Lara Schopp Articles, Catherine Stark-Corn

Rev. Catherine Stark-Corn, Minister to Children and Families

The final pile of snow has left my yard. It was in a corner where it had accumulated higher than other spots due to windy days and stayed there far too long due to lack of sun. The disappearance of that lingering snow feels like a promise that spring is on the way. I cannot recall in recent years a time when I have been more eager for the sun, warmer days and the color green. It has been a long winter – it is not just the cold and snow that has made it too long but with our modern weather apps the constant need to check what is coming, when it is coming and thinking through all the contingency plans to deal with the weather. Accompanying all this focus on weather has come for me a renewed look at our natural world and our role in being keepers of creation.

Some years ago a friend gave me a copy of The Green Bible. It is a standard version of the Bible but all the words, passages, and stories that have to do with creation and how we should confront the environment are written in green ink. It is very telling and a visual reminder about how central the created world is to the biblical stories that connect us with our Creator. I feel drawn to revisit this particular publication of sacred texts as I embrace with a sense of renewal this spring as it emerges and wraps us in the promise of new life.

I worry about how to best care for the earth, how to best nurture the living world that all life depends on for our very existence. It is so easy to become overwhelmed with all the needs in the world – both human and environmental; so many needs that we can become paralyzed by where to begin. Yet I find words that call me to keep at it, shared in an essay by Calvin B. DeWitt as a preface to The Green Bible. He comments, “Our ultimate purpose is to honor God as creator in such a way that Christian environmental stewardship is part and parcel to everything we do. Our goal should be to make tending the garden of creation, in all its aspects, an unquestioned and all pervasive part of our service to each other, to our community, to God’s world.”

Along with the awakening of my home garden from this long winter, I seek to awaken anew to my role as a keeper of creation. As we journey through this season of Lent, where we reflect on our relationship with God, I will be mindful of our God as Creator and this amazing and fragile earth that has been placed in our hands.

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
The world, and those who live in it…
Psalm 24:1