Creation Care Network News

by Chuck Berry

 

The Creation Care Network in the diocese, 30 people in 12 congregations, is in its 4th year. Our goal is to being Creation Care thinking into the church liturgy and teaching. Why?

Philosopher and Theologian Thomas Berry said that four institutions influence our thinking: education, government, religion, and business. Government, business, and education have their own messages about how we should use Earth’s resources, but religion has ignored the subject, or worse emphasized man’s dominion over earth and not man’s stewardship of the earth.

Greening of Religion

The “greening of religion” began in the 1970s when church leaders saw connections between the degraded conditions of “God’s Garden” and a human “disease” called “affluenza.” Symptoms were materialism, consumerism, and acquisitive individualism, which affect the human spirit and the environment. The Green Bible (1989) lists six greenthemes:

God made all things, declared them good, Creation covenant; Genesis 9:8; Job 38-39.

God is present in and through Creation. John1:1-5 and Acts 17:24-28

Humanity has an interconnection with God and Creation. Rev 11:15-19 and Psalm 65.

Creation care is an act of social justice toward humanity. Isaiah 58:10; Matt. 25:31.

Creation harmed by human sin; disconnects us from God Numbers 35:33; Romans 8:18

Creation is to be restored in God’s plan for redemption. Isaiah 65:25 and Rev. 21:1.

The Episcopal Church (TEC)

TEC has information to help with Creation Care teaching. A basic document is the House of Bishops Pastoral Teaching and Study guide. http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2016/03/02/a-life-of-grace-for-thewhole-world-explores-spiritual-roots-ofenvironmental-crisis/.

Another basic publication is A Catechism of Creation: An Episcopal Understanding. TEC has 11 short videos/lessons to go with the booklet (on YouTube). See:

http://www.forwardmovement.org/Products/2426/in-the-beginning.aspx.

The South Dakota Diocese

After several years of trying things and several workshops at convention, the Creation Care Network has a list of seasonal opportunities to include a Creation Care message in Parish affairs. A brief explanation of opportunities for summertime are:

Hold a service in The Natural Cathedral

When we have an outdoors service, we are away from the church buildings and property. In The Natural Cathedral, we still have a church, it is the people and liturgy. Getting away from that purposeful world is an experience of Sabbath. Creation Justice Ministries encourages Christians to seek out quiet places to reconnect with God, renew and refresh themselves for ministry, and rediscover our role as caretakers of God’s creation http://www.creationjustice.org/land-stewardship.html.

Plant a Garden for Food

Faith community gardens are being planted in many church yards these days. Appreciate the wonders of gardening and share local produce to those in need. One good source of information forchurches is:

http://www.interfaithpowerandlight.org/wpcontent/uploads/2012/04/2012-cool-harvestweb.pdf.

Landscape for Wildlife

The idea is to demonstrate the wonders of nature while providing habitat for wildlife and minimizing your church’s landscaping pollution and “carbon footprint.” Although your Parish property may be small, the benefits grow when Parishioners, visitors and neighbors learn about and see the benefits of landscaping with ecological goals. St Paul’s in Brookings has had their wildlife landscaping plan certified by the National Wildlife Federation

http://www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-Wildlife/Garden-Month.aspx.

For more information Contact Chuck Berry

(cberry@itctel.com), St Paul’s Brookings, to join this grass-roots mission, and receive materials handed out at past workshops and quarterly information.

We have a presence on the Diocese web site, and a little-known facebook page https://www.facebook.com/creationcarenetwork/?