GOD’S EARTH CAN STILL SUSTAIN US, BUT WE NEED TO ACT NOW by Geralde Reesor-Grooters

Global warming, contamination, air quality advisory… these are words of today. All is not well with God’s creation. Its current state warrants great concern. Depletion of the ozone layer, disappearing rain forests, melting polar ice caps, and –much closer to home– rapidly disappearing farm land. And these are but a few examples…

When asked how God is revealed to them, many Christians will mention “nature”. If God speaks to us through His creation, why do we not take better care of it? Is it not our Christian responsibility to be good stewards of our earth? No matter how you interpret the creation story, the environment started out in perfect balance. In Genesis we read: “God saw all that He had made and it was very good”. God then entrusted people to take care of the earth, but they soon started doing things their own way, often at the expense of God’s good work.

Today, we do not live in harmony with creation. In our disposable society, we build up landfill sites faster than they can break down, our need for bigger houses swallows up farm land. Convenience is our biggest enemy. We are sold on the idea that everything should be effortless, regardless of the -environmental or financial- cost. We have become so far removed from nature that we cannot see the impact of our actions. Our waste is picked up weekly or goes down a big pipe. Out of sight, out of mind… Would we make different lifestyle choices if we had to throw our waste in our backyard, between the water well and the children’s swing set?

Even today, the earth is able to sustain all people in the world, but not necessarily our lifestyle. Or, in Ghandi’s words: “there are sufficient resources on earth to satisfy everyone’s need, but not everyone’s greed”. Greed can be material, but also immaterial, such as time and effort (convenience). We need to determine where, in our life, need stops and greed begins.

Fortunately, there is a positive side to this story. Carbon neutrality, renewable energy and sustainability are also words of today. We need to focus on these positives, and realize that Mother Earth can heal herself, but not without our help.

This year, several members of Community Mennonite Church formed an Environmental Action Committee, in a desire to take some concrete steps to address climate change. The first focus has been to explore the viability of solar energy. As a pilot project, one family will have solar panels installed on its home and sell the energy back to the grid. A second initiative, on using geothermal energy, is in the information gathering stage. In the future, we hope to promote alternative energy sources in the Stouffville area, to help families reduce the size of their ecological footprint and perhaps save money in the process.

Since not everyone can install solar panels tomorrow, we must remember we can start small and still make a difference. Whether it is rechargeable batteries or natural cleaning products, a small vegetable garden or postponing that errand until you have to drive into town anyway… Every little effort has an accumulative effect once it becomes a habit.

If you would like to join our Environmental Action Committee, please contact us and we will welcome you into our discussions.

Let’s accept the invitation to be caretakers of this beautiful earth.
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