Conference To Help Bridge Climate Divide

Regrettably, climate change has become an issue of contention and division along partisan lines.  Yet as a Sojourner’s bumper sticker notes, “God is neither Republican or Democrat” and  in like manner God’s creation, as revealed by science, is neither Republican or Democrat.

Yet, the picture of our world and its climate that science reveals is clear.  Climate change is really happening, really serious, and we can still really do something about it.  The picture of our moral and faith imperative is also clear.  If we love God, love others and care about God’s creation – we should act for the climate and against climate change. Continue reading

Join millions praying tomorrow for God’s creation

banner 1.0_smallFrom the Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Network “Global Day of Prayer 2016” guide.  Read and share the full flyer here.

Every year on September 1st the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, and Protestants of all stripes come together in unity to pray for God’s good creation.

A Bit of History

The vision for this day started in 1989 when the late Patriarch Demetrios II installed September 1st as a Day of Prayer for Creation for the Orthodox Church. Then in response to Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on creation care, Patriarch Bartholomäus invited the Catholic Church to be united in prayer for creation with the Orthodox Church on September 1st. This led to Pope Francis’ announcing the annual Global Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation for the Roman Catholic Church, and invited other Christians to adopt this day too. Therefore, we, the Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Network, pray in the company of many faithful Christians and invite you to do the same.

Join Us In Prayer

We encourage you to personally pray for the care of creation on September 1st. Organize a prayer meeting focused on creation care at your church, in your small group, or just among a few friends.   If you are not able to lead a group or join a group, share specific creation care needs and concerns with your Christian friends on social media and invite them to pray for those issues with you.  

Be creative and have fun! Go outside for a prayer walk at a local park, beach, riverbank, community garden, or in your own backyard.  If it is evening, step outside and look up at the stars as you pray, or pray around a campfire.  Perhaps enjoy a wonderful meal and gratefully enjoy the fruits of creation. Continue reading

The Wild Side of Cities: Urban Nature

sunset
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.

051
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

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