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Winter 2019



  • September: On the last sunday during the season of creation,  we held  our annual creation care worship service.
  • October: 168 spring flower bulbs (tulips, crocus, grape hyacinths, dwarf iris, siberian squill, narcissus) were planted in our gardens in addition to a garlic cloves saved from this past years garlic harvest. By replanting from 'seed' saving we are developing terroir (the characteristic taste and flavor imparted by the environment in which it is produced).
  • We enjoyed a harvest potluck on October 27th with a theme of local, backyard foods. This fulfilled a MCCN shared practice of having a sustainable foods potluck in 2019.
  • November: Taftsville Chapel is the first-ever recipient of the Art Jocele Meyer Award via the Mennonite Creation Care Network for our church's "exemplary work on creation care"! This includes a monetary prize of $500 towards our church's next "green project". Details about the award can be found here. The write up announcing our being the recipient went out in the current MCCN newsletter dated Dec 10th.
  • December 2-13 was the UN Climate Change Conference - COP 25 (Short for Conference of the Parties, 25th annual meeting). Meeting goals were to finalize details of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, aiming to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C.
    • UPDATE: "I am disappointed with the results of COP25. The international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation and finance to tackle the climate crisis." -Antonio Guterres, UN secretary general
  • A new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report has warned that unless global greenhouse gas emissions fall by 7.6% each year between 2020 and 2030, the world will miss the opportunity to get on track towards this goal.
  • Rollbacks: An Assault Against Life On Earth This documentary was produced right here in Woodstock by Old Dog DocumentariesRollbacks reviews the Trump Administration's systematic dismantling of environmental protections in the U.S. despite all the evidence supporting climate change. Political aside, this is an interesting watch, only 30 minutes long. Ham Gillett, the narrator, works locally at the Greater Upper Valley Solid Waste District and is who we went through to get our church composting bins and he organized the composting workshops many of us attended in the community.
  • Creation Care Bulletin Board refresh. Thanks to Lynda for bringing an artistic eye to rethink how things are presented after more than 3 years on display!                                                      
Greta Thunberg
Time Magazine's pick for '2019 Person of the Year'

 This Swedish teenager who began weekly Fridays for Future protests, striking to demand more aggressive action from government leaders, has has inspired the global youth climate movement.
  • Winter is here. Are you ready? Winter tips for staying warm and saving energy from Efficiency Vermont
  • Christmas is Coming! Suggestions for honoring God's creation at Christmas from Blessed Earth
  • Save the Date! January 9th @ 1pm, Live MCCN webinar featuring our liaison, Heather, sharing about our creation care work at Taftsville Chapel
 2019 word of the year: (Oxford Dictionaries) "Climate Emergency" noting usage evidence that reflects the "ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year" picked "existential" as its word of the year based on look-up data. Search for "existential" spiked after both Bernie Sanders and 16-year old Greta Thunberg characterized climate change as an existential crisis.
Meet a Plant
Paperwhite Narcissus.  This is a popular indoor plant as the bulbs can easily be forced as they don't require a chilling period, unlike their daffodil relatives. (Forcing means to fast-forwarding the normal growing cycle so they bloom in winter instead of spring.) They take 4-6 weeks to bloom after planting which can be done at anytime, though late fall is a popular time for the holidays and as a harbinger of spring. During our Nov 17th service we planted 6 bulbs, remembering Virginia and others who have or will pass on, and we look forward to them blooming near Christmas time. (It is munstead lavender we grew in the church garden that surrounds the pot.) Paperwhites are tender plants, native to the Mediterranean,  that will not survive outside in our zone nor can they be saved to grow again, thus we will enjoy them in their moment.

This Quarter:

Generated: 3,121 kWh
Used: 1,344 kWh
Donated: 1,777 kWh
Estimated Value to BBC: $443
Estimated Value to TCMF: $246
Total Value for Quarter: $689

Grand Totals
Generated: 33,119 kWh
Used: 14,400 kWh (13,698 kWh from Solar, 702 kWh from the grid)
Donated: 19,421 kWh
Estimated Value to BBC: $4,746
Estimated Value to TCMF: $2,504
Total Value: $7,250

Q: What is something you love about creation?
I marvel at the complexity and interconnectedness of life. There is so much we have yet to learn about creation. I love that at first what the creator has done seems incomprehensible and only with great effort and dedication can we unravel what the Lord has known all along. I see a thread of consistency, diversity, and purpose in creation. We cannot know all of the nature of the Lord yet we can discover parts about them. We will never know everything about the natural world and yet we can discover parts about it. 

Q: What is something you do to care for creation?
I enjoy noticing all of the living things I encounter. The insects that are everywhere, the salamanders under logs, and the different trees and shrubs in the forest. If possible I want to give everything a chance to grow and live. I will even try to avoid a whooly-worm that I see on the road with my car. As the facilities manager at Bethany Birches I try to let as much of the forest just be as it is and keep all of the petroleum products and other contaminates out of the ground. I look forward to improving in this role. Personally and at work, if possible I want to create little in the way of unrecyclable waste and have things that are not disposable. Sadly, I am sure that just by living in the States my life is unsustainable.
What do you love about winter? Find ways to embrace the season and find fun on weekends, Christmas, and February breaks. Be a detective. Learn to track animals. Put up a bird feeder and identify who comes. Try tree identification in winter without leaves to help. Curl up with a good book on how to identify the natural world around you. Check out our creation care library at church for winter reading material. 
Ten Personal Solutions to Global Warming

Beginning with Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) we have embarked on a journey through the pages of the Tanakh (the Old Testament). This autumn we spent most of our sermons looking at the book of Genesis. The pages of Genesis and the Old Testament have spoken to people in the past and they continue to speak to us now. They remind us that we (as humans) have the power and the capacity to harm or to heal: other humans, animals, and the land and seas.

Genesis shapes the rest of the story as the Bible unfolds; it shows what God’s original purpose for humans was on the Earth and that our role as custodians of this creation--what God declared “good”-

- remain true even after human folly. We may read in current news that---just as Genesis attests-- there is human bloodshed, and a denial of upholding the dignity of human life; and just as Genesis also attests, the effects of human decisions have consequences on our environment and can lead to catastrophe. I hope that in our reading of Genesis and the rest of what follows, we can find in these pages a sense of purpose and identity; we can understand what we were created for, and that we can follow the path back to the Tree of Life, abandoned in Eden, but promised again in Revelation--a tree with leaves for "the healing of the nations".

Mennonite Creation Care


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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P.O. Box 44, Taftsville, VT 05073