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Summer 2021

 

CREATION CARE RECAP

April:

  • "A Fast for the Earth." Weekly Lenten meetups continued Saturdays at 3:30pm through Easter. The final week of the fast was an ignorance fast. Sunday April 4th we celebrated a resurrection feast which invited us to share in locally sourced foods. At the cross walk Challah bread slices (made with many Meadow View Farm eggs, King Arthur Flour, and sprinkled with poppy seeds grown in our 2020 church garden) were available to take home.
  • We participated in Interfaith Power & Light's (IPL) Earth Week. The theme was "Sacred Ground: Cultivating Connections between our Faith, our Food, and the Climate." We created opportunities to watch the IPL recommended film: Kiss the Ground
  • We were invited to dinner and a movie in celebration of Earth Day. A virtual Cookbook Club Dinner (zucchini shakshuka, recipe from Sustainable Kitchen) & Kiss the Ground film discussion was held jointly over Zoom with Ambler Mennonite. 
          

May:

              
              
    • Pentecost Sunday was a windy, wet Wild Church. 11 gathered for a meaningful service as we reflected on the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the church. We planted 1 square meter of native plants around our new oak, a shared practice being done this month by MCCN congregations across the US and Canada.
             
             

June:   
  • Wild Church: theming around seeds and the parable of the sower. Kids planted a three sisters garden (corn, beans, squash) which is a symbiotic planting attributed to native peoples.
             
  • MOSAIC MENNONITES newsletter. We were the lead article in their June 10th edition: Church Gone Wild. We have already received inquiries from other Mosaic congregations that are curious to learn more.
Ongoing:
  • Stuff Swap: If you have items to give-away or are looking for something in particular, we can be resources for each other. Let Steve know your desired or donated item(s) and he will post in his weekly email in hopes to find a match!
  • Share the Harvest table: Every Wild Church will have a table set up for giving and gleaning extra plants, produce, food stuff, or other items that you wish to share with others.
  • Plastic bag donations! Nancy Pejouhy has been collecting our plastic bags and other plastic film in collaboration with the Bethel schools as part of the community recycling challenge sponsored by Trex. 500 pounds of plastic film or bags collected= 1 Trek bench! We've helped created 2 benches already and it is on to #3... and this one is earmarked for our church gardens!! Drop off clean plastic bags of all shapes/sizes at the church. Here is guidance on what to donate 
Other News:
  • Climate Ride The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions "Moving the Story" cross country bike ride is in progress! Denver Beck and Samantha Lioi are both riders with connections to our community. Denver wrote this week's reflection. You can follow them as they go by signing up for regular updates.
  • Climate Action Plans  MCCN offers up a resource from the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions. Blueprints for Climate Action- creation care actions plans to empower congregations. We can take the quiz, keeping in mind the congregation, then get an action plan appropriate to where we are at. Scores range from 0-20. (If you take the quiz, please send what score you came up with to Heather for compiling.)
  • Wild Church Network leaders monthly meeting. reoccurs the second thursdays of each month. Introductions are made by sharing your name, your congregation's name, your watershed and giving a land acknowledgement.
    • our watershed:  Ottaquechee watershed which flows into the greater Connecticut watershed
    • our land acknowledgement: we meet on the ancestral lands of the Western Abenaki. 


Ottaquechee (in Natick, a language of the Algonquin nation)
means a swift mountain stream”

Connecticut originates from another Algonquin word:
Quinnehtukqut meaning “beside the long tidal river”.

LOOKING AHEAD

  • WILD CHURCH Second Sundays 1:30pm Meadow View Farm, home of the Wolfe pack
  • JULY MennoCon21 July 6-10. Creation care related seminars are trending. The organizers said that  proposals for topics related to creation care were submitted more than any other theme. Heather Wolfe had a seminar proposal accepted related to Food, Faith and Climate Change, but because Herald Press has decided not to attend MennoCon21 due to forecasted low attendance related to the pandemic, it was decided to postpone Heather's seminar until the next conference. There is a separate online conference option if you are interesting in "going" from the comfort of home this year.
  • AUGUST Groton camping. BBC outdoor service.
  • SEPTEMBER is the Season of Creation 2021. This years theme: A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God.
KAIROS
(Greek for “right time,” “season” or “opportunity”)

noun
: the opportune and decisive moment
: a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action 

This is a Kairos moment.
Climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution pose a triple threat to human health and prosperity that may be averted only by transforming how we power our economies and feed ourselves, t\he United Nations said in Februrary.

“The bottom line is that we need to transform how we view and value nature”, said the UN Secretary-General. “The rewards will be immense. With a new consciousness, we can direct investment into policies and activities that protect and restore nature”. 
Meet a TCMF Permaculture Garden plant: Garden Strawberries (Fragaria)
Cultivated first in France, this fruit is just this week ripening in our apple guild. Botanists call strawberries a ‘false fruit’ or ‘multiple fruit’, because what looks like seeds are actually the true fruit- each of these "seeds" is an ovary which contain seeds inside. Strawberries are picked by hand as you must wait until they are ripe since they don’t continue to ripen after picking. Strawberries function in our guild as an edible ground cover that helps to shade the soil, prevent wind and rain erosion, as well as providing weed suppression.
Quarterly Update
SOLAR GENERATION
@ TCMF
MARCH


APRIL
 
MAY
This Quarter
Generated: 4,062 kWh
Used: 1,304 kWh
Donated: 2,758 kWh
Estimated Value to BBC: $646
Estimated Value to TCMF: $246
Total Value for Quarter: $892
 
Grand Total
Generated: 49,883 kWh
Used: 21,468 kWh (20,021 kWh from Solar, 1,447 kWh from the grid)
Donated: 29,862 kWh
Estimated Value to BBC: $7,473
Estimated Value to TCMF: $3,793
Total Value: $11,265
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT - Courtney Hollingsworth 
photo caption: Last week my dog, Panda, and I went swimming at the 20ft hole in Reading.  It was beautiful, and a great place to beat the 90 degree heat. 

