This past weekend I attended Stewardship of the Land: A Christian Community Gathering. Having felt bogged down by steady news of degradation of God’s earth over the past months I was in need of inspiration, reflection, and hope. The event provided these for me: in the form of mist rising off beautiful mountains, talking with others who care deeply for the earth, and in the energetic faces of the eight Eco-Stewards.
The Eco-Stewards are young adults who are passionate about earth care and participated in a week-long program sponsored by Presbyterians for Earth Care and Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association. As we learned about the amazing experience that the Eco-Stewards had shared over the past week: learning about environmental justice, eco-theology, and community movements throughout West Virginia, I was inspired by their passion, by their hope, and their sense of energy. I look forward to seeing the great things that this group of young people will do. Four of the Eco-Stewards will serve in internships throughout West Virginia this summer and will be regular contributors to the Eco-Stewards blog. Learn more about the program and read their reflections on eco-justice on the blog.
The Stewardship of the Land event was held at Bluestone Camp and Retreat, which is nestled in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. As I sat at morning worship and saw the mist rising over the lake, I was reminded of the importance of Sabbath. Sabbath keeping fills many purposes, including taking time to worship God intentionally and refreshing our spirits. Further, Sabbath keeping provides a model for us to use in care for the earth. Remembering to refresh our spirits can help us work to refresh and revitalize the earth as well.
I went away from the conference with many new ideas for action to care for the earth. However, the greatest reminder came with the need for Sabbath keeping: for the good of the earth and for the good of my spirit.