Guest blogger: Hannah Shultz, a third year at Candler School of Theology (Emory University), pursuing her Master of Divinity.
December is my favorite time of year. I love going home for the holidays, seeing friends and family, baking cookies, and decorating the Christmas tree. I must admit that I get into the whole Christmas craze! Continue reading
Every January, GIPL brings together interfaith friends in an act of hope. We dig holes in the cold, hard ground and plant trees. Together in partnership with Trees Atlanta, this work of re-foresting brings healing in many ways. It is an act of friendship with the earth and with one another as we create beauty together.
The many trees we plant in this annual ritual provide beauty at a hospital that cares for our country’s veterans. The trees we plant provide beauty for one of our city’s historic cemeteries where families gather to remember our loved ones who’ve gone before us.
“If one plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.” Imam Bukhari
Compost as a Vision of GraceI’m the kind of person who takes pictures of piles of what others call “trash”—used paper plates smeared with BBQ sauce, the green beans some toddler spit out, greasy napkins and the like—and then posts the photos on Facebook (which rarely get any “likes”!).
I see the potential of this so-called trash; indeed, it is like treasure to me when I fast forward in my imagination to the vegetables and flowers that will someday be nourished by it. The photo also documents an act of love and care for God’s creation, and so I think God finds that pile beautiful too. Continue reading
Food engages us with Creation day in and day out. As we fill our plates and cups, we inevitably connect with people, plants, creatures, and places from across our yard to across the world. Whether we embrace or ignore that connection matters for the health of the world and for our very souls. Continue reading
The Creation Care Commission, a new environmental ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, met at Honey Creek Camp on June 13 to establish programs that reduce and recycle waste and to increase awareness of ways to better care for “this fragile earth, our island home.”
A food waste reduction program will focus on reducing overall food waste at summer camp and composting or recycling as much waste from meals as possible. Food waste will be weighed and tracked after each meal, with incentives offered for reaching certain waste reduction goals. Liquid waste will be recycled to water an existing butterfly garden.
The theme of the food waste program is “Reduce Bad Gas (in the environment),” to emphasize the connection between food waste, greenhouse gases, and climate change. Nearly 20 percent of waste in landfills is food, which creates methane-a potent greenhouse gas-when it breaks down in a landfill,” said Deacon Leeann Culbreath, who organized the work weekend. Methane is 20 times more lethal than carbon dioxide.
A three-compartment compost system was built using recycled wooden pallets. Finished compost will be used to nourish current flower, herb, and butterfly garden beds, and a vegetable garden in the future. The group also donated recycled clothing to be used as rags for daily dorm cleaning, to reduce paper toweling use.
“The waste we create, and what we do with it, affects people, animals, and ecosystems around the world,” Culbreath said. “Loving God’s Creation through simple actions means loving our neighbors near and far, and being a healing force in a suffering world. Reducing waste at Honey Creek also has many economic benefits.”
The compost system still needs to be lined with hardware cloth to help keep critters out and compostables in. If you have materials or labor to donate toward this effort, please email Deacon Leeann Culbreath at email@example.com.
To keep up with the Creation Care Commission’s ongoing work, and to view more photos of the work weekend, visit their Facebook page.