As we continue to think about stewardship, stewardship of creation often comes right behind (if not before) financial stewardship. After all, it’s right there in the beginning of the Bible. The very first thing God tells us is that we have power over creation.
Wow! God isn’t subtle here. We have extreme power over the world around us, which we see as the movement of humanity throughout the globe has changed the very shape of mountains, rivers and fields, not to mention the health of the water, land and everything living on the planet. We need to use parts of creation in order to survive, but if we do not take care of it, we won’t survive. It is a delicate balance.
In order to do our part in caring for creation and ourselves, the PC(USA) encourages churches to become Earth Care Congregations. They have resources on why caring for our environment is so important, liturgy and more information at the Environmental Ministries page of the Presbyterian Mission Agency and more information about becoming an Earth Care Congregation. You can even go deeper, and join the Environmental Ministries Action Network or become an Eco-Steward. There are ways to jump into creation care at any level you and your congregation are ready for.
You can learn what other congregations are doing to be responsible stewards of this great power God has granted us. In fact, First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell is an Earth Care Congregation, first certified in 2014!
Stewardship of creation is deeply tied to food sources and security, which is why Environmental Ministries is part of the Presbyterian Hunger Program, so you may also want to check out what Farminary, Farm Church, Mercy Junction and Stony Point Center are doing around food justice and security. There are plenty of non-PC(USA) groups like Bread for the World and Garden Church doing more good ministry around food, reclaiming land and building community.
What does it look like to be good stewards of creation in your neighborhood? Are there empty or run-down lots that could be reclaimed? How can we look at meeting the needs of the hungry in ways that are sustainable? Do we have a community garden bounty that we could share with neighbors that may be living in food deserts? How does caring for the creation we see everyday help ourselves and others?
From the beginning we were called as caretakers to God’s creation. How are we answering the call?