The timing couldn’t have been better. Just when the whole country seemed to be going green, Bishop Michael Ingham - at the urging of the Diocesan Synod and Council - wrote to Premier Gordon Campbell urging the province to set targets for reducing green house gas emissions.

“Care of the Earth has become one of the most pressing ethical, moral and spiritual issues of our time,” the bishop wrote. Last year our synod called upon parishes to commit to curtailing greenhouse gas emissions-to set targets and report progress at to their vestry meetings.

“What we ask of ourselves, we ask also of our elected officials,” the bishop wrote. The letter made the front page of the Vancouver Sun, and prompted a Province cartoon. Many congratulated the diocese for its enlightened stand.

But now comes the hard part-actually living up to those fine words uttered by the bishop on our behalf. The diocesan Environmental Unit is providing leaderships. They’ve obtained grants for energy audits, for demonstration projects, for the website, for a number of other fine programs. A solar panel is now visible at St. David, Vancouver. The unit is urging the diocese to hire students this summer to work on environmental projects.

Its great that 38 parishes now have appointed Environmental Stewards to constantly remind us that we have said that the environment is a priority. Still, a sizeable number of parishes have yet to appoint their steward. To date about 25 parishes have conducted energy audits to find ways to reduce consumption. That means one-third have audited their energy use-and hopefully reduced it-but two-thirds have not, although the program is three years old. One has yet to see overflowing bicycle racks in front of churches. Most Anglicans, even able-bodied ones, drive on Sunday.

Now that we’ve talked the talk, it’s time to all of us to walk the walk - sometimes literally. Care of the Earth really does mean we have to lead the way and change our lifestyle.