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December 2018



  • A second composter was recently added at church after we filled the first in just 5 months! Thanks to the Kulp family whose attendance at the summer composter class made us eligible to purchase this extra bin at a deep discount (they couldn't have it at their condo but enjoy being able to empty household compost at church).
  • Tips for winter composting: Decomposition really slows down and can even stop during our cold winter months. But the microbes will be back in business come spring. It helps break down better in winter if food scraps are small, so consider chopping up compost before adding to the bin. As long as access is possible, feel free to continue to make deposits with 1 part food scraps (greens), covered with 3 parts brown material (shredded paper, leaves, straw). Remember, there should be "brown all around".
  • Food & Faith: Adult second hour was facilitated by Jaynie McCloskey and Heather Wolfe on our gratitude Sunday, Nov 18th. We explored many ways we live out our faith in daily food decisions and practices including the realms of justice, connection, health, and sustainability. Our discussion around sustainability focused in on the ecological footprint of eating meat (huge), food waste in America (estimated at 40%), and packaging waste (estimated to take up 25% of landfill space and noting that food packaging making up the majority of most of our own personal household trash). We explored ways to be more mindful, including the idea of Meatless Monday and tips from Blessed Earth on how to Honor God's Creation when it comes to food.
Healthy, sustainable snacks were served during coffee time that will be featured in Jaynie & Heather's forthcoming vegetarian cookbook (being published fall 2020 by Herald Press). The plant-based foods highlighted different aspects of sustainability: local, organic, fair trade, bought in bulk, no/minimal packaging, reusable containers, all edible parts used, from a CSA, from the garden, and canned/dried (stored without electricity).


On Black Friday the federal government’s National Climate Assessment was released. It concludes we must act aggressively, now. The document reports that “the evidence of human-caused climate change is overwhelming and continues to strengthen, that the impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country, and that climate-related threats to Americans’ physical, social, and economic well-being are rising.” The California Camp Fire (death toll 84 and counting) and Atlantic Hurricanes Florence (death toll 51) and Michael (death toll 46) being recent examples of how devastating natural disasters are intensifying related to climate change.

Aggressive action? Now? How are we to respond as stewards of God's creation? Prayerful consider what your role is in mitigating climate change. 

Need a starting point... consider the contemplation questions  in this climate change study resource from the Church of the Brethren (a fellow peace church). 

LOOKING AHEAD                                                       

Advent begins Sunday December 2nd this year. Consider checking out from our library under Creation Care this great resource by Katie Dawson, titled All Earth Is Waiting: Good News for God's Creation at Advent.  

Christmas!: Check out Blessed Earth's Suggestions for Honoring God's Creation at Christmas:

Meet some Winter Wildlife:  Winter Moths These invasive moths are unusual in their ability to survive thru the cold late fall and early winter. When most of their predators have migrated, they have free reign of the forests, feeding on deciduous trees and perennial plants. Interestingly the females don't have wings, hence are flightless. To read more check out this article in the Valley News, and the Vermont Center for Eco Studies Field Guide. 
 image from Vermont Invasives

The average family
in the United States
spends $983 on
holiday gifts.


Fact: Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the amount of trash increases 25%, an extra 1 million tons each week during the advent season.

This Month
Generated: 494 kWh
Used: 345 kWh
Donated: 149 kWh
Estimated Value to BBC: $50
Estimated Value to TCMF: $63
Total: $113

Grand Totals
Estimated Value to BBC: $3054
Estimated Value to TCMF: $1375
Total: $4429
'Tis the season for giving. Think about gifts that don't require buying or wrapping things, like the gift of serving others. Consider making coupons to give people you love.... a massage? a time to wash the dishes? or fold the laundry? a promise to pick-up your room? free hugs any time of their choosing? How about other gifts from the heart, like a love letter? a performance of song, dance? or special recital of story or scripture? By having/giving less stuff, you also give God the gift of caring for his creation.

Q: What is something you love about creation?
 I appreciate trees.  They absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen and are beautiful to behold.  One of the things I enjoy while hunting is observing the many trees of the forest.  There is such a variety of trees.  Some are large and straight and tall and could be harvested for lumber.  Others lie on the forest floor in a state of decay providing nutrients for the next crop of trees.  Some trees have double, triple, or even multiple trunks.  I have seen many trees which have fallen and still somewhat connected to a root system.These trees frequently live by sending branches up form the fallen trunk.

The tree pictured is one I have observed for many years while hunting.  It is a big old red oak.  Some of the large top branches have fallen.  It serves as a den tree for porcupines and raccoons.  Last spring while turkey hunting I observed a weasel on the ground below this tree for several  minutes.  It darted around looking for prey and did not appear aware of my presence.  While hunting I always am amazed at the variety of trees which are a part of God’s amazing creation.

Q: What is something you do to care for creation?
We recycle everything we can and are careful to never litter

As I think about Heather and Jaynie's presentation on Food & Faith, I am reminded that the Seventh-Day Adventists have an unusually high life expectancy--ten years longer than that of the average American. Much of this is accounted for in the lifestyle and diet of Seventh-Day Adventists--a plant-based diet with little-to-no consumption of meat, alcohol, or coffee; regular and purposeful intervals of Sabbath-rest; and the support of close-knit community.

Heading into the holiday season--a period of time in which we traditionally consume an abundance of food; often very sugary food with a significant amount of meat--I'm inspired by Heather and Jaynie's words to be intentional in the way that we eat. Several chapters of the Book of Acts (e.g. chapters 2, 10, 11, 15, 21) engaged debate about what was appropriate to eat, and who it was appropriate to eat with. I come away inspired to deliberately "welcome the stranger" to my table, but to also be conscious of how the food that is put on the table affects those who might be strangers to me--their wages, their work conditions,

and even the economic-reinforcement that my food purchases can have that affect the land, animals, and future generations that live on this land and in the sea.

As we reflect on New Testament exhortations to glorify God with our bodies--temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)--and specifically to glorify God with our eating and drinking (1 Corinthians 10:31), I am impressed with the data that suggests that eating, drinking, and living in ways that are congruent with biblical exhortations can increase overall life expectancy and happiness. Although I do not adhere to all of the convictions of the Seventh-Day Adventists, I admire their intentionality in living in ways that are in harmony with scripture, and I'm encouraged that the evidence suggests that this reaps practical benefits
. This health-based evidence that shows how specific food choices can have lasting affects on our personal health, the wider environment, and economic well-being of our neighbors must be part of the equation in eating and drinking "to the glory of God".

Mennonite Creation Care Network

Blessed Earth


National Climate 



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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