Q: What is something you love about creation?

A:  I love the beauty and diversity of creation.  Whether it is standing on the top of a mountain and taking in a glorious sunset, or sitting by a lake and having a dragon fly land on your leg... this world we get to live in is truly amazing and awe inspiring.  I also love how it is created in such a way that everything is so intricately interconnected.  Life is designed to create more life, and when everything is in balance all things will thrive.  That is why it is so sad to see our planet and creation suffering so much. 

Q: What is something you do to care for creation?

A:   I am trying to care for creation by taking practical steps to REDUCE  the amount of waste I create.  Our family loves fizzy drinks, and so I just bought a Soda Stream- which will eliminate all the cans and bottles we have been buying.  
KIDS CARE CORNER

The WATER CYCLE!
Summer is a time for sun and swimming. We enjoy warm days and cooling off in water. The sun and water both play roles in the water cycle which all life on Earth depends on. There are 4 stages of the water cycle. The sun evaporates (1) water which goes up into the sky, condenses (2) in clouds and comes back down as precipitation (3) like rain or snow and collects (4) before repeating the cycle. Check out this catchy Water Cycle kids song. 

REMEMBER LAST MONTH's challenge? Add another R for Earth. What are your ideas for another R for Earth in addition to Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle, Rot. 
Here are YOUR responses that were submitted... 
 
                 
Regift  - Recover - Recruit - Repair
This brings the total count up to 11 R's for Earth.
Yeah you! Yeah Earth!
                       
                   
 
DO JUST ONE THING

Check out this graphic from MCCN. Contemplate, where do you see opportunity, sense energy for us to focus as a church? There is a second page online that follows this graphic with more details if you want to read more.
NEW! Join the TCMF Green Team

We've had an official creation care liaison since August 2016. This summer is
our 5th year anniversary
of an intentional commitment to creation care! It is time to expand beyond a liaison to having a green team. This will be a voluntary team for anyone interested in helping to guide our church's involvement in creation care and have input into this newsletter. We will plan to meet quarterly and connect informally between meetings on an as needed basis. There are 2 signup slots on the church slate of volunteers currently but that can expand if there is more interest!
A NOTE FROM STEVE

During a Wild Church service last summer,  I remember asking God for clarity about the future of my marriage and family. I knew that we were in a difficult place, and I saw two butterflies above my head--as though dancing. They circled around each other for a few moments and then they parted ways. I tried to track one of them, and it flew to a field of lilies near the Wolfe’s family home where there were at least a dozen other butterflies.
 

I took this to mean that though the brief “dance” that two butterflies had shared had ended, there was a community of support and love awaiting ahead.


When I think about this past 18 months, during the pandemic, I have held on to the image of the butterfly in a variety of ways.  Over a year ago, we were headed into the unknown and unfamiliar. In the midst of this uncertainty this past year, the image of the butterfly has been helpful to think about loss. 

 
A caterpillar enters the uncertainty of the chrysalis--the dark unknown and the loss of the familiar. The body of the caterpillar must turn to complete goo (it experiences the “death” of its identity as a caterpillar) as a necessary step for the transformation to take place--but this transformation leads it to something new and wonderful---a flying butterfly with wings.


The reappearance of the butterfly, the blossoming of flowers, the reappearance of green leaves on trees, and other spring-time hints of the reemergence of signs of life are hopeful metaphors of transformation.

Like the metaphor of the caterpillar and the butterfly, the experience of loss and death can be a necessary part of transformation to something even more beautiful on the other side. As Sadhu Sundar Singh,  a missionary from India in the early twentieth century,  wrote: 
 

“A silkworm was struggling out of the cocoon and an ignorant man saw it battling as if in pain, so he went and helped it to get free, but very soon after it fluttered and died. The other silkworms that struggled out without help suffered, but they came out into full life and beauty, with wings made strong for flight by their battle for fresh existence.”

 

What I take from these words is that the struggle through uncertainty and loss is a necessary part of transformation. On a global level, we have struggled through the challenges of the past 18 months, but we are seeing hints of hope that we are approaching the other side: vaccines, new treatments for COVID-19, adjustments to a new way of life that makes the most of local, simple, living at home.

 

It is possible that, like the silkworm, through our present struggle we will come away stronger and transformed; and that death will not have the last word--but death itself can be overcome by resurrection to new life. And that we are not alone, but if we can embrace our own transformation, we will find love in the fellowship of others on the other side.

EXPLORE MORE 

Wild Church Network
https://www.wildchurchnetwork.com/

Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions
https://sustainableclimatesolutions.org/



Mennonite Creation Care Network
https://mennocreationcare.org/

 

CONTACT US

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

Contact Heather Wolfe,
Taftsville Chapel's creation care liaison

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

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