Spring 2020 Pastor’s Message
For the Beauty of the Earth
This title of one of our most beloved hymns, appearing in over 550 hymnals, is the title of our all-church Lenten Devotional, and is also at the heart of our creation care focus for the entire year.
Our children and youth and their teachers are leading the way as they share with us and show us the beauty of the earth at the heart of their faith formation curriculum, Ryan the Rhino: The Story of Creation, developed by Green Anglicans, Anglican Church of Southern Africa Environmental Network. Our AWE (All Ages Worship Experience) Sundays, most fourth Sundays of each month, are exploring creation stories from the book of Genesis and all over the world to remind us how beautiful and fragile and interconnected and threatened God's good creation is.
Just over one year ago we, as a congregation, voted to purchase and mount an array of 177 solar panels on our the roof of our church building for the beauty of the earth. To reduce our collective carbon footprint by more than 56,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (equivalent to planting 1,416 new trees or 28 acres worth!) in only the first seven months of going solar, is for the beauty of the earth! Thanks be to God!
Each of the creation care practices that you are choosing to engage in for these 40 days of Lent, whether that entails putting something down (like single-use plastic water bottles) or picking something up (like "take three": taking or picking up three pieces of trash or litter from the beach or the woods or the church parking lot, everytime you are there) is for the beauty of the earth.
Folliott Sandford Pierpoint's hymn lyrics, written in 1863, were inspired by a hilltop view outside his home city of Bath, England. Like so many of us, Pierpoint took in the view around him and his spirit soared with gratitude and wonder for the countless gifts of God's good creation. Look around you, really look around you; then give thanks, care for God's good creation, and sing!