We actively strive to care for God’s
creation through conservation and education.
When we are separated from creation, we struggle and in time become separated from the Creator. We view all of God's creation as sacred and worthy of our love and care. "We are called to worship God with creation," as Lutherans Restoring Creation so aptly affirm.
To serve all of God's creation, here at St. Paul we focus on conservation and education. We collaborate with Emmaus Campus Ministry’s Faith and Climate Action initiative who help to coordinate creation care efforts across the city, state, and denominations to work with other faith communities to multiply our collective efforts' effects. We also have our own “Green Team” within the church who heads up our local church efforts in the areas of facility modifications (conservation) and education.
We find inspiration from what other churches are doing and engage resources such as Lutherans Restoring Creation and Creation Justice Ministries. We rely on the expertise and guidance of our local resources to whom we are most grateful, including Faith and Climate Action Montana, Climate Smart Missoula, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and NorthWestern Energy. We also look to our national church body, the ELCA, who issued a statement on creation care in 1993 calling Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice; read the statement here. Additional resources offered by the ELCA can be found here.
We've participated in two energy audits to help us modify our facilities to conserve resources and make better use of those resources. We’re blessed that we’ve been able to retrofit our facilities to all LEDs as of 2018 in addition to the renovation improvements to insulation and windows made in 2010, and we finished installing a 26.2 kW array of solar panels in the fall of 2018. Now that the majority of our facility is on LEDs, we've estimated based on prior wattage used that we're now saving 60% of electricity costs from the lighting retrofit alone. In the spring of 2018 we also planted a pollinator-friendly climate-specific and native flower garden to welcome and sustain pollinators throughout the growing season.
We endeavor to grow in our educational resources and leadership as our creation care ministry expands to plant the seed of knowledge and passion in each heart to do each person's best; little by little, the sown seeds will becomea field of flowers.