As stewards of God’s creation, St Margaret’s Church is striving to learn about nature and environmental issues, to use our resources wisely, to live a life that sustains our environment, and to actively offer our gifts to others in care of the earth. In order to express an appreciation for the sanctity of the Earth and the Chesapeake Bay, we are working to better reflect this in our worship, our formation, our grounds and facilities and our personal stewardship and action.
We have identified 4 foundations of our Green ministry:
- Spiritual and Personal Formation - integrate celebration of God’s Creation and spiritual exploration of environmental responsibility and ethics in our worship life and formation programs. We regularly offer educational opportunities, guest speakers, Sunday Forums, hosted films with discussion, communicate through our e-newsletter and work with Clergy to design environmentally themed liturgies and worship services.
- Greening our Facilities - make church facilities healthy and environmentally friendly places by demonstrating sustainable building practices, modeling energy efficiency, reducing waste and increasing recycling, using green maintenance practices, and pursuing ethical purchasing policies for our congregation. Some of the actions we have taken include: increased and expanded recycling at the church and day school, offer waste reduction and recycling guidance for events hosted on campus, assessed energy use of buildings and implemented energy conservation measures and switched to clean energy electric, and evaluated chemical use on campus and transitioned to low toxicity chemicals and cleaning agents.
- Caring for our piece of creation - We have a 10 acre campus that we work to ensure it is a place of natural beauty and demonstrates measures that protect water quality, enhance habitat, and support Chesapeake Bay conservation. In doing this, we have created natural spaces that can support our spiritual practice, conducted a stormwater audit and implemented green stormwater practices such as rain gardens and native plant landscaping on St. Margaret’s property, developed a landscape plan that increased forest (2 acres converted from turf), increased conservation landscaping, and reduced the need for mowing.
- Stewardship and Action - inspire personal action by individual members of congregation that make a difference in environmental causes locally and globally and to make stewardship of the environment a part of parish activities. We regularly share with the St. Margaret's community opportunities to shape state or local policy on the environment, create opportunities for the congregation and youth to participate in watershed restoration projects in the community, and network with other churches and partner groups.
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