The Creation Care team addresses our response, as Christians, to the environmental crises facing our planet. We plan an October Creation Season of liturgies and education, and include our church in Earth Day activities. Throughout the year we help our community develop more sustainable practices such as reducing waste, choosing organic food and minimizing energy use. The team meets a few times a year, and welcomes ideas and varied contributions from all who are interested.
Contact: Peggy da Silva at
Tom Kat Ranch visitors, Sunday, October 7
A Day at TomKat Ranch
St. Mary’s Creation Care Team introduced it as a way to spend time praying, exploring and enjoying food that’s been raised with a consciousness of animal husbandry and respect for the earth. That turned out to be a perfect description of our visit to TomKat Ranch. Almost every aspect of this onetime dairy operation has been reinvented to be forward–looking, enterprising, and creative.
Take, for example, a building project that combines Kat’s passion for careful ecology, joy in innovation, and sense of whimsy. She told us about creating a garden and greenhouse next to the former dairy creamery. “We decided to add a very large –
completely impractical – fish pond,” she said, “Which is also a lap pool and a dining room table.” At one end, the shimmering water empties as a waterfall into a recycling system. The pond once served as a holding tank for an aquaculture experiment. “We had trout in here,” she explained, “but an algae bloom wiped them out. Now we have koi.” The rim can seat some 50 diners. A ranch table carried into the rose garden served as our altar. Around it, we shared soft tortillas and white wine as “strength for the journey.” To read about many ways that the ranch’s practices nurture nature, go to www.smvsf.org/tomkat2011.pdf
Honors to Our Parish
St. Mary’s was recently honored for its environmental leadership at the 15th Annual Interfaith Council Thanksgiving Prayer Breakfast. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Ed Lee, and Bishop Marc Andrus were present to witness the awards ceremony. Peggy da Silva, Chair of our Creation Care Team, received the award on behalf of the congregation on November 20th at the Hotel Kabuki. The Revs. Scott and Mary Richardson also attended.
Creation Care teammates Kim Regan, Ellen McLean, Sandy Stadtfeld, and Peggy da Silva savor the award. The citation that came with the plaque read as follows: “An important but overlooked element of good environmental stewardship is the connection between food choices, farming and their impacts on the climate. This is something that clergy and lay leaders have recognized and taken the time to educate their congregants about at St. Mary the Virgin. The church hosts a ‘sustainable feast’ each year to demonstrate how eating organically can be healthy, delicious and important to the reduction of community's carbon footprint. St. Mary's also any has a ‘Creation Season’ in October each year, with readings and homilies reflect the importance of the congregation?s participation in the sustainability of our planet's resources. One Sunday in October the parish celebrates its liturgy together on a local ranch, which demonstrates for children and adults where our food comes from and how they can be nourished in harmony with the land.”
Save the Bay, a non-profit organization that has led the fight to ban plastic grocery bags around the bay, offered us two beautiful canvas bags as raffle prizes. Kim Pitzer and Todd and Sophie Reynolds won the drawing. We hope they enjoy using their lovely bags this summer, and we hope everyone will move away from plastics as much as possible.