By Sarah Carson
On March 24, 2012, they held “ELCA Earth Day” and invited members of the community to participate in a day of learning, conversation and fellowship centered on caring for the earth.
The day began with a special Bible study on the biblical perspective for environmentalism, conservation and sustainability.
“We used a Bible study from (the ELCA) called ‘Caring for the Earth as God’s People,’” says Shirley Bow, a member of Holy Trinity and the event’s organizer.
The Bible study, provided by the Women of the ELCA, is just one of many resources the ELCA has made available for members, congregations and others interested in committing to a greener future for their buildings and communities.
In Holy Trinity’s case, they decided it was best to use the study as a starting point. “We kind of flew with the program,” says Shirley. “It was something totally different than we’d ever done before.”
Those who attended the event were treated to a special presentation on the importance of conservation and recycling. This was followed by a delicious lunch made from ingredients anyone could grow in their own garden: fresh veggies, greens, vegetable soup and salad.
After lunch everyone got to work cleaning flowerbeds and planting flowers and trees around the church. “We sweated a lot. It was very hot,” Shirley laughs. “Everyone did their part.”
At the end of the day, those in attendance each received a small, potted begonia to plant in their own garden.
Shirley says that she hopes the day will inspire people to begin to make small changes in the way they think about caring for the earth. Holy Trinity, for example, doesn’t have a recycling program. Yet, Shirley hopes that maybe now they will be inspired to do so.
“We’re trying to work on recycling. Our neighborhood has recycling, and I totally believe in it,” she says.
Even bigger than the trees and flowers was the impact the day had on those involved.
“Everyone got the feeling that there are things we can do,” Shirley says. “It was a good feeling. We had a feeling of accomplishment.”