Covenant for Care of Creation
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Newcastle, Maine

1. Preamble. Because we want to share our strong love of God and God’s Creation, we will undertake activities in the 2023-2024 Creation Year like those proposed below. In July 2024 we will reevaluate the events specified in this current Covenant and revitalize our activities accordingly.

2. Loving. We will share our stories of love and concern for the Earth and link with others who care about protecting the sacred web of life. We will:

a) conduct a labyrinth walk on a sunny day for all interested parishioners and arrange carpooling to the Brunswick location;
b) schedule a “Blessing of the Heat Pumps” event, at the end of the 2023-2024 heating season;
c) prepare and share a Power Point presentation celebrating what St. Andrew’s already has done to reduce our carbon footprint (replacing the oil furnace, new windows, LED lights, joining the Bristol Community Solar Market, phasing out Styrofoam and paper products at Coffee Hours);
d) cooperate with other local churches in designing and presenting an outdoor liturgy celebrating Earth Day 2024
possibly using St. Patrick’s outdoor worship space;
e) celebrate St. Francis Day with a Blessing of the Animals and other creatures of God’s Creation;
f) in an outdoor service next to the river, celebrate the Creation theme of the national Episcopal Church — “Let Justice and Peace Flow like a Mighty River.”

3. Liberating. We will stand with those most vulnerable to the harmful effects of environmental degradation and climate change — women, children, poor people, and communities of color, refugees, migrants. Because we want to stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers, especially those being harmed by environmental degradation and climate change, we will:

a) invite John Dieffenbacher-Krall, Executive Director of the Wabanaki Alliance and communicant at St. James Episcopal Church, Old Town, to deliver a Sunday sermon at St. Andrew’s on the papal Doctrine of Discovery and it’s effects on indigenous peoples;
b) create and ratify a Territorial Acknowledgment for St. Andrew’s, noting its riverside setting and the consumption of oysters here by indigenous peoples;
c) organize volunteers for a midweek Work Day at “Veggies to Table” in Newcastle;
d) during the Season of Creation, request that the Outreach Committee make a cash donation to the account of the Ecumenical Council for Homeless Prevention at the Damariscotta Baptist Church;
e) organize a volunteer contingent for CHIP’s Community Cares Day on September 9, 2023.

4. Life-Giving. We will change our habits and choices in order to live more simply, humbly and gently on the Earth. Because we want to change ourselves so that our flourishing is woven together with the flourishing of the Earth, we will:

a) undertake a thorough energy audit of the St. Andrew’s property performed by a contractor who has experience performing energy audits on churches and investigate installing a roof-top solar array at St. Andrew’s, along with energy efficiency investments;
b) apply for available energy efficiency grants from state and federal authorities for adding insulation and weatherstripping and reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
c) in conjunction with the Property Committee and the Capital Campaign, do the necessary work on St. Andrew’s grounds to eliminate such invasive plants and insect pests as are present and plant trees for shade and beauty;
d) schedule a “Meat Free Meal” for all parishioners in order to demonstrate the numerous tasty alternatives to meat entrees that rest much more lightly on Creation and show the Power Point slides referenced at (c) under Loving, above;
e) establish a Clynk account at Hannaford in the church’s name end regularly distribute Clynk bags for bottle and can recycling so that parishioners can increase the amount they collectively recycle and also so St. Andrew’s receives Clynk revenue.