Tag Archives: nature

Guest Post – What’s In A Name?

Oregon Zoo Education Curator, Grant Spickelmier, sheds light on why God tasked humans with naming creation.

Original post from Green Jesus, shared with permission.

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When my son was two and half years old, he came to visit me at work. He was pretty excited because I am employed by one of the most kid-friendly workplaces in the world … the zoo!

After lunch, we walked through the tropics building to visit some of his favorite animals including the sun bears and the Komodo dragon. Next, we walked past a black and white animal with a stout body and a long nose. A woman standing nearby explained to her toddler, “Look honey, that’s an anteater.” My son tightened his grip on my hand and said “No!” He looked at the woman and corrected her loudly “No! That’s a tapir!” While slightly embarrassed, I felt a flash of pride sweep through me as I thought, “That’s my boy!” Continue reading

Loving Your Neighbor – The Case of The Nassau Grouper

A guest post from Bob Sluka:

We all know that as Christians we are commanded to love our neighbor. Jesus was famously asked “and who is my neighbor?” Had he been a marine biologist, Jesus might have answered with a story about Nassau grouper.

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Nassau grouper. Photo credit J.E Randall, www.fishbase.org

Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) is a species of fish that lives in the warm, sub-tropical and tropical waters of the southeastern USA, Bahamas and the Caribbean Sea. It can grow to sizes over 1m and live to age 29. Unfortunately, it is also very tasty. Nassau grouper have become commercially extinct in many areas of the Caribbean and is on the US endangered species list. Continue reading

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

Our Common Home Needs Care to be a Common Action

Pope Francis in Philadelphia during his September 2015 visit to the United States.
Pope Francis in Philadelphia during his September 2015 visit to the United States.

The following represents a transcript of my remarks to the interfaith event “Light the Way: Faiths for Climate Justice” held in Madison, WI September 24, 2015. The organizers and presenters sought to amplify Pope Francis’ exhortation to care for creation and to act against climate change.  He  articulated that message in his recent encyclical Laudato Si’ and reiterated it during his visit to the United States that same week.  To condense and echo some of the Pope’s sentiments, God’s gift of creation needs an unprecedented level of shared concern and  cooperative action  if we are to preserve it for all of us.

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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!
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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.
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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