Minnesota Episcopal
Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

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Shield of Episcopal Church

Upcoming Activities:

Next Meeting:

We meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox.

Annual Special Projects

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Mary Brown Environmental Center


Resolution on the Spirituality of Food Production

Resolution on Church Buildings and Grounds

Resolution on Creation Season

Resolution on Green Congregations

On our Website:

Environmental Events:


MBEC is an ideal location for a Vestry Retreat or similar small-group Retreat

Mary Brown Environmental Center

715 South Central Avenue
Ely, Minnesota

The Mary Brown Environmental Center was willed to the Episcopal Church in Minnesota by Mary Catherine Brown in 2005. Mary Catherine Brown founded St. Mary’s Episcopal Church–Ely in the 1970s when she welcomed local congregants into her home on Central Avenue for monthly worship. In her later years, St. Mary's Episcopal Church–Ely changed worship times and spaces many times, but Mary Catherine remained a stalwart and faithful member, attending services until two months before her death in February 2005. It was her dearest wish that her house be used for Episcopal worship after she was gone. A lifelong Girl Scout and former owner of the Paul Bunyan store in what is now the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Mary Catherine was delighted that her house might serve Episcopalians as both a church and environmental retreat center for years to come.

Our vision:

The Mary Brown Environmental Center provides spirit-based environmental education for small groups and families and a home base for canoeing, hiking, biking, golfing, and fishing in the heart of Minnesota's largest wilderness.

The Mary Brown Environmental Center is located a short drive from the International Wolf Center and entrances to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). It is an excellent location for preparation before and reflection after a visit to the BWCAW.

Donations to support the Mary Brown Environmental Center and its programs are appreciated. Please mail your tax deductible check to:

Mary Brown Environmental Center
c/o the Rev Helen Hanten
1331 Brainerd Ave
Duluth, MN 55811

Please make checks payable to
Mary Brown Environmental Center


Other Programs

  • Every Sunday 9:30 AM: Episcopal Service with St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
  • Church sponsored 2-3 day live-in retreats with themes from nature,
    science, or creation.
  • Clergy or Vestry Retreats
  • One- or two-week family vacations (Sunday 11 AM to Saturday 11 AM)










To check on available dates, click here.

For more information about the Mary Brown Environmental Center or to reserve space, contact:

Mary Brown Environmental Center
c/o the Rev Helen Hanten
1331 Brainerd Ave
Duluth, MN 55811

e-mail: [email protected]

Phone: 218-728-2000

Download a brochure (in PDF).

Copyright Statement

We welcome your comments. Please address your comments or questions to any MEESC member, or mail them to:
c/o C. Morello
4451 Lakeside Drive
Eveleth, MN 55734-4400 USA

The MEESC assumes that all correspondence received is for publication on this web site. If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence. The MEESC reserves the right to decide which items are included on the web site.


This page last updated 2012-06-08.


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