. Activities include erosion control, native plantings, recycling, and energy efficient lighting.

Education:

Contribute to our quarterly newsletter and other congregational publications. Help organize nature camps and service projects to involve and educate our youth.

Discipleship:

Mobilize each of us to personally pledge to do at least one thing every day/month/year to improve our care of creation.

Community Outreach:

Design, organize, and staff a St. Andrew’s booth at the Mahtomedi Area “Rite of Spring” Earth Day Celebration. Arrange and organize a “Headliner” Event with a well known speaker to emphasize environmental issues.

Caring for Creation–past articles

Have you seen the Environmental Stewardship Team articles in St. Andrew’s bulletins? Here are links to recent topics:
Five Common Recycling Mistakes
Top EST Tips

Love to garden?

We are looking for some green thumbs to provide care and upkeep of containers and gardens, including two rain gardens, on our beautiful campus. For more information or to get involved please contact Jerry Kluthe. 

Want to know more?

Please contact any Betsy Thorson, Chair, bthorsondvm@gmail.com for more information on how to get involved.

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