We’ve now explored 1) the personal journey of discovery toward a more expansive, generous paradigm of loving all of what God Loves; 2) the wonder of creation and; 3) the interaction between Creation Care and Social Justice. How can we embrace Creation Care as a parish and build momentum toward serving creation?
The short answer lies in the age-old idiom – “go slow to go fast”. As Luke Wilson, CEO of A Rocha in Canada (a Christian environmental organization with 40+ years of experience around the world), says “We are in the business of transforming hearts and shaping values”. The creation care paradigm shift starts in the heart and the mind before transitioning to the hands.
Accordingly, it requires spiritual leadership and nourishment. We are blessed with a clergy team that have all embraced the possibility. For example, Andrew made a big commitment by using his COVID Sabbatical to deepen his knowledge of ecology through getting certified in permaculture – a nature-based approach to land management and settlement design.
We launched Creation Care with an OMG Tuesdays session. We partnered with A Rocha who brought tremendous perspective and practical examples. Visit https://arocha.ca. The 50 participants got a good grounding and demonstrated enthusiasm for embarking on a sustained journey.
The worship team has begun the steady drip of adjustments to reflect the Creation Care paradigm in our music, prayers and preaching. For the first time, this fall we will be incorporating the five-week Season of Creation in our liturgical calendar. The Season of Creation is a global ecumenical movement. Click here for a short video on 2023 Season of Creation.
How do we move from our heart to hands? We each have our own path of discovery. There are many possible action areas in how we live, work and advocate. Here are some resources to help initiate your journey:
Click here for a short video synopsis of the theology
The OMG participants brainstormed many options for collective action - from advocating on environmental issues, stewarding a local ecosystem, making our grounds a haven for biodiversity to greening our building. Claire Bramma established a pollinator garden as parting gift to celebrate her ministry at St. Clements. We have developed a robust network for continuous learning to support our efforts.
Earth Keepers Monthly meeting of churches across Canada sharing lessons learned on Creation Care programs https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/church-earthkeepers-meet-up-2023-tickets-519019630687
Net Zero Churches network https://zeroemissionchurches.ca
Eco Church https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk
Do we need a whole new “department of Creation Care”? Or does the embracing the Creation Care paradigm simply bring an added dimension to everything we do? We believe the latter, so have begun to engage the Parish Council whose members lead the strategic plan and the various areas of responsibility in the church. If we accept that following Jesus means loving and stewarding all of what God loves, what does that mean for Christian Education, Youth Ministry, Outreach and Reaching out and Facilities? If you are enthusiastic about bringing the Creation Care paradigm to one of these ministries, feel free to volunteer for that area. Over time there will be many opportunities to get more involved in this issue.
To be an authentic, distinctive voice and contributor to Creation Care we need to be thoroughly grounded by our beliefs and focused and integrated in our actions – so we can make a sustained and impactful effort. From great challenges come great possibilities. Onward!