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.
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 →
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 →
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.
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! —————————–
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 →
Brian 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. ————————————-
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 →
Today is the 45th celebration of Earth Day. Monday of this week was the fifth anniversary of the worst environmental disaster in US history, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The damage to the Gulf was more severe and longer lasting than even the pessimists predicted:
Cynthia Sarthou, executive director of Gulf Restoration Network, says that after five years, there are more questions than answers about what the lingering impact of the spill means.
“Dolphin deaths continue, oil is still on the bottom of the ocean, tar balls keep coming up,” she says. “And nobody really is able to say what we may find in five years, 10 years. It’s really distressing to me.”
Sarthou says there’s no certainty the spill won’t be a problem for generations to come. (NPR)
So, five years after this disaster, and 45 years after the nation started trying to do something about this kind of thing, we ask again, “How long?” Below is a repost of one of our original commentaries on the oil spill from May 20, 2010. The oil well had been gushing for a month already, and we asked:
How do you pray about an oil spill?
It’s a legitimate question: The news is getting worse by the day for those of us many miles away, and no doubt by the hour for those living in the area of impact. This morning we learned that some experts believe the amount of oil leaking may be much more than even the revised estimate of 5,000 barrels per day. More worrisome than that, there is now real concern that the oil may join the Gulf stream ocean current, which would send it around the tip of Florida and all the way up the East Coast of the United States, staining beaches and killing wildlife as it goes. Continue reading →
A Conversation about God, His Creation and Our Role in Creation