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Spring 2019



  • Welcome spring! This edition of our TCMF creation care newsletter is the first publication since restructuring from monthly releases to coming out quarterly coinciding with the changing seasons. This frequency feels sustainable and timing fits with the natural rhythms
  • Composting. Our 2nd composter filled in just a few months! Without the help of decomposing organisms, whose activity comes almost to a halt in cold weather, our 2nd composter filled fast. Composting onsite at church is currently on hold until later spring. Thanks to everyone who composts, whether that be at home, at their local transfer station, or at church
  • Tulsi Tea Tasting.  In celebration of Kate Tulsi Good’s arrival, we served Tulsi (Holy Basil) tea that was picked and dried from our very own TCMF tea garden. The Tulsi was blended with other herbs grown at TCMF including mint, lemon balm, and chamomile. Look for the recipe in Jaynie & Heather’s forthcoming plant-based cookbook being published by Herald Press in fall 2020!
  • Energy Grant TCMF was awarded a $9300 matching grant from Vermont Interfaith Power and Light's Katy Gerke Memorial Program which was set up to help churches improve the energy efficiency of their church buildings. We plan to use the funds towards insulation this spring. Taking this step means we will be 2 for 2 on the creation care challenges MCCN put out to congregations a cross the country. We did the River stewardship challenge in the summer and their fall 2018 challenge was for congregations to plan an energy efficiency improvement project.
  • Climate Change Conversation. Mennonite Creation Care Network is calling the congregations in its network to hold an intergenerational dialog on climate change during the first six months of 2019. Heather has requested the discussion guide and will look together with Steve to see how our congregation will respond to the calling.
  • Earth Day is April 22 (Easter Monday) The theme for 2019 is Protect our Species. It is very possible that we are at the brink of if not already experiencing the 6th extinction. It is most certainly the greatest loss of species that has occurred in the past 60 million years, since the time of the dinosaurs. This time however it is because of human activity. The normal rate of species going extinct is between 1 and 5 per year. Scientist estimate that species are going extinct 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal rate, with multiple extinctions daily.
  • Arbor Day is April 26. "Trees Are Simply Amazing. They clean air and water, slow climate change, ease poverty and hunger, prevent species loss, and feed the human soul. All we need to do is plant and care for them. Let’s work together to make it happen around the world.”
  • Spring Gardening activities will soon be in swing include direct seed planting (sunflowers, annual herbs), and transplanting seedlings that needed a head start indoors given our shorter growing season. Some seeds we saved at the end of last season (including our Tulsi) and other seeds were purchased from Fedco. The Wolfe family will be starting and nurturing all the culinary herbs and annual flowers that are planted around the apple.
  • Green Up Day: The first Saturday in May, is a special day in Vermont when thousands of volunteers come out in their communities for a massive spring clean up of litter. It is the largest statewide volunteer event in Vermont with over 22,000 taking part, and the only statewide Green Up Day in the United States. Mark your calendars for Green Up Day 2019 on May 4th! 
  • MCUSA Convention July 2019 MCCN is creating a visual for their booth themed “Caring for Creation. What type are you?” You are invited to submit your photo and pick a word that describes you: Simple Living Steward, Foodie, Building Geek, Gardener, Naturalist, Watershed Disciple, Witness, Faith Anchor, Activist, Eco-Donor, other.  Use their electronic submission form.

March is National Nutrition Month.
Meet a Permaculture Plant
German White Garlic. Buried under a blanket of winter snow and insulating straw are 5 cloves of garlic. These bulbs were planted in October around the Cortland apple. Garlic is a companion planting that helps repel aphids, attract pollinators and protect against apple scab. German White is a hardneck porcelain variety with 4-5 cloves per bulb that peel easily and are great for roasting. Look for the garlic to emerge early spring and send up its scape.


This Quarter:

Generated: 1,822kWh
Used: 1,655kWh (1,622kWh from Solar, 33kWh from the grid)
Donated: 200kWh
Estimated Value to BBC: $128
Estimated Value to TCMF: $298
Total Value for Quarter: $426

Grand Totals
Generated: 22,237kWh
Used: 9,834kWh (9,132kWh from Solar, 702kWh from the grid)
Donated: 13,105kWh
Estimated Value to BBC: $3,181
Estimated Value to TCMF: $1,673
Total Value: $4,854

Q: What is something you love about creation?
One thing I love about Creation, which never ceases to amaze me, is the incredible variety in everything.  From the tiniest bug to the largest mountain, the details seem infinite, and no two things are exactly alike!

Q: What is something you do to care for creation?
Along with recycling, composting and organic gardening, one way we try to care for God's creation is by allowing and creating habitat for a variety of creatures, from birds to bears.  We enjoy the hawk in our woods and the mink that lives along the stream (and sometimes runs across our porch); the turkeys that browse under the bird-feeders and the fox that hunts chipmunks in the garden.  I haven't yet learned to enjoy mice in the house, however!  Maybe God's working on that.
Protect pollinators! There are 275 types of bees in Vermont and we just added 3 different types of bumble bees to the threatened and endangered list. Bees are a species that needs our protection. Many of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables we enjoy eating are pollinated by bees. Plan a pollinator garden at home or talk to your school about a pollinator project.

March 17 is St. Patrick's Day, which celebrates the life of Patrick, a man who was captured by pirates and sold as a slave but--even after escaping--heard a voice calling him to return to Ireland (where he'd been enslaved) and share the gospel with his captors.

During a time when he was threatened with persecution by the pagan king of Ireland, Patrick said these words:

“At Tara today in this fateful hour
 I place all Heaven with its power, 
and the sun with its brightness, 
and the snow with its whiteness, 
and fire with all the strength it hath, 
and lightning with its rapid wrath, 
and the winds with their swiftness along their path, 
and the sea with its deepness, 
and the rocks with their steepness, 
and the earth with its starkness– 
all these I place, 
by God’s almighty help and grace, 
between myself and the powers of darkness.”
Patrick understood that God's providential care and help was available through nature; not only did Patrick trust that heaven could help him, but that God could use elements of the earth to come to Patrick's assistance. 

In the past few decades there has been a renewed interest in Celtic Christianity and one point of fascination is in the understanding of the early Christian Celts with the power of place; this has been symbolized through the Celtic cross-- with its interconnected knots-- representing the interconnectedness of all of God's creation.

In this Celtic way of thinking, yes, it is important to care for creation, but this care doesn't go only in one direction:  God providentially cares for us through creation. The land, the water, the rocks, the weather, and all that grows therein are a means by which God's care can be expressed to us:

"You care for the land and water it;
    you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
    to provide the people with grain,
    for so you have ordained it."
-Psalm 65:9

Meatless Mondays

Meat Eaters Guide to Climate Change and Health

Plant-Based Diet Booklet



Have ideas, stories, resources you'd like to share related to creation care?

Contact Heather Wolfe,
Taftsville Chapel's creation care liaison

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Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 44, Taftsville, VT 05073

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