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  • Writer's pictureSt Clements Church Toronto

Creation Care - A Personal Voyage of Discovery

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

Part 1 of the Creation Care series. Click here for Part 2, here for Part 3, and here for Part 4.

I love the mission driven, learning oriented culture of St. Clement’s.

It challenges us to transform our lives by learning to follow Jesus - and then stimulates inquisitiveness and personal reflection to help find our particular path through vehicles like OMG Tuesdays.

Jesus was a great communicator. He simplified the 2,711 pages of the Torah into two commandments – Love God and your neighbour – especially the poor and the downtrodden.

I have spent my career leading businesses where I also have brought a focus on environmental sustainability. My community service had been on the boards of environmental charities. Frankly I didn’t have a great deal of personal engagement with the poor and downtrodden that I was meant to serve.

My wife Janet and I support a Christian charity in Toronto that is led by an inspiring change agent who is determined to help the residents of one of its poorest neighbourhoods climb out poverty. I decided to dial back my environmental engagement and offer my services there. I served as a student mentor. When some board of director positions became available, I volunteered, but the board concluded that I did not add sufficient diversity.

So, I began to wonder - was this really the most distinctive way that I could contribute? Was there a way to leverage my environmental experience and passion to contribute to Christian ministry?

While climate change and biodiversity loss are in my view the issue of our time - and threaten the wellbeing of humanity – I had not seen those issues to be a focus of Christianity or the Church.

On the contrary, hadn’t I been taught that God made us in his own image and gave us dominion over the world to use for our purposes? Arguably, the dominant ethos of colonial western Christian society, forged in an era of seemingly inexhaustible natural bounty, was this “dominion “paradigm. It is interpretated by many as an accomplice to rampant destruction - at best leaving the church as a bystander whose main focus was other spiritual pursuits and other priorities for service.

I reached out to Andrew with the question “If God is a being of infinite love, and the world is 4.5 billion years old and people have been on earth between 2 million and 200,000 years – what was God loving for those first 4.5 billion years?” Andrew quickly engaged, bringing a unique perspective from his experience with Christian leaders in the permaculture movement. This led to a lot of research and further conversation.

I was surprised and inspired to learn that many Christian theologians have spawned a new framing of the ancient paradigm for Christian stewardship of God’s creation. It is steeped in the scriptures of the Old Testament and buttressed by an interpretation of God’s redemption through Jesus that extends beyond people to all creation. The Creation Care paradigm nurtures Christians by connecting us spiritually to God and all His creation. It compels followers to extend their love and service to this creation. Human redemption depends on making peace with all of God’s creation and working toward reconciliation.

Following Jesus transforms lives – but it can also transform life.

The Creation Care journey is a very personal one. It is a paradigm shift to a more expansive even more generous view of Christian theology and practice. Where are you on this journey?

· Are you concerned about climate change and biodiversity loss?

· What does scripture have to say about these issues?

· How does that affect Christian practice?

· What does that mean to you and more broadly to the parish?

· Are you interested in exploring Creation Care further?

Click here or scan the QR Code for short Creation Care Summary

Roger Dickhout

Creation Care


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