by Deborah Caby

plant sale 2014

The Creation Care ministry’s annual spring plant sale brought in nearly $500 to be used in our Gardens of Grace, which supplies local food pantries with fresh vegetables throughout the summer.

“We aren’t a drop in the ocean, but are the ocean, in drops.”  This quote by Anne Lamont comes to mind as the Creation Care Ministry team thanks those who made our annual fundraiser such a success. Collectively, we at Grace are making a difference in our world!

As I was planting my skinny and leggy tomato plants this spring, I knew if I placed the whole plant deeper in the soil, the tomato plant would develop a larger root system along the main trunk, allowing it to grow stronger and sturdy, where a sudden wind could not snap the top off, destroying the whole plant. So this same concept seems to be holding true with the merger of St. Matthew’s and Grace. Each congregation may have heard the call differently; but together, we are combining our time, talents and treasures, allowing us to explore our spirituality through different ministries. The Creation Care Ministry is hearing the call to care for the world God created. So what do mergers, ministries and one skinny tomato plant have in common?

St. Matthew’s started a food garden in 2009, giving produce to Meals On Wheels, Feed My People, St. John’s Peace Meal Project, and Emmanuel’s Food Pantry. They also invited Rohan Woods School to use the garden as an outside classroom. Contributing produce to these agencies (along with feeding the food barrel for Trinity’s Food Pantry) invited the parishioners to go deeper into how their faith meets the world’s needs. By working to put fresh food on their neighbors’ tables, they could also invest their spirits to work for social and economic change.

In the same year (2009), Grace was working to become better stewards of God’s creation by having an energy audit on their building and initiated a Renew and Reclaim Capital Campaign to implement the projects and goals recommended from the results of that audit. In three years, Grace went from a 29% efficiency rating by Energy Star to a 72% efficiency rating. The White House recognized Grace for their energy efficiency accomplishments. Grace became one of the founders of Interfaith Power & Light, which is an organization of churches in the area that are working towards decreasing energy consumption as a way to live out their faith by being good stewards of God’s creation.

Inspired by the garden at St. Matthew’s, Grace soon built a garden sending the produce to Circle of Concern, an area agency that ministers to the poor. Churches and schools throughout the world are working in these areas of sustainability and growing food. We may not be doing something new, but we are giving voice, as we become more aware of the finiteness of our resources, realizing the poor always suffer first.

Will you become a member of the chorus, raising the voices louder, by continuing to recycle your home products, plant a food garden with a child to teach the wonder of creation and the joy of sharing the bounty, plan to order more sustainable products in your home remodeling projects or educate yourself and us about conserving our natural resources? Let us know your thoughts and ideas, so we can share with others.

That tomato plant has grown stronger because all those little root shoots were able to grab onto the soil, holding it upright, allowing the plant to grow and flourish, developing much fruit.

 

 

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