Funding for Stewardship of Creation of Church owned lands (D035)
Resolved, That the request of the Task Force on the Care of Creation and Environmental Racism, having been reviewed and recommended by the Joint Standing Committee on Mission Within the Church, to use $20,600 from budget line item 173a (D035 Stewardship of Church Owned Lands) for a grant to Plainsong Farm, is approved; and be it further
Resolved, That the grantee shall submit program and financial reports as required by the Finance Office and/or the Task Force on Care of Creation and Environmental Racism.
Resolution D035 calls for dioceses and institutions to begin to develop partnerships for regenerative agriculture and restoration projects to mitigate the impacts of climate change. This resolution, which was initially proposed by the Reverend Nurya Parish of Director of Plainsong Farm, has broad reaching implications for re-imaging how church owned land can be part of a faithful response to the climate crisis and for building capacity at the local level.
Using the expertise and staff of Plainsong Farm, Reverend Parish has proposed program to respond to this resolution which will be two faceted. The first effort will be a pilot project with f three diocese to identify, assess and, as possible, map church owned land. Following these land inventories, possible projects for regeneration will be recommended and explored for each diocese. Plainsong Farm staff will help identify possible partnerships which may assist in implementing projects. The actual implementation of any projects will be left to the dioceses and individual congregations.
Following the completion of this pilot project, Plainsong will evaluate best practices for this effort and determine how this initiative can be expanded across the church. The final deliverable will be a toolkit that offers dioceses and churches the support and guidance necessary to conduct their own inventory and evaluate land for agriculture projects, habitat restoration and green burials. The toolkit will be widely distributed through social media and the Episcopal Church’s website. It will also be available for distribution and sharing at the Church’s exhibit booth at General Convention.
The Task Force on the Care of Creation and Environmental Racism has carefully considered this proposal and endorsed the project. It will offer a concrete guidance for churches and dioceses which may be seeking to use church land in ways that honors Gods creation and offers a hopeful way for church’s to respond to climate change. The Task Force requests that $20,600 from budget line 173 be allocated to fund this project with payment directly to Plainsong Farm.