Stewardship of the Earth

But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
or the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
 Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind.
                                                  –Job 12:7-10

At St V, we pledge in our mission statement to: “To sustain the Earth, our neighbors near and far, the poor, the marginalized; To be healing instruments of justice and peace.”

And as we show our love for our neighbors through our advocacy and our outreach programs, we likewise strive to sustain our planet through large and small efforts.

In order to reduce the carbon footprint of our facilities, we have installed a geothermal heating and cooling system for the rectory building and upgraded to energy-efficient lighting throughout the facilities. We had hoped to install solar panels as well, but our roof could not bear the load.

We try to reduce waste by recycling in our office and in our ministries. In an effort to keep styrofoam cups out of landfills we long ago began a “cup washing ministry” in which volunteers wash the ceramic coffee cups used in our post-worship fellowships. The cups have been donated by parishioners.

In a combination of serving people and the planet, our program The Resource Exchange facilitates the reuse of household goods. This ministry collects donations of furniture and other used goods in good condition and helps people who were once homeless but have received housing through Healthcare for the Homeless furnish their new homes.

Cognizant of our proximity to the Jones Falls and other tributaries leading to the Chesapeake Bay, we have partnered with Blue Water Baltimore (BWB), nonprofit that uses community-based restoration, advocacy, and education to achieve clean water in the our area’s watersheds. BWB is assessing our facilities to offer suggestions on what we can do to help improve the health of the Chesapeake.