The fact that Christians are finally awaking to their moral duties to the planet in large numbers is great…important…superb, BUT would it last? I think the answer is yes. So I thought I would post some sites that seem to be representative. One even has links and you know how I like links. I may even add some to the blogroll. The first is in honor of my father who grew up in the Episcopal Church.
The environmental movement within the Episcopal Church is deepening its roots and branching out. From grassroots “green building” projects to international conferences, Episcopalians are seeking ways to integrate their faith with care for the environment. Interest is growing, as are efforts to link members and organizations within the environmental movement with each other and with other faith groups, leaders say.“There’s definitely a growing interest,” says the Rev. Fletcher Harper, convener of the Episcopal Ecological Network (EpEN), adding, “It’s still very much a movement in its infancy.” The movement is more than environmental activism.“There’s a theological component as well as an environmental,” says Joyce Wilding, Province IV environmental ministry leader. “It’s not the Sierra Club of the Episcopal Church. It is grounded and rooted in our deep Episcopal tradition.” That’s been true since the beginning, says the Rev. Franklin “Skip” Vilas, founder of EpEN and Partners for Environmental Quality (now GreenFaith) in New Jersey.
“Our commitment does not come out of what you could call traditional environmentalism. It really comes out of a new look at the earth as a gift from God,” he says.“All of our commitments came out of a spiritual commitment, and we made it very clear to everybody — both in the churches and also in the environmental community — that our position would always be in a centrist position. That is, we would try to confer with both the business community as well as the environmental community, because they were all in our congregations.”
Churches Encouraged to Connect Children with Nature
Church Executive – March 01, 2008
By Rachel Beach
Many of us first began to grasp the idea of a world much larger than ourselves as youngsters. We wandered in the woods, stuck our noses into rose blossoms, and gazed at the stars in wonderment. Hundreds of studies have shown that discovering the beauty of nature is necessary for a child’s healthy development.
Spending time outdoors often means taking risks such as climbing trees or walking near a cliff, and in turn encourages children to practice good judgment and be alert to their surroundings. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines for playground safety, “A risk is a challenge we are willing to do.” Unstructured play helps develop a child’s cognitive thinking skills, the ability to learn, and stimulate one’s imagination.
Unfortunately, statistics show that outdoor play has decreased by 75 percent since 1900. But now, some childcare specialists have called upon churches and faith-based organizations to “reclaim nature as a part of the spiritual development of children.” Reconnecting children with the outdoors leads to them becoming good stewards of the environment.
A parable example
Consider the parable of the talents. We have a responsibility to improve the world that was given to us and to pass it on in better condition to our children, who will grow up to be the next generation of stewards. Some responsibility lies on the church’s shoulders to communicate appreciation for and protection of the beautiful world God has given us.
I have always wanted to say this…More About God Tomorrow.