What is Creation Care at Rincon UCC?
Our faith and scriptures call us to care for God's creation. The fruitful work of the Creation Care Ministry will be to entwine the awareness and activities of creation care throughout our congregation's life. We envision examples of this cross-pollination to include intergenerational activities in faith development, creation-infused worship, connection with other congregations and organizations, inspiring creation-minded lifestyles, and whatever other seeds take root. We will also cultivate a collaboration with Arizona Interfaith Power and Light to spread our impact.
Our creation care ministry is grounded in God-full trust, so that we'll “stay green” like a lush tree and we'll love all beings in God's creation. This trust will sustain us in the challenges facing us and this Earth. Also, we'll live our mission of justice for all people, particularly those most impacted by environmental degradation. For hunger, thirst, and sickness are literal results of our human-caused climate and environmental crises, and these ills disproportionately affect people who are economically and socially disadvantaged.
The rich soil of this ministry will be its spiritual focus. The foundation of the creation crisis is humans' misplaced trust in material things. We'll emphasize, then, our life in the Source of Life and base our efforts in scripture, prayer, and love. The beauty of this ministry is that we will be changed, inspired, emboldened to be God's Good News. We have already had a taste of this communion when we walked and learned about the land in preparing and creating a labyrinth. We are helper/helped, healer/healed in relationship with creation. We are blessed and seek to be blessing.
This ministry will inspire people and our congregation to live in ways that restore God's beloved creation.
A Sampling of Creation Care Resources
BOOKS (alphabetical by author’s last name)
Grounded, Diana Butler Bass (2015)
“The distant God of conventional religion has given way to a more intimate sense of the sacred that saturates the world…. Grounded explores this cultural turn as Bass unpacks how people are finding new spiritual ground through a God who resides in the world with us—in the soil, the water, the sky, in our homes and neighborhoods and in the global commons. People are connecting with God through the environment in which we live.” (from the cover sleeve)
The Dream of the Earth, Fr. Thomas Berry (1988)
“The essays in this book are written against the background of this new historical vision, the vision of an intimate earth community, a community of all the geological, biological, and human components….The time has come to lower our voices, to cease imposing our mechanistic patterns on the biological processes of the earth, to resist the impulse to control…and to begin quite humbly to follow the guidance of the larger community on which all life depends.” (from the Introduction)
Original Blessing, Matthew Fox (1983)
“In the introduction to this book—which I hope is more a journey for the readers than a book—I wish to pose two questions:
God in the Wilderness, Rabbi Jamie Korngold (2007)
“In her work as the Adventure Rabbi…Korngold has uncovered the rich traditions and lessons God taught our ancestors in the wild. In God in the Wilderness Korngold uses rabbinic wisdom and witty insights to guide readers through the Bible, showing people of all faiths that…it is vital for us to reclaim these lessons, awaken our inner spirituality and find meaning, tranquility, and purpose in our lives.” (from the book’s back cover)
Serve God, Save the Planet, J. Matthew Sleeth, MD (2006)
“As a man of science, Sleeth knows with certainty that we are heading down a path of ecological collapse and multi-system failure. As a man of faith, he knows with equal certainty that God loves all of his creation—every sparrow and every lily of the field. God wants us to love what he loves. With God’s help, we can avert disaster and restore a healthy relationship with his creation.” (Rev. Richard Cizik, in the Forward)
Arizona Interfaith Power and Light
“We are an interfaith community devoted to deepening the connection between ecology and faith. Our goal is to help people of faith recognize and fulfill their responsibility for the stewardship of creation.” (from the homepage)
“Blessed Tomorrow is a coalition of diverse religious partners united as faithful stewards of creation…. We are compelled by a higher power to act on our responsibility to serve one another, future generations, and the most vulnerable as we witness the impacts of climate change within our neighborhoods and throughout the world. We will be stewards of God’s creation, empower our communities, and call on fellow leaders to create a healthy future for us all.” (from the About page)
Let All Creation Praise
"Let All Creation Praise" offers resources for congregations to celebrate God's love for creation, to worship God with creation so as to reconcile and restore our human relationship with the rest of nature, and to foster love and care for God's whole creation. We also provide resources to celebrate a "season of creation" or "creation time" in the church year. (from the homepage)
United Church of Christ – Environmental Ministries
Web of Creation
The Web of Creation was established to foster the movement for personal and social transformation to a just and sustainable world from religious perspectives. To that end, the information at this site will:
Young Evangelicals for Climate Action
“We are young evangelicals in the United States who are coming together and taking action to overcome the climate crisis as part of our Christian discipleship and witness.” (from the homepage)
Creation Care Meetings
Our Creation Care Ministry meets the third Tuesday of each month at 5:30 PM in Room 10. We also host field trips, movie nights and other activities. These activities are posted on the church calendar as they are scheduled.
April 2019 Article
In this season of Spring as the daylight hours lengthen, we’re reveling in the riot of wildflowers and chorus of birdsong and the glory of these beautiful days. What an astounding creation we get to be part of!
In this holy season of Lent, we’re reflecting on the life, teachings, and way of love of Jesus. We’re thinking of his giving of his all for abundant life, even giving up his life. We’re discerning how deeply we love this astounding creation for God’s sake. One way offered to enhance our practice has been the carbon fast tips presented in the church’s weekly e-blasts. Each day brings an idea for reducing the amount of energy we use, thereby helping to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Keep an eye out for these weekly tips through the rest of Lent. Let me know what new ideas you get from these and/or how you incorporate some of these practices in your lifestyle—and how this carbon fast has impacted your spiritual life.
In the upcoming joyous season of Easter, we’ll rejoice in life springing anew, exemplified in the resurrection of Jesus. What amazing news that life wins! It happens this year that Earth Day is the day after Easter Sunday, so our Easter sunrise service at the labyrinth will carry the theme of new life for us and all creation. We’ll shout “Alleluia!” again.
A couple of updates on previous Creation Care happenings:
--A Lucy’s Warbler has been heard and sighted in a mesquite tree on the north side of campus. The nest box we hung a couple of weeks ago on one of those mesquites hasn’t been used yet. This is a project by Tucson Audubon Society to help restore habitat for Lucy’s Warblers. The project involves citizen observers, and if you’d like to help keep an eye on the box, let me know!
--At our World Water Day session on March 24, the seriously detrimental effects of the Rosemont mine in the Santa Rita Mountains was brought up. The Army Corps of Engineers just granted the last permit needed by the mine project, regarding the use of and effects on water sources. There are already lawsuits filed related to this project, and others related to this Army Corps permit are expected. Here’s a source of information on developments and how to be involved:
Save the Scenic Santa Ritas: www.scenicsantaritas.org.
Rev. Karen MacDonald
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” ~~John Muir
Our faith and scriptures call us to care for God's creation. The fruitful work of the Creation Care Ministry will be to entwine the awareness and activities of creation care throughout our congregation's life.