This past Sunday, I preached on Genesis 1:26-31 and unpacked a little of what it means to be made in the image of God. You can check that out here.
One part of being human, which has been clear since the beginning, is our responsibility to take care of our planet. This is connected with being image-bearers.
God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature.
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself." (Genesis 1:26-28, The Message)
God gives us creation to explore, enjoy, spread out, and carve out a life in. In turn, we have the authority and responsibility to take care of it. God created us relationally. To live in relationship with God (evidenced in the Garden of Eden and the rest of Scripture), relationship with each other ("It is not good for man to be alone"), relationship with ourself (self-consciousness, awareness, worth, etc.) and with creation. Creation Care connects to all of those relationships. How we care for Creation shows gratitude for the Creator that gave us this gift. It has an obvious impact on others, the people around us now and the generations to come. It impacts our own lives as we wander around the earth. Creation Care is an obvious and explicit aspect of being human.
So how do we do it? The information is overwhelming and sobering. I am certainly no expert in this. I'm a novice, exploring myself, and figuring out what practical steps our family is going to take to be good stewards of Creation. I've gathered some resources from some friends and wanted to share them with any who might want to explore more. This list is by no means exhaustive. My encouragement is to educate yourself, look for practical ways to adjust your day to day living, and become involved at a community level as well.
For People in Virginia
World Wildlife Fund: Bridging the worlds of faith and conservation https://www.worldwildlife.org/videos/bridging-the-worlds-of-faith-and-conservation
James River Association: Conservation organization for our James River, which has adrainage area that covers one-fourth of Virginia. They focus on local activities that reduce pollution reaching the river, foster individual and corporate responsibly and restore desirable aquatic populations. https://jrava.org/
Specific things you can dohttps://jrava.org/what-you-can-do/
Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Celebrating 50 years of working throughout Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania to restore and protect the world’s most productive estuary…ourChesapeake Bay. Lots of local conservation activities for individuals, families and groups, organized by their Richmond-based Virginia office. http://www.cbf.org/issues/
Virginia Natural Area Preserves (VA Dept. Of Conservation & Recreation) Get outdoors and visit the most unique habitats and animal/plant communities in the Commonwealth. http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/document/napbook4web.pdf
Virginia Vegetable Planting Guide and Recommended Planting Dates (by VA Cooperative Extension) A great guide for those wanting to plant a garden and get things in the ground at the right time; Spring and Fall https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/426/426-331/426-331_pdf.pdf
Va Department of Conservation and Recreation:
EPA Sustainable Marketplace: Greener Products and Services (lots of information on this website) https://www.epa.gov/greenerproducts
Hiking Upwards: Great hike planning site with trail specific details and printable topo maps. Get out there and enjoy creation firsthand! http://www.hikingupward.com/
*Thanks so much to Jack, Nathan, Matt, and David for some of these resources.
**This isn't even the tip of the iceberg and is missing a lot of key areas in regards to Creation Care. (Treatment of animals, etc.)