As many of you know, I grew up in a thriving agricultural community. The connection to the land was literally life and livelihood giving. As well, I was fortunate to grow up spending time on the lake, in the river, and in the forest for a variety of recreational activities. Consequently, deep in my DNA is an inherent love and appreciation for the environment.
Then I went to camp. A breathtaking beautiful place set amidst pine trees on a pristine lake. Ninety percent of the activities from program to worship, from recreation to education, took place outdoors. Embedded in this transformative experience was an intentional connection between creation and the Creator. Springing forth from this was an acute understanding of our responsibility as stewards of all of God’s creation.
Then I went to college. This is where I had my first exposure to the ‘academics’ of the fragility of the sustainability of the environment. In both the classroom and the field I gained a whole new understanding and appreciation for the connectivity of all of creation.
Tomorrow we will be celebrating Earth Day. Beginning in 1970 this annual event, now celebrated around the world, calls attention to ongoing environmental concerns. In the Five Marks of Mission, developed by the Anglican Consultative Council between 1984 and 1990, one of the ways we live into God’s mission is, “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” As citizens of the created world and as stewards of God’s creation, we are called to use our gifts and resources to protect and nurture that creation.
For the Conservation of Natural Resources
Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.