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Summer 2022




  • Taftsville Chapel was awarded the recognition of being a 'Cool Congregation' through Interfaith Power and Light at the 40% or higher reduction in emissions category! 
  • Earth Month, Earth Day action... Installing a birdhouse was the last checkbox required for our church grounds to become a 'Certified Wildlife Habitat' through the National Wildlife Foundation.
  • Wild Church April 10th Pine (palm) Sunday. Hosanna (God, please save us)! Blessed be the one who comes in the name of the Lord... had us all waving our pine branches
  • Faith & Climate Action Week. We hosted a free screening of Youth vs. Gov. as part of Interfaith Power and Light's week which themes around Sacred Trust: our children's right to a livable future.            


  • Green Up Day Vermont, May 7th
    • TCMF garden expansion project! Sheet mulching new fedge (food hedge) and creation of mini fruit and nut orchard (apples, blueberries, raspberries, elderberries, mulberry, service berries, hazelburts, walnut) PHOTO gallery
  • Rain collection! With newly planted trees comes new watering needs and no outdoor access. Rain barrel to the rescue! Thanks to donated supplies and labor within the congregation, our 55 gallon recycled, repurposed barrel is overflowing. We also now have an outdoor spigot. Thank you Omar, Dale, Russell and Nick.
  • Wild Church, Mother's Day May 8th. (Deuteronomy 5:16) “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you." We enjoyed tea made from the sap of grandfather maple under whose shade we meet in warmer weather.
  • We broke ground on our trinity/peace garden! On the Sunday of Memorial weekend we laid down newspapers, art, and bible verses that expressed grief around violence and longings for peace. June 4th paths were created in the shape of a peace sign and three wedges for planting represent the trinity. Sunflowers (Ukrainian national flower) and crimson clover cover crop were seeded in as ways to build up soil in preparation for permanent plantings in the fall/spring. The TREK bench earned through 500# of plastic film collection, sits inside the newly established trinity peace garden which will be home of a peace pole later this summer. PHOTO GALLERY
  • Wild Church, June 12th: theming around abundance. (John 10:10) Jesus said... “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Kids learned about companion plantings in the garden such as squash and borage. If we are squash, Jesus is our borage- a companion in life that allows us to bear abundant fruit.
  • 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 earned a 2nd bench earmarked for our church gardens! Drop off clean plastic bags of all shapes/sizes at the church. Here is guidance on what to donate 
  • Helping HENS: Meadow View Farm fresh eggs for sale each Sunday, $5 per dozen to benefit various causes. Over $500 was raised during Lent for MCC's emergency fund designated to assist Ukranian refugees. Now the HENS (Helen, Esther, Norah, Sisters) are fund raising for the peace pole project so one can be planted at TCMF and Wild Church.
at Wild Church services we open with a land acknowledgement:
We meet on ancesteral unceeded traditional ancestral homelands and waterways of the Abenaki past and present within the Ottaquechee watershed (meaning 'a swift mountain stream' in Natick, a language of the Algonquin nation) which flows into the Connecticut (which means “beside the long tidal river” in Algonquin) River. We acknowledge and honor with gratitude those who've stewarded this land throughout the generations. Thanks to the creator.


  • WILD CHURCH Second Sundays 3pm Meadow View Farm, home of the Wolfe pack
  • JULY  31st BBC outdoor service
  • AUGUST Groton camping 12-15 and 19-22 with some being there through both weekends
Let the pollinators play!
Certain sections of grass we let grow in May and were delighted to see the flowers that bloomed in the lawn which also delighted native pollinators. This growing movement originated in England in 2019.
JUNE is national Pollinator month. Did you know 1 in 3 bites you take is thanks to a pollinator?

Meet a TCMF Permaculture Garden plant: Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) 
comes from the Greek words helios (“sun”) and anthos (“flower”). Sunflowers are heliotