Creation Care

The Creation Care (CC) Ministry

The Creation Care (CC) Ministry at St. Peter’s in the Woods was formed to honor and care for God’s good creation, acknowledging the interdependence of all life on Earth, and by encouraging environmental sustainability through education, advocacy, and action.

We are a member of Faith Action for Climate Solutions (FACS) and a SING Chapter (Center for Spirituality in Nature)

Through CC, we focus our stewardship on protecting the earth’s resources and restoring healthy, sustainable ecological systems on our church property and the world. We do this by:
  • Deepening our understanding of our call from God to care for creation by infusing creation care into our worship and spiritual study.

  • Following environmental sustainability resolutions and guidance from the Episcopal church.

  • Serving as a demonstration site for sustainability in the community-at-large and in particular other faith communities

  • Using our church property to glorify God and live more sustainably by managing our resources to minimize our carbon footprint, reduce waste and regenerate the earth’s ecosystems.

  • Leading ourselves and our congregation towards deeper awareness of the importance of caring for creation through educational opportunities that inform and engage us in environmental stewardship

For more information and to get involved

contact Debbie Swietlik, then keep scrolling to learn more about all of our current projects!

“What we do within our community affects our biome.”

Paige Donovan watering Giving Garden

Giving Garden

We expanded our Giving Garden, located behind the church, in 2021 where a team of thoughtful volunteers continually plant, weed, and water the garden, producing beans, peppers, kale, and eggplants. Vegetables are given to the Burke United MethodistChurch for their local Food Pantry.

Bluebird box

Bluebird trail and nesting boxes

St. Peter’s in the Woods had at least 2 fledges of baby bluebirds this summer (2021) resulting in at least 8 birds from the two boxes on our property. The boxes are located on the grassy hill close to Route 123.

Learn more about bluebird conservation by watching our video, “Bluebird Conservation” Click here to listen to a recording of the birds in the SPW woods on a YouTube video.

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When possible, our SPW beekeeper captures bee swarms and places them in the hives on our property. In 2020, two hives yielded over 100 small jars of honey, which were sold to raise funds to expand our Giving Garden. Learn more about our beehives by watching our videos, “Hive Tour at SPW” and “Introduction to Beekeeping”

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Audubon Sanctuary Award & Native Tree Planting

In the fall of 2020, St. Peter’s in the Woods earned the status of an “Audubon At Home Wildlife Sanctuary program.” The designation and signage is awarded in recognition of the important contribution the church has made to the protection and restoration of native habitat in Virginia. From our native plants garden in front of the church and our commitment to planting native tree seedlings, to bird surveys on our property, we are dedicated to using our property to restore and sustain healthy ecological systems in response to God’s call to care for creation. Click here for more information on how you can create your own native plants garden at home.

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Energy audit and resulting efficiency improvements

Our 2020 energy audit led to a matching grant from the county to replace old and inefficient lights and appliances with energy saving alternatives.

Reusable Coffee 2

Earth-Friendly Reusables

Discontinuing single-use disposable plastics, foam products and bottled water
In response to the Diocese of Virginia’s Resolution R-1 passed at the 225th Annual Convention, SPW will significantly reduce our use of single-use disposable products whenever possible. We are also continually improving our recycling practices. Click here for a video and printable graphic poster on recycling in Fairfax County.