Food and conversation for Earth Month

Watery Earth NASA photoLast Sunday we shared a delicious vegetarian lunch in the Fellowship Hall. Thanks to everyone for their creativity and willingness to try something different. The meal was followed by a delightful video conversation with Pastor Gregory and Tripp Fuller. Tripp is a doctoral candidate at Claremont School of Theology, one of the founders of the nationally known podcast, “Homebrewed Christianity” and Program Director of “The Hatchery” in Los Angeles. At many times paralleling the morning’s sermon, he encouraged us to to look for and celebrate God in all creation. Using both awareness and creative imagination we can come to deeper understanding of how all of creation is interconnected. This understanding can only help to strengthen recognition of our need to care for creation. Tripp is also funny and entertaining.

This Sunday we will conclude our Earth Month focus (though not our attention to creation care.) The theme is “The Good Earth.” In Psalm 148 and other passages we find the whole creation praising the Creator. In other passages, including the “Sermon on the Mount” we are encouraged to let go of worry and trust that the great God of the universe will also be our redeemer and protector. Pastor Gregory has a word about our Eco-Education guest, Elise Willis, who will help us to talk about the trees if not actually to them.

Come Sunday morning at 10:00 AM for worship, study and shared community. Invite your family and friends, neighbors and colleagues, acquaintances and strangers to join us in the joy of this Earth Month Sunday.

Together, let us strive…to know God’s love!
Pastor Rick

Eco-Education

candle and globeBy now we are well into Earth Month. On Sunday, we celebrated the God of creation in music and word. The big collage of “interconnection” that we started during worship is completed and hung on the hall wall. By all accounts the conversation with Elizabeth Singleton went well during the Eco-Education Hour. We might even look at the beginning and call it “good.”

This Sunday we will return to the first creation story of Genesis 1-2 to consider the place of human being in creation. Sometimes we take the instructions to have dominion, to rule and to subdue too literally. We think we are little gods and do with creation whatever we want. But the psalmist marvels at creation and asks just who are we that the creating God would consider us at all. What if God has crafted human being for loving, caring, co-creative relationship? We are not to be “over creation” as much as we are to be “of” it, recognizing God’s presence in every atom and wave. To have dominion is to respond to what is by affirming its goodness and embracing it with joy.

Eco-education will be incorporated into the “Every Day – Earth Day Potluck” right after Worship and Sunday School. Everyone is encouraged to bring vegetarian or vegan fare to share. Hopefully this will be an interesting and fun experiment for us all. After dinner, we will share a taped conversation that Pastor Gregory had with Tripp Fuller, entertaining theologian and Program Director for the Hatchery in Los Angeles. Their conversation is about how we might entertain a more creative imagination in considering how we as Christians live in and care for this world.

Come Sunday morning at 10:00 AM for worship, study and shared community. Invite your family and friends, neighbors and colleagues, acquaintances and strangers to join us in the joy of this Earth Month Sunday.

Together, let us strive…to know God’s love!

Pastor Rick

Pastor Gregory Says… (4/13/16)

Pastor Greg with childrenThis Sunday we might be reaching back to one of the oldest Christian practices there is: vegetarian potlucks! Genesis 1:29 reads: “God said, ‘I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all Earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.’” As we continue our journey into Earth Month we will explore what it means to veg-out on a plant based diet. We will pray for our furry friends crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds, and stuffed into wire cages, metal crates, and other torturous devices. Early this week I recorded a conversation with Baptist minister and scholar Tripp Fuller (www.homebrewedchristianity.com) that will help us unravel how we might best embody the gospel in today’s ecological instability.

If you are looking for vegetarian and vegan recipes here are a few links to websites:

21 Vegan Recipes That Will Make You Potluck Royalty  

100’s of recipe’s from the Christian Vegetarian Association 

12 Vegan Potluck Recipes

Article: “The Church Potluck, Reimagined”  By the Rev. Lauren Lisa Ng, a graduate of ABSW who currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Baptist Home Missions Societies, on the Board of Trustees for Bacone College in Muskogee, OK, and on the Advisory Team for American Baptist Women in Ministry.