“For the beauty of the Earth, for the beauty of the skies” – I’m writing this Moderator’s Memo on Earth Day and this old English hymn keeps running through my head. Written more than 150 years ago, these opening lines capture the essence of our world.
Although Earth Day as we observe it today dates back to 1970, for people of faith Earth Day actually begins — at the beginning. That is, it begins with Genesis 1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ….” Genesis continues with descriptions of God creating day and night, the land and seas, flora and fauna, and, finally, “male and female.” And God called it all “very good.”
We all are called upon to care for this creation and our UCC denomination takes this responsibility seriously, with a major focus on environmental justice. Here are just a few things on the UCC website I thought you might find of interest about the UCC work in this area.
- Did you know that UCC ministers played a leading role in starting the environmental justice movement in the 1980s and coined the phrase “environmental racism”?
- Did you know that the UCC is partnering with 350.org, a leading climate organization, so that church green teams can become 350 affiliates?
- Did you know that the UCC has been actively involved in places like Standing Rock and Flint to support their efforts for environmental justice?
- Did you know that the UCC has a blog and e-newsletter called The Pollinator that provides a digital platform for us to share ideas as we work toward environmental justice? You can read it and subscribe by going to http://www.ucc.org/pollinator.
- Did you know that UCC churches can become Creation Justice Churches? These churches not only become recognized as “green” but also make a commitment to actively pursue environmental justice. You can learn more at this link: http://www.ucc.org/how_it_works_becoming_a_creation_justice_church.
Here at Cleveland Park Church we also are committed to creation care, expressed in myriad ways. These include our walk or bike to church Sundays, participation in climate marches, and efforts to make our church environmentally sustainable. You can expect to get more inspiration on Earth Day Sunday, April 28, when Pastor Ellen will be preaching about the environment and creation care.
Peace and joy,
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
FaithLife, 4/28—Join us from 6:30-8 pm (note time change) for a conversation about our lived faith. This month’s topic follows Pastor Ellen’s 3/24 sermon on mortality. We’ll engage in the “death awareness practice” she introduced and discuss the questions posed. For the list of questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children’s Sunday, 5/5—Come to our annual Sunday School-led service, starring the congregation’s wonderful young actors, theologians, and musicians! Visiting children and youth will be included. Contact Kaylyn, email@example.com, to participate.
Lectio Divina: Holy Listening, 5/5—Join fellow seekers from 4-5:15 pm for contemplative prayer in community. Led by Kris Davis, we’ll listen for God in sacred text, silence, and the natural world. All are welcome, even if you have not attended in the past. Please bring a journal and pen.
Bible Study, 5/12—We’ll meet after coffee hour to discuss the book of Acts, chapters 1-12. All are welcome! For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jubilee Jobs Volunteer Morning, 5/18—Join the Mission & Social Action Committee from 9 am–Noon to help low-income job applicants. Volunteers will receive a brief training and help with resumes, online job applications, and mock interviews. Located in Adams Morgan at 2712 Ontario Road NW. To volunteer, contact Ashley: email@example.com.
Capital Campaign Meeting, 5/19—Please join us for a very important congregational meeting and vote on our proposed Capital Campaign. If you have questions beforehand, contact Moderator Carol L. Rogers, firstname.lastname@example.org or Trustee Chair Don Blanchon, email@example.com.
Poetry Hour, 5/19—Join us from 4-5 pm and bring one or two poems on any theme (with 8 copies to share). Friends are welcome! Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org.