Caring for Creation: An Invitation

Every parent has heard this at one time or another—”I don’t care and you can’t make me!” Frustrating, eh? —especially for young parents. Those of us who now sit across the table from adult children remember those days with a bit of nostalgia. The resistance isn’t all bad; children need to develop a sense of themselves and where they fit in the fabric of life. They need more space as they mature. Seeds are supposed to grow and well-grounded adult children are a blessing.

Parents, of course, do have a certain amount of power: “Oh yes, I can make you ….” But power has its limits. That defiant little imp told the truth; you can’t make him/her care. Caring is something else: not obedience, but a choice.

The caring concept is a component of our earliest scriptures. Humanity was created from the dust of the earth and placed in the garden to care for it. Perhaps in this caring there was already a hint of disobedience, or at least the potential.

The Caring for Creation Ministry has to struggle with this conundrum. There are a lot of environmental issues about which we should care: climate change, toxic waste, urban sprawl, air pollution. There’s plenty of analysis too about why we don’t seem to care. Richard Louv, for one, has coined the term nature deficit disorder. The notion is that absence of outdoor experience produces deficient personal and spiritual formation. If we really are created from the dust of the earth, then separation from nature is separation from one’s own true identity.

So, at the Caring for Creation Ministry we can’t make you care; but we can invite you. Join us in our scheduled outdoor activities—there’s a wildflower walk scheduled for April 29th. Join us in the disciplines of simpler living; but be advised, simple living isn’t necessarily easy living; what the Bible calls joy comes from the doing, not the getting. And finally, join us in speaking out. We are not doomed to failure; God is at work re-creating the earth and we have been invited to participate. Just as God spoke the original earth into existence, the new world will be spoken into existence and you have some of the words. So, where needed, speak out if you care.

The leadership for the Caring for Creation ministry this year has a “trinitarian” format. If you have questions or ideas, contact Avril Wiers, Josh Bochniak, or Peter Boogaart.

~Peter Boogaart, Caring for Creation Co-coordinator