Tag Archives: community

Singapore Students take Creation Care Seriously

We are often asked if all of our work at Care of Creation is making a difference in the world.  Are people listening? If so, what are they doing about it?  The following report out of Singapore by way of the IFES Prayerline newsletter answers that question.  Yes, people are paying attention.  And they are developing their own movements along the way!

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So you’ve just attended a conference or camp. The fellowship was fantastic! The worship was amazing! You’re excited and enthusiastic about the future!

But then… back to reality. There are essays to write, problems with relationships, families to keep happy, fun times and difficult times. The conference excitement and the lessons learned start to grow dim.

FES Singapore students are determined this will not happen to them. They want a recent equipping conference to be just the beginning of challenge and change in their lives. At the close of the conference they wrote their pledges on origami paper, folded them into aeroplanes, and flew them. Then they all picked up a plane and committed to pray for the person and their pledge.

They have also organised a follow-up journey together. Their aim is to bring ‘organic, self-propagating, bottom-up change’. Local projects focus on topics discussed at the conference, such as migrant workers, social media, social entrepreneurship and conversations in the public square. Two projects that will be promoted nationally focus on rest and creation care.

One of these projects centres around Psalm 24:1-2 – ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.’ If we really believe this verse, FES asks, how will its truth affect our lives? How can we be responsible caretakers of God’s world?

Here are three suggestions:

1. Spend time outdoors.
As a community, explore and enjoy the wonders of God’s creation. If you take time to be ‘in’ the natural world, you will see what a marvellous gift it is. This will help you want to take care of it.

2. Stop pursuing ‘gadgetry’.
Constantly buying new devices may be a form of idolatry. Furthermore, only a small percentage of discarded items are recycled, creating mountains of e-waste – over 3.4 million tons in the US in 2012 alone! Sadly, poor countries are importing e-waste in order to recover the valuable bits, but the salvage process creates hazardous liquids and gases that are impacting the health of people and the environment.

3. Minimise wastage.
If you buy only what you need, you will waste less. This equates to a smaller carbon footprint, but is also being a good steward of resources – all part of loving our neighbour.

Another initiative is called Sleep Singapore Sleep. Students are finding creative ways to encourage themselves and others to get proper rest in order to better deal with stress. As the university year starts they will give out inflatable pillows to incoming students with a verse from Proverbs written on them: ‘When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet’ (3:24). They want to work with the student affairs department in the university to open discussions about meaningful rest in a stressful environment.

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Keep up the good work, Singapore!

Standing Face to Face with Injustice

CC License, Wikimedia Commons

I moved from a rural farming town to the “big city” to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008, and I’ve lived in Madison ever since.  I felt that I’ve always fit in here, and I’m proud when I tell people where I live–after all, Madison and her suburbs consistently receive recognition in contests of “Best Place to Live, Raise a Family, #1 City to Live in 2015,” and that’s pretty cool.  According to some sources, we are also the #1 Greenest City in America!  Recently, I became aware of information that pretty much shatters my paradigm that Madison is a near-perfect place.  The 2013 Race to Equity report, undertaken to promote greater public awareness of racial disparity in Dane County Continue reading

Is loneliness an environmental concern?

Originally posted February 1, 2009.

“Half of the apartments in New York City are occupied by single individuals.”

Modern Loneliness - from Flickr (Le Pere, Creative Commons License)
“Modern Loneliness” – from Flickr (Le Pere, Creative Commons License)

Listening to To the Best of our Knowledge on NPR this morning, that phrase jumped out at me.  The topic for the morning was loneliness and solitude, and for the most part, the comments were interesting if predictable.  Yes, our culture has made us lonelier than we’ve been in the past.  No, there is no difference between men and women – both genders are equally lonely, though (again, predictably) men tend to be less likely Continue reading

Will We Sustain Disruption or Disrupt Sustainability?

“Dude…Disruption? What disruption? My car is right here.” Cars and more were buried  in Buffalo, NY’s November 2014  snow-valanche of 6+ feet.  Image from Huffington Post, click for source.

We live in an age that stumbles and staggers over disruption after disruption. Each year, month, week, day, hour, even minute something new interrupts the normal progress or activity of life and society. Droughts prevent farmers in California from planting and harvesting. New ride services like Uber and Lyft prevent cab companies from getting all the customers they used to in cities large and small. An Ebola epidemic prevents traditional rhythms of embrace and connection in West African communities. A six foot November snowfall prevents travel and commerce in Buffalo, NY.

What does this mean? Will we sustain, that is endure or survive, disruption or will we disrupt sustainability and see disruption keep us from surviving and thriving?  How should we deal with disruptions? Should we, can we, hope to prevent them? Ignore them? Eliminate them? Control them? Reduce Continue reading

Observations on biking to work

One street I bike on. Photo by Brittany Ederer
One street I bike on. Photo by Brittany Ederer

Does the idea of bicycling to your workplace strike fear into your heart?  Perhaps you imagine the aftermath of encountering an angry driver: they honk at you, causing you to swerve off the road, tumble pell-mell down an embankment, and land in a briar of buckthorns and raspberry bushes.  Or, less dramatically, you imagine showing up to work in total disarray, with sweat under your armpits and a severe case of helmet hair.

In my experience, biking to work is Continue reading

Christian Camping and Creation Care – a formula for success!

Originally posted September 27th, 2011.  I (Brittany) am now a UW-Madison graduate and a full-time staff member at Care of Creation.

This summer Brittany Ederer, a student at UW-Madison, served as an intern in the Care of Creation office in Madison.  Based on her interest in camping, education nature and environment, we assigned her to start a survey project of Christian camps in Wisconsin, the upper Midwest and then throughout the country.  Are there Christian camps who are actively promoting creation care as part of their camp program?  Are they using creation care principles in caring for their properties?  This blog post is a preliminary report on a visit to one camp not far from Madison.  It turns out one of the best examples of creation care at camp is right in our own back yard.  We’re looking forward to a complete report from Brittany later on, but in the meantime, enjoy her thoughts on what’s going on at Timber-lee

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