Written by Cindy Verbeek
Creation care during COVID-19. What a weird time. On the one hand people are recognizing the importance of getting outside and enjoying creation. On the other hand the amount of personal protection equipment and other disposable stuff in the attempt to stay away from germs is frightening. If you are someone who wants to seriously follow your calling to care for creation it can be a bit confusing. But when things are confusing I think the best thing to do is get back to the basics. So here is an exercise I do with my workshop attendees to help get unstuck when the task of caring for creation seems overwhelming.
Step 1: Map your neighbourhood (i.e. Recognize God’s provision for your community)
Get out a piece of paper and draw a map of your neighbourhood. Now fill in as many people as you know and try to bring to mind something that you know about each one of them. Then add as many trees, plants, animal sightings, water sources as you can remember.
This activity is often very telling. How much do we know about the place we live? Are there areas where we need to get to know the creation better (human and non-human)? How is God providing for your community through the creation where you are situated.
Step 2: Brainstorm the issues (i.e. Recognizing where creation is groaning in your community)
Draw on the map areas where you know that the creation is groaning. What issues does your community struggle with? Where are there points of pollution, degradation, loss of wildlife and/or farmland, disconnection with creation…the list goes on. Each community struggles with some things more than other. Where I live in northern BC we have lots of land and live far away from any recycling facilities so our struggle is not a lack of land for garbage but it might be pollution of our garbage into local streams. In another area, water may be abundant, so water conservation is not as much of an issue but fragmentation of habitat is. Where is creation groaning in your community?
Step 3: Brainstorm creation keepers (i.e. Recognizing where God is moving in your community)
Who is working on these issues. Write down everyone you know who is working on healing the brokenness in the areas you identified. Organizations, individuals, groups, schools…big or small actions all count. They may or may not share your faith background but God is using them to restore creation in your community. Which brings us to the last question.
Step 4: What can you do to join in? (i.e. What can you do to join in?)
Think about your skills and abilities. What are you good at? What have others told you you are good at? What do you love to do? What issues do you think about the most? How can you use these skills and passions to join in with the work that God is already doing in your community.
Pick one thing and do it.