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Earthkeepers is a group of Saint Markans who believe that care of creation is not only an important policy; it is also a moral obligation.

The Fifth Mark of Mission of the Episcopal Church is:

To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

In accordance with this goal, the Episcopal Church in Minnesota has chosen its Mission Opportunity for 2016 to be

Engaging God’s creation through engaging all God’s creation

To work toward this goal, Earthkeepers of Saint Mark’s:

  • sponsors monthly lunches on environmental topics during the church year
  • plans activities for Earth Week, Blessing of the Species, and other special events.
  • maintains a collection of books and videos on environmental topics in the Saint Mark’s Library
  • hosts Minnesota Earthkeepers seminars and workshops
  • promotes energy efficiency and sustainable practices at the Cathedral

Everyone is welcome to attend and help out whether their interest is the spiritual appreciation of nature, practical steps to preserve and protect creation, or public policy affecting the environment. If you are interested in knowing more, please email stmarks4theearth@gmail.com

Earthkeepers of Saint Mark’s 2016 – 2017

Earthkeepers State Fair Art Award:

Using funds donated by Earthkeepers members, the Earthkeepers of Saint Mark’s Award was established as part of the Fine Arts Competition at the Minnesota State Fair. The award, which includes a rosette and a $500 prize, is given to the art work in the show which “best exemplifies reverence for Creation and appreciation of the natural world.” The 2016 winner was “Passing Through,” a watercolor by David R. Smith of Eden Prairie. The artist donated a print of the painting to Saint Mark’s in appreciation.

Blessing of Species

On October 2, Saint Mark’s celebrated the Feast of Saint Frances with a service that included pets and the Heart of the Beast Puppets. The service was followed by a fair for animals and their people which included pet treats from Chuck and Don’s Pet Stores and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.

Earthkeepers Luncheons

Sunday lunches with outstanding speakers on environmental issues will start again on January 22, 2017. A program of four lunches is planned. A freewill offering will be collected. Reservations at stmarks4theearth@gmail.com are appreciated but not required.

Earthkeepers Collection in the Saint Mark’s Library

The Earthkeepers have donated a collection of books and videotapes to the Saint Mark’s Library. The materials are on a shelf located along the wall to the left as you enter the Library. Stop by and check out something interesting. The collection includes episodes of the Emmy Award winning documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously.

LED Lighting for the Sanctuary

In July, 2016, Earthkeepers arranged an energy audit of Saint Mark’s. One of the report’s key recommendations was to replace the chandelier lights in the sanctuary with LED bulbs which could save the church about $800 per year in electricity costs. Once a lighting consultant analyzes our needs and gives us an estimate, Earthkeepers will have a small fundraising campaign matched by some anonymous gifts to finance the conversion.

Dates to Save in 2017

Earthkeepers Luncheons:

January 22: The opening Earthkeepers Lunch of our 2017 Series. Meet David Smith, the winner of Earthkeepers of Saint Mark’s Art Award at the Minnesota State Fair. Hear about our plans for an Earth Week Art competition, our plans to convert the nave to LEDs, and get the schedule of speakers for the rest of the series. Then watch an episode of the Emmy Award winning documentary, “Years of Living Dangerously.” A catered lunch will be served in the Banquet Room with a free will offering.

February 26: Paul Douglas, well-known meteorologist and entrepreneur, will speak on the intersection of faith and environmental action based on his recent book, “Caring for Creation: An Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment.” There will be a book signing after his talk and copies of the book will be available for purchase.

March 26: Dr. Stephen Polasky, Regents Professor and Fesler-Lampert Chair in Ecological/Environmental Economics will speak on state and Federal government policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions, what the options are and how well they work.

May 7: Greg Page, recently retired Chairman of Cargill, will speak on the economic risks of climate change and how businesses are coping with the challenges of global warming.

April 22: Earth Day. There will be special activities to celebrate Earth Day. Watch for further information.

Previous Earthkeepers Speakers include

  • Dr. Mark Seeley, Climatologist, University of Minnesota and Minnesota Public Radio
  • Mark Prestman, Director of Habitat Protection, The Nature Conservancy
  • John Cuningham, Principal and Founder, The Cunningham Group.. Architecture
  • Dr. Benjamin Santer, Climate Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Dr. Jessica Hellmann, Director, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota
  • Don Shelby, Journalist

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