Ministry Highlight: Caring for Creation
Our Roots and our Future
by Peter Boogaart, Caring for Creation Coordinator
The roots of the Hope Church Caring for Creation Ministry go back to 2002; that’s the year when we received a challenge from the denomination to begin a Creation Care ministry. The challenge didn’t come with many specifics, but there was a broad outline:
- Educate regarding environmental issues.
- Recommend constructive actions.
- Inform the congregation of current legislative issues.
Under the umbrella of the Community Ministry, Caring for Creation has had to create our own pathway, and we’ve been working at it ever since. Along the way an annual pattern has emerged, which includes outings and fun events, speakers and classes, and participation projects. Undergirding all that has been the intuitive understanding that these activities represent a faith response.
Caring is, perhaps, the keyword in this ministry. There’s much to be said about the creation stories which book-end our scriptures, the earth imagery which characterizes many texts, or even God’s covenant with Noah and the entire world. However, in the end it’s not about knowing, but about doing. Caring—like doing—is an active form of engagement. Creation Care is an invitation to engage the world in exactly the same way that God does: sacrificially, joyfully, intentionally, and directed toward redemption.
Take a look at the word cloud above. What would you pick as your favorite word? The ministry decided early on that fun is best (food is a close second); that’s why we keep inviting you to outdoor events. We know that nature will win you over. Eventually you’ll become an activist, not because we told you to, but because you first found something you loved. You should hear in that strategy echoes of I John: “We love because he first loved us.”
We know from experience that all forms of faith are a journey; we’re all in the process of becoming more Christ-like. Where you start from is irrelevant, but you do need to start and to keep moving. Caring for Creation is the same. No one of us is environmentally responsible enough, but we can work at it. Thanks to everyone at Hope Church who has participated and offered kind words of encouragement over these past twelve years.