We have several goals for and overlapping audiences among the readers of Our Father’s World. Sometimes we want to inform you with up to date and accurate reporting of the status of God’s creation. Our occasional pieces on the fate of the monarch butterfly are an example of that. Sometimes we seek to persuade you, if you need persuasion, that there are serious problems and complacency is not an option. And sometimes we are just trying to share with you our own experiences and viewpoints as we, like you, struggle to figure out how to live lightly in a world that has been damaged by our lifestyle.
This post is different. Many of our readers are working, full-time or part-time or as volunteers, in the field of creation care. I’ve been doing this work for 15 years, and there are many who have been at it much longer than that. This “ministry”, for that is really what it is, can be lonely and discouraging. So much evidence of trouble, so many years of teaching, so little response. So consider this a bit like a pastoral letter to those of us who have given our lives to this work, and occasionally need to be reminded of why we’re doing what we’re doing. Continue reading
2015 may turn out to be one of the most important years in recent history for the environmental movement, for the evangelical creation care movement, and for us and our organization, Care of Creation. Here’s what’s happening:
There are a lot of significant anniversaries to celebrate:
- The 45th anniversary of the celebration of Earth Day comes in April.
- Personally, it will be 15 years since I joined Au Sable Institute and moved from a traditional ministry framework into what we then called Christian environmental stewardship, now commonly referred to as creation care.
- And this year marks 10 years since Craig Sorley and I started Care of Creation in April 2005. We had a modest goal of promoting “environmental missions” that quickly became a passion to mobilize the worldwide church for creation care. Now, thanks to the prayers and financial support of many of you, we are leading a global effort to do just that. (We’ll be having a birthday party in Madison on April 18 – mark the date, and plan to join us!)
Originally published August 13, 2010.
William Wordsworth’s most famous work is “Ode: Intimations of Immortality From Reflections of Early Childhood.” It is one of my favorite poems, exploring the lost pleasures of childhood that Wordsworth believes are hints of the immortality we left behind:
- It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
- Turn wheresoe’er I may,
- By night or day,
- The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
- Not in entire forgetfulness,
- And not in utter nakedness,
- But trailing clouds of glory do we come
- From God, who is our home:
- Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Setting aside theological mysteries and controversies for another day, what has preoccupied me for that last month and a half has not been immortality, past or future, but increasing intimations of mortality: My own,as I have experienced an unusual and thought provoking spell of genuine illness, something unusual for me; but also increasing intimations of mortality in the world in which we live, highlighted by the Gulf oil spill but buttressed by a host of other events. Continue reading
Originally published March 3, 2010. Have you read Tending to Eden?
“Old Literature” is an occasional feature that highlights long-forgotten books, articles, speeches or poems that still speak to us today. As it happens, there’s some new material that also deserves our attention. Today, Tending to Eden by Scott Sabin, Director of Plant with Purpose (formerly Floresta).
Scott Sabin and I met about 7 years ago at a conference in Kenya. He tells about that conference in his new book,Tending to Eden that was just released two weeks ago:
Edith and I took several pastors to a conference on creation care in Kenya. I was one of the presenters, and in the course of my presentation I showed a slide of the devasted forests around Mt Kilimanjaro National Park. Pastor Lyamuya approached me later and, with an embarassed smile, explained how convicting it was to see the photo from his own community. “God entrusted it to us to take care of, and we aren’t doing our job.” Continue reading
This is article is a repost from InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholar’s Blog. Thanks to Tom Grosh for permission to cross-post.
The topic of a recent cover story in Christianity Today is shaking up not only the world of missions, but also academia. The World the Missionaries Made is a report on the work of Robert Woodberry, a sociologist currently researching at the Political Science Department of the National University of Singapore. CT’s Executive Editor Andy Crouch calls it the CT cover story of which he is most proud. Its thesis and Woodberry’s work support a remarkable conclusion – that a generation of “conversionary protestant missionaries” (see note) laid a foundation for democracy around the world. Continue reading
At Care of Creation we were recently contacted by a Christian University in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A group of students there was looking to publish a jointly-written report on environment and climate change as they experience it. The following article, written by students from Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo/Christian Bilingual University of Congo (UCBC), highlights some recent creation care activities in the surrounding communities. DRC is a nation wearied by war, severe poverty, governmental ineptitude, and endemic corruption. It is in this context that the activities described in the report reveal something of the character of UCBC–an institution whose vision is to “raise up indigenous, Christian leaders to transform their communities and the nation of DRC.” Read, ponder – and pray. And let us know if you would like to help in some way. (This article is cross-posted on the main Care of Creation website. The authors are Adeito Masika Tahirana, Annie Mboligihe, Baraka Kambale Alex, Nadine Kavira Vitya, and Patrick Masomeko Mikajo.)
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the majority of the population is rural and lives dependent on the forest and subsistence farming. DRC’s Congo Basin rainforest is sometimes referred to as the “second lung of the earth” because of its size, second only to the Amazon basin. However, through the growing lumber industry, people who live in this vast rainforest area often seek to supplement their livelihood by clearing forest trees to sell timber and produce charcoal for cooking. As the population grows rapidly, this activity has direct impacts on climate and the health of the land as the rainforest shrinks to make way for farmland and the lumber industry.