The Wild Side of Cities: Urban Nature

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Yes, there are ways to experience awe of God’ in creation while living in a city. Read on! Photo by Ed Brown.

Have you ever thought that growing a native plant garden or nurturing a few container plants on the balcony of your apartment would actually be a way to love your neighbors?  Close your eyes and imagine your “happy place”–somewhere you experience peace, calm, and feel most connected to God.  For most of us, that happy place is directly connected to God’s creation, whether it be a secluded beach, a forest, a mountain vista, or underneath a big oak tree.  Plenty of studies help explain what we already intuitively know: green spaces of nature are places where people let go of their stress and slow down from the busyness of today’s hectic lifestyles.  And the more diverse the number and kinds of species (biodiversity), the more beneficial the environment is on the mental health of people utilizing that space¹.  Your landscaping or mini container garden contributes to the health and well-being of your neighbors. Continue reading

Entrainment: A Guest Post

Authored by Anja von Seydlitz on May 5, 2016.  Re-posted here with permission.

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Photo by Brittany Ederer

I have been watching, as I always watch, the delicate dance of animal, flora, weather and human agency, here on our farm in Namibia. There is seldom a time when one or the other doesn’t gain the upper hand, influencing all the others in a direction or tendency; they are never perfectly balanced. If they were, one would have to wonder whether the dance would be so captivating, or whether there would be any drama, any movement, any soul, any growth. Continue reading

Neighborly hospitality: Share the bee balm!

This is slightly exaggerated: my house isn't quite this bad.
This is slightly exaggerated: my house isn’t quite this bad.

With chagrin, I stared at the giant weed patch that was thriving in the front lawn of my rented house.  Last year an enormous, unsightly evergreen bush was removed, and with the sun finally reaching the soil, the weeds proliferated.  Care to guess how many hours I’ve spent landscaping?  The two-foot tall dandelions, rampant thistles and thorns, and chaotic wanna-be shrubs practically shout the answer: zero!  However, I would like to spruce it up and make it beautiful.  As I stood in front of this daunting project, I noticed a treasure: a bee balm plant!  I didn’t put it there (and the previous tenant surely didn’t, either). Continue reading

Just water.

Photo credit: Erik NessFreshwater can cause entire nations to celebrate or mourn; water can transform a desert overnight into a cacophonous shout of color and life; a steady stream of water can become the anchor of commerce and community for centuries.  Water isn’t just the rain that falls or the lakes, marshes and rivers that define our geographical regions; but the groundwater, the aquifers, the glaciers, and polar ice caps.  Water means life.

Freshwater, though a seemingly abundant resource for those of us in the Midwestern United States, is quite precious and rare.  Do you know how much of the world’s water is freshwater? Less than 4%! Of that tiny bit, over 65% is trapped in glaciers and snow caps.  That leaves only 0.76% of the world’s water available to humans in rivers, lakes and underground aquifers. Think of the world’s total water (fresh and salty) as a gallon jug.  About ⅔  cup of it would be all the freshwater, but people can only drink, irrigate crops, and manufacture with ⅛ cup. Continue reading

What’s in a logo?

A new logo and a new look!

Care of Creation is 11 years old now, and we’ve been using the same logo for about the last 8 years, I think.

CCLogo_clear 2015 - mobilize the church

Before that, we didn’t really have a logo – hey, we were still trying to
figure out what this new organization was going to be. We’ve grown up a lot since then; logo and website fashions change, and we thought it was time for a new look…Main-Logo-Transparent

We were looking for a simple, memorable and symbolic graphic to accompany our name: Continue reading

Climate Change 101: It’s Really …

Climate Change is not just a scientific or political issue, but a moral and spiritual issue of love and justice touching core issues of faith and Christian life.  But here we will first look at the basic facts of climate change (also referred to as Global Warming, Anthropogenic Global Warming, Climate Disruption and more, see NOTE below). In brief,  It’s Really Happening, Really Human Caused, Really Serious and We Can Still Really Do Something About It!

Climate Change: It’s Really Happening

Gases in the air allow energy from the sun to reach and warm the surface of the earth. Some of those gases block the heat energy of a warming surface from leaving the planet. These greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide (CO2) – a product of burning things – and methane – a fossil fuel and major byproduct of animal agriculture.

Lab tests, observing the planet, records from the past and many other types of evidence confirm that greenhouse gases allow light energy to pass through them to warm up a surface. They also confirm that those gases block heat energy from leaving. The heat energy that can’t leave builds up to increase temperatures.

Continue reading

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