Ancient Greeks, Modern Memories

Steve Dresselhaus is a missionary with TEAM, and has done much to help that organization turn its attention to creation care as part of its world-wide gospel mission.  This is a lovely short piece exploring a tension we all face when dealing with the stuff in our lives.  Enjoy!

The ancient Greeks believed in four natural elements from which everything else was made: earth, water, fire and air.  I’m thinking they may have been on to something.  Last week my family had the opportunity to spend three nights camping on Grand Island, an undeveloped island in Lake Superior and a part of the Hiawatha National Forest.  We camped with my sister and her family.  While we did take along a few man-made items such as tents, kayaks and headlamps, we only took in what we could carry on our backs or propel with our paddles.  The packing list was not predicated on seeing  what else can I carry in but rather, what else can I leave at home?   Less was more. Doing without was freeing.  Having less made it possible to do more.   For three days we were not controlled or manipulated by a cruel slave master named Stuff. Continue reading

A Film to Change the World

10984840_875532459200179_4325898071205026321_nBrian Webb is the newest staff member of Care of Creation, and serves as the Director of Climate Caretakers, a global campaign dedicated to mobilizing Christians to pray and act on climate change.  He also works as the Sustainability Coordinator at Houghton College in western NY where he lives with his wife and three kids.  This post first appeared on the Climate Caretaker’s website.

I recently had the opportunity to pre-screen a wonderful, new movie coming out in select theaters on September 4. “Chloe and Theo” is a beautiful film with an inspiringly simple message that couldn’t be more relevant for our consumer-driven culture. Continue reading

For Such a Time as This: Evangelical Community Launches Climate Change Action Group

Climate Caretakers officially launches today, August 11, 2015 under the auspices of several Christian organizations, including Care of Creation. It channels growing concern among Evangelicals and other Christians about climate change. Those logo-climate-caretakersof us on the Climate Caretakers Steering Commitee have felt compelled by an Esther-like sense that we have been called together “for such a time as this” to call others together …perhaps including you… for such a time as this. Continue reading

Folks are already testifying…

I am clearly excited for the conference to begin. Photo by Amy Brown.

As many of you know, we just successfully completed the Canada and United States Creation Care and the Gospel conference in  collaboration with the Lausanne Creation Care Network, Care of Creation, and A Rocha International.

A number of conference-goers are already making known the impact of this gathering through op-eds, reflections, and articles: Continue reading

When I tend my garden, I remember Uganda

Kale growing from a sack garden in Kampala, Uganda.

Kale might be a “hipster” vegetable in the United States, but it’s as common as potatoes and rice in East Africa.  I’m glad I planted some in my garden: when I look out my kitchen window, I remember the leafy greens growing out of sack gardens in Kenya and Uganda.

I recently returned from a trip to East Africa, where I had the opportunity to connect with Kenyans in the small rural town of Kijabe and Ugandans in the sprawling slums of Kampala who are working to instill creation care practices in their respective communities.  Training women and men to grow staple foods with limited space and water while embodying the biblical wisdom of Psalm 24:1 (The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it”) is a cornerstone of both Care of Creation Kenya and A Rocha Uganda.  Both organizations teach “Farming God’s Way” and micro-gardening; both techniques allow people to grow more crops on less land and with fewer inputs such as water and inorganic fertilizers, all while contributing to the health of soils and souls.

Holes intentionally made in the side of the sack allow for multiple tiers of vegetables to grow in the same amount of space.  This lettuce is recovering well after an intense rainstorm, helped by the the fact that sack gardens encourage plants to put down deep roots.

Micro-gardening usually involves taking advantage of vertical space that is available on even the smallest of plots.   With a few common, locally available items and a couple hours of work, anyone can begin cultivating dozens of vegetable plants right next to their front door.  Food aid bags are reused as the container for the garden, and with some rocks, soil, compost or manure and seedlings, voila!  You have a sack garden.  The column of rocks in the center of the sack acts as an irrigation channel, encouraging the vegetables to put down deep roots as they follow the water.

For those of us living in a city, it’s hard to imagine having enough space to garden.  More and more of the global population resides in cities, and the percentage is expected to go up in coming years.  In Kampala, I noticed that many people make a living by selling excess produce.  However, fresh food is still hard to come by in some places, like schools.  A Rocha Uganda regularly partners with primary schools in Kampala to help them implement small, manageable gardening projects by teaching the kids how to build and take care of a sack garden.

In the United States, most of us would be too busy to handle anything but a “small, manageable gardening project” like a sack garden or a single raised bed.  We have the luxury of not growing a thing and still eating every day.  However, I appreciate the reminder of kale, lettuce, squash and spinach that grows in my backyard: my friends in East Africa are bringing the Good News and helping people meet their most basic needs through gardens.  I will savor and be thankful for everything I harvest, knowing that I am adding my voice to many across the world who thank God for their daily bread (or sukuma wiki, as the case may be).

In the coolness of the evening, I can picture God walking among the sack gardens in Kijabe, Kampala, my backyard raised bed, and the other little gardens of the world.

A Conversation about God, His Creation and Our Role in Creation