Dear Church family –
This year is the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. It was suppose to be a big celebration, but no one expected that there would be a pandemic! . . . . Ironically though, the Earth and the atmosphere are getting a break during the pandemic. All around the world, we aren’t driving, or producing or consuming nearly as much. There is still too much use of plastic and too much trash, but the air quality is changed in large cities, and smog is greatly reduced.
When I ask people “what makes you feel better in these hard days?” the response often includes – “getting outside” “gratitude that we live in such a beautiful place” “getting my hands in the dirt” in other words – being in the natural world! On Sunday, we will honor with gratitude God’s beautiful and bountiful creation. (see the Link to the Sunday bulletin here on the church website!)
And though we can’t gather you can actively participate in Earth Day! The UCC is sponsoring a “Plant a tree” campaign. Please let me know if and how you choose to participate so that we can note how many trees we, as a community, “plant” by our donations or by actually planting! Check out the options here: https://www.ucc.org/plantatree?utm_campaign=tree_planting_campaign_msg_4&utm_medium=email&utm_source=unitedchurchofchrist
This from the UCC: “A recent column in the New York Times passed along the advice that one should “patronize the business that you want to see survive in the future.” As we mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, one could also say that when it comes to charities and causes we should give and dig deep for the kind of world we want to see survive in the future. Do we want a world in which we have a safe and stable climate? Do we want a world in which the air is clean and healthy for our lungs? Do we want a world full of trees that grow and blossom in the spring? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then today is the day to make a donation that enables the planting of trees in fire ravaged National Parks or abroad in places like Palestine, Kenya, and Zambia.” Check out the options here: https://www.ucc.org/plantatree?utm_campaign=tree_planting_campaign_msg_4&utm_medium=email&utm_source=unitedchurchofchrist
And if you want to do a little earth friendly shopping here is the website for one of my favorite small businesses with some great earth friendly products: https://zerowastecartel.com/ Be sure to check out their blog for do it yourself tips. Or if you are interested in using bar shampoo – thus reducing the use of plastic shampoo bottles – and supporting a local product: try JR Ligget’s shampoo bars made in Cornish! https://jrliggett.com/
Another helpful site is the Better World Shopper. https://betterworldshopper.org/ It rates businesses on human rights, the environment, animal protection, community involvement and social justice. If you want to vote with your dollars to take better care of all of God’s creation download the app to your phone and use it whenever you shop or check out the website when you make your grocery list! You may be surprised at the practices you are supporting with the purchases you make. Spend some time on the website and read about how they rate companies and try to purchase products from companies that try harder to care for the earth and all the people who live here.
So those are just a few ideas for honoring Earth Day this week! 50 years ago, 10% of Americans participated in the first Earth Day. And from that momentum came the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. We have seen those efforts politically challenged in recent years. What you do, how you choose to participate, spend your money, shop, volunteer, donate does matter. God’s creation is our home spiritually and physically, how shall we honor it?
And think about planting a tree this week or donating to an organization that will plant trees where trees are desperately needed.
Please reach out if you need anything, please call each other, please check on your neighbor. Let us be kind, compassionate, patient and gentle with each other and with ourselves.
Be safe, stay home, wash your hands! Get outside and breathe fresh air!
And may your faith be greater than your fear today and each day to come.
In the greatest of hope – Lucia