We Are Called to Care for Creation
All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.
God gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) believes that “God calls the Church in the power of the Holy Spirit to participate in God’s work of creation and preservation. God has given humankind awesome power and responsibility to rule and tame the earth, to sustain and reshape it, to replenish and renew it” (Directory of Worship, W-7.5002: Worship and the Use of Creation).
We further believe that “In worship Christians rejoice and give thanks to God, who gives and sustains the created universe, the earth, all life, and all goods. We acknowledge God’s command to be stewards. We confess our own failures in caring for creation and life. We rejoice in the promise of the redemption and renewal of the creation in Jesus Christ, proclaimed in the Word and sealed in the Sacraments. We commit ourselves to live as God’s stewards until the day when God will make all things new” (W-1.000).
This was our theme on Church School Sunday/Trinity Sunday. During the children’s message we said that all living things were made to worship God, that the angels in heaven rejoice when we care for one another and for all creation, and that the Church exists to bear witness to God’s love in all the world. The message will continue next week in worship as we examine the 104th psalm, a Hymn of Creation. The Church school children will also be studying the creativity of God during the next several Sundays as they learn more about Genesis, chapter 1. There is much to look forward to at WPPC.
But as we have been saying for weeks now, “Gatherings are for the Church, but the Church is for the World.” So, my friends, how do you love and demonstrate your care for God’s good Creation? How could we as a congregation do a better job of living what we believe in relation to the world God loves? As we think about global warming, climate change, the loss of topsoil, the poisoning of rivers and oceans, and eco-disasters, the challenges are immense. But groups like Presbyterians for Earth Care can help us find more sustainable ways of living.
For a start, would someone like to take on the challenge of ‘greening’ the way we do coffee hour and fellowship meals, getting rid of all the styrofoam? How about making a policy banning water bottles? Or better yet, making WPPC nalgene bottles printed with our church logo available to members and friends so that we have a positive alternative to plastic bottles that simultaneously proclaim our commitment to earth care? Or how about inviting our Mission Commission to help us advocate for a Greener future? If we make enough changes and commitments, we could be certified as a Presbyterian Earth Care Congregation. Such congregations make a pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into all facets of congregational life including worship, education, facilities and outreach.
So, how about it? Who else has a passion for the Earth? Let me know and I’ll get you connected with others at WPPC?