The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Environmental Ministries


Topic: Environmental Ministry

Speaker: Letty Naigles

[link to PDF]

Parish/Organization: St. John’s Episcopal Church, Vernon


Within my faith community, I have led the Environmental Ministry for over 10 years. Our activities include promoting energy efficiency in partnership with our Facilities committee, installing new lighting and thermostats that decreased our energy use by more than 20%. We won Interfaith Power and Light’s Cool Congregations Challenge in 2011, Energy Efficiency category ($1000 prize). We also organized sales of compact fluorescent light bulbs and other energy efficient products; educated parishioners by writing regular articles about environmental topics, including energy tips, in our monthly newsletter; facilitated both church and parishioner sign-ups for electricity from renewable resources; hosted free showings of environmental films, including “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Lighten Up,” “Coal Country”, and “Red Gold”, and encouraged subsequent discussions; played leading roles in the campaigns to encourage Vernon and South Windsor to adopt the SmartPower 20% by 2010 resolution; publicized and organize recycling drives for cellphones and printer cartridges; organized sales of shade-grown, fair trade, organic coffee and other environmentally friendly foodstuffs; organized, built, and tended a community organic vegetable garden on the premises.

Within the broader faith community in Connecticut, I was a member of the Committee on the Environment for the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut from 1998-2010, and designed Sunday School courses on Creation Appreciation and Environmental Awareness. I gave an Earth Day sermon at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Manchester, in 2012. As a member of Connecticut’s IPL (the InterReligious Eco-Justice Network), I wrote and co-led a workshop called “Cool Congregations” at the annual Sacred Trust Forum in 2007.

In my town, I was a member of the Tolland Energy Task Force for 4 years. I wrote regular pieces for local news outlets on energy efficiency and other environmental themes, played a leading role in the successful adoption by Tolland of SmartPower’s 20% by 2010 resolution, played a leading role in the successful referendum of Tolland voters, agreeing to bond the Town Hall Geothermal HVAC project, and have presented educational workshops on energy efficiency, alternative energy, and conservation at town events.

Presentation Length: 30 minutes – can be lengthened or shortened

Availability: Sundays

Geographic limitations: Anywhere in CT.

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Topics: Environmental spirituality, church community gardening, spirituality of John Muir

Speaker: Anne Rowthorn

[link to PDF]

 Parish/Organization: St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Old Lyme


Anne Rowthorn, Ph.D. is a writer specializing in ecology and eco-spirituality. Her passion is the environment, and the beautiful, rural, southeastern Connecticut town where she lives is a perfect setting for her life and work. While on the road she collects ecological literature from the great cultures and religions of the world. Earth and All the Stars was the first book of this type. Her newest book is The Wisdom of John Muir: 100+ Selections from the letters, Journals, and Essays of the Great Naturalist (Wilderness Press, 2012).

 Anne has written just about everything—articles, editorials, book reviews and books. She has nine books and two more in press. Her pen and notebook have taken her all over the USA, to Asia, Latin America, Europe and Eastern Europe. She interviewed brave kids who live on the streets of Bucharest and teenagers in a hard bitten, drug infested neighborhood of Memphis. She talked to high school students in an elite section of Atlanta, many of whom suffer from anorexia. On the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of South Dakota, Mr. Pipe on Head gave her a tour of his sweat lodge and warned her not to step on a nearby ant hill for fear of harming “my little pets.” Throughout her travels she has been privileged to meet a host of interesting people whose points of view have shaped her outlook as a writer and as a person. It has been said that through the exercise of her craft a writer not only produces a product, she also builds a life. Her book, Your Daily Life Is Your Temple was designated a best spirituality book of the year in 2006 by Spirituality & Practice.

 While Anne is primarily a writer, she also leads workshops, retreats and eco-hikes.

 Presentation Length: variable: short presentations, quiet days, overnight retreats

Availability: Variable. Contact for more information.

Geographic limitations: Eastern CT.

Contact information:

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