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Creation at the Crossroads bearing fruit in Annapolis

Faith-sharing with RENEW International’s Creation at the Crossroads sparked a flurry of activity in a Maryland parish—all of it aimed at protecting and restoring the environment.

Stephany Crane, pastoral associate at St. Andrew by the Bay Parish in Annapolis, reports that seven small groups used the resource, written by Monsignor Edward J. Ciuba, in the spring of 2017.

“People were asking, ‘What’s next?’” Stephany said. “What are we called to do now?”

With the help of the parish adult faith-formation team, members of all the small groups gathered to talk about their experience and what it meant for their lives as disciples of Christ.

“They created a Creation Care Team,” Stephany said, “drew in more members of our faith community, and began. The goal is to raise awareness of the call for us as Catholic Christians to care for creation, and to inspire our parishioners, families, faith community, and local community to action.”

So far, team members have done the following:
    • spoken at masses, created a flyer, and handed out stickers to introduce this new ministry to the parish;
    • re-started and raised awareness of recycling in the parish;
    • began a "Did you know?" box in the parish newsletter with tips and facts on caring for creation;
    • partnered with a local Clean Streams group for a Saturday clean-up;
    • acted to convince the parish to switch from Styrofoam cups to paper;
    • held an Earth Day program on the parish grounds with 15 non-profit exhibitors including the SPCA, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Master Gardeners.

The Earth Day event also included representatives of a community farm, a bluegrass band, and Maryland Department of Natural Resources education volunteers. There were activities for children and hamburgers and hot dogs provided by the Knights of Columbus. Representatives of HOPE for All folks collected clothing and bed linens to help re-outfit housing for the homeless.

The Conservation Care Team had its own booth where they gave away reusable grocery bags with the St. Andrew’s parish logo, pencils made from recycled money, material on Catholic Social Teaching, and a kids’ coloring book created by a youth.

“I am so thankful and excited about what this team is accomplishing,” Stephany said, “and how the Spirit is moving in them and the community now. And I am thankful to RENEW International for providing the resource that that was the beginning of this beautiful ministry here at St Andrew By the Bay.”