Our very own CYF minister, Megan Floyd, is pursuing her Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree through Luther Seminary. This semester, she took a class on Ecotheology and Ethics and wrote a case study paper about all the different ways our congregation, in partnership with other local organizations, has made use of the 12 acres of land that are part of our property and how all those uses are part of how we live our calling to care for God's creation. After describing the Jubilee garden, tree planting, green space, and bee keeping, she pulls it all together in the final two paragraphs:
"The land ethic of the Hebrew Bible tells us that all things belong to God, and God calls us to care for that land and all living things. “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it” (Psalm 24:1, NRSV). God calls us to love each other, care for each other, and seek justice for the oppressed. God also calls us to tend the land and animals, caring for them with kindness and utilizing practices that lead to environmental flourishing. Within this command, God also gave us limits for how we are to behave. Humanity is at its best when we work within the parameters God set for us within this incredible creation, exercising self-control and seeking the best for all systems. Dr. Padgett lectured that God did not give us power over the world but rather gave us power for the world. We must recognize our place and dependency in the interconnected web of natural relationships."
"The network, or relational web, that Prince of Peace facilitates with their gifts of property and human resources takes these Divine commands seriously. The church members actively participate with other community groups who work for the betterment of the environment and the success of their neighbors. They steward their land with natural landscaping and native plants, planting trees for the future, growing crops to supply local communities, and raising bees for honey and pollination opportunities. They also welcomed the bees because their backyard is a lovely place for city bees to thrive. They have built relationships between local organizations, creating connections between people and groups with unique skills and passions and providing avenues for them to share and offer support mutually. Working together, all these groups embody love for the land and their neighbors in the most inclusive sense."
You can read her full paper here.
So next time you're here, take a few minutes to enjoy the "back 40" as they're often called, and give thanks to God for the beautiful web of creation in which we get to live!