Pastor’s Message for June 2014

It seems nearly every time you turn on the news there is some story relating to environmental justice: ongoing debates over energy production such as the Keystone pipeline and fracking, the increasing frequency and severity of wildfires, oil spills, global warming, etc. As Christians, we are called to view such events through a lens of faith, and respond as dictated by thoughtful contemplation based on Scripture, faith tradition, reason, and personal experience. We refer to these issues as issues of environmental justice, as we consider God’s vision for Creation, and how we can be active participants in the work of that vision.

Issues of environmental justice are also intimately related to other issues of social, racial, and economic justice. It is the most vulnerable of our world, the poor, racial and ethnic minorities, and those with little to no voice in political matters that are the first and most severely affected by environmental problems. The United Church of Christ (and its predecessor denominations) has been a strong and powerful voice on issues of justice from the very beginnings of our country’s formation. On issues of environmental justice it has worked hard to partner with other organizations and denominations to call attention to the need for greater awareness and action in order to conserve and preserve the glory of God’s Creation.

As you read about a few of our new program offerings this summer, you may notice a bit of a “green” theme. The natural beauty of summer gives us a wonderful opportunity to begin contemplating God’s Creation and our role as stewards of it. From infants in our nursery enjoying the beautiful new “Noah & the  Ark” and “Garden of Eden” murals to children exploring conservation through our “Caretakers of Creation” Vacation Bible School program, to adults “Gardening with God” there is something “green” for everyone at St. John UCC this summer. I invite you to join in the excitement as we grow green with God.

Periodically throughout the summer we will be exploring various scripture passages in our weekly worship that highlight our responsibility as God’s representatives caring for all of creation. The first of these sermons will be during the first week of our summer schedule when we will explore the story of Creation. As we hear these Scriptures anew I pray that a fresh look may inspire us to action so that in our words and in our deeds we may aspire to be disciples in the Way of the One who has given us life and new life in a world that is, in the words of Genesis 1, “very good”.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Tara