Pacific Northwest Annual Conference
 Creation-Care, 365

 PNW United Methodists
Caring for God's Creation

Creation Quote:
Rev. Bryan Sirchio

Tools for Renewal:
Resources for Lent

Small Steps:

Lectionary Links

Events & Actions:

Creation Keepers:
University Temple UMC

UMC Creation-Care News


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"CC-365" Archives
Please click on the above link to find an indexed list of our archived issues.
Issue #65 "Remember you are 'earth'"
January 29, 2013
Ash Weds
On Ash Wednesday (February 13, 2013) many of us will hear these words: "remember you are ashes, and to ashes you shall return."  If/when you hear them, please consider Paul Nuechterlein* questions:

"How about changing the line on Ash Wednesday for the Imposition of Ashes to, 'Remember that you are earth, and to earth you shall return' -- which is basically another way to translate adama in Gen. 2:7.  Isn't the deeper meaning of Genesis 2:7 that we are made of the same stuff as the earth, and so our fates are bound together?  We are called to be stewards of the earth from which we are made....


"Does this take us too far from the traditional Ash Wednesday theme?  I might argue that, given the fact that the Imposition of Ashes is tied to Gen. 2:7, this way of striking the theme might be more true to the overall intentions of beginning the Lenten season with Ash Wednesday.  If salvation from our sin is the theme of Lent, then let's put the matter into its proper cosmic, creational framework.  The scope of God's salvation in Jesus Christ is the whole Creation.  And our sinfulness is tied directly to the salvation of Creation because of our failure to live according to our true and original calling, namely, to be stewards with God of God's Creation.  Redemption from our sin of straying away from our calling as stewards means redemption of the whole Creation.  If we are redeemed to finally take care of the earth as we should, then the earth also begins to be redeemed."


We are adama, earth.  Earth's fate and our fate are bound together in Christ.  May we all carry Nuechterlein's questions and wisdom into our own Lenten journeys this year. 


Grace and Peace be with you,

Creation-Care Projects Coordinator

PNW Office of Connectional Ministries        



*Paul Nuechterlein, Girardian Reflections on the Lectionary, "'Green' Ash Wednesday."  

QuoteCreation Quote

Bryan Sirchio Bryan Sirchio

From Rev. Sirchio's song "Green World


"God made this green world green
Air and water clean
We come from the earth, and to earth we shall return
Let's go back to Genesis 2 and relearn
Humans are here in the garden to serve
And service is the purpose of God-given power
We are more the earth's than earth is ours
We are more the earth's than earth is ours"


 SmallStepsTools for Renewal
Creation-Care Resources for Lent
Small_StepsSmall Steps... for Greater Good
Order EcoPalms for Palm Sunday
UMCOR Eco-Palms
UMCOR Eco-Palms

For Palm Sunday this year, use palm fronds that are purchased at a fair price and harvested in a way that protects the environment. Palm harvesters are often underpaid for their work and struggle to feed their families. As a result many work to harvest as much palm as possible without respect to the environment.


The palm fronds offered through Eco-Palms are a result of a partnership between the University of Minnesota Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management and the Rainforest Alliance TREES program.  


They work with Smartwood to certify that palms harvested from the forests of Mexico and Guatemala for sale to congregations in the United States and Europe are harvested responsibly and provide a decent wage for the harvesters.


Prepare for Palm Sunday now. Visit or watch this video to learn more. Credit card orders must be made by March 1 and check orders by March 8. Palms will be delivered March 18-22.


Lectionary Links
Some excellent, on-line sermon helps -- most of which coincide with the Revised Common Lectionary:
Events & Actions
Winter-Spring 2013


Creation Keepers
University Temple UMC
Seattle (WA)
UTemple UMC Greening Congregation
UTemple's Virginia Erickson and Judy LeBlanc receive Greening Congregations banner from Earth Ministry

In Feburary 2011, Creation-Care, 365 featured the ministry of University Temple United Methodist Church in Seattle.  A little more than one year later, we are pleased to share the following article with you -- an amazing example of what can happen in just over "365 days" in one congregation with a passion for Earth care.  This article was written by Judy LeBlanc, UTemple's Church & Society Chair, on the occasion of being recognized by Earth Ministry as their Greening Congregation Colleague of the Month in November 2012.  Thank you Judy, and UTemple sisters and brothers, for your year-round inspiration!


On Sunday Oct. 14th [2012] we were proud to be presented with our Greening Congregations banner from Earth Ministry. When our Church and Society Team decided to join Earth Ministry and become a Greening Congregation early this year our church was fertile ground. There was already an environmental consciousness. We had switched from disposable to ceramic cups for our coffee hours and small gatherings, were serving fair trade coffee, and our trustees were exploring a recycling and composting program that would involve other major programs in our church (ROOTS, the overnight shelter, and The Temple Children's School/full-time child-care center).  Environmental protection and justice seemed like a natural focus for our committee's energy and purpose.

Our adult education hour on Sunday mornings provided a ready-made venue for laying the groundwork. We started in April with a book study of Simple Living, Compassionate Life, then discussed a DVD series RENEWAL about other faith groups taking environmental action.


This summer we viewed various DVD's and had discussions about local food and farming. This culminated in a Local Foods Potluck on Sunday September 9th, rally day. The timing was right and we had a great turnout. A YouTube

UTemple farm visit
Farmer Erick Haakenson (center) of Jubilee Farm talks with UTemple visitors 

clip about Jubilee Farms, a biodynamic farm near Carnation, was shown at the event and was a prelude to a visit to the farm with the inspirational owner at the end of September.


To increase the strength and breadth of our efforts we are also working with other groups in the church such as United Methodist Women (on the local foods potluck), enrichment hour planning team, Sunday School  (the farm visit), Wesley Student group, BUPH =Building U Temple Physical Health (a new program of our evangelism team) and University District Ecumenical Parish and the larger community.  


Recently, Tevyn East of the Affording Hope Project provided an inspirational program of word, song, movement, and drama with the the biblical story as a context for creation care. There was an evening performance, a Saturday movement workshop, and a Sunday sermon interpretation. This attracted persons outside of our congregation.


In October, Mike Wallace, esteemed professor in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, lead a film and discussion series on global warming. This program in particular has reached people outside of our congregation.


To keep our greening efforts in front of the congregation we have monthly quotes in the bulletin and articles in the Greening Corner of our church monthly online newsletter. We are definitely learning as we go and searching for ways that will make a difference for our congregation as well as the larger community. Determining our focus is challenging with care of the earth being such a monumental endeavor. 

UMC Creation-Care News
"Creation-Care, 365" is a free, e-resource of the PNW Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Subscribers are welcome to reprint any/all of the materials contained within; cite "Creation-Care, 365," Thanks and God bless you in your creation-caring efforts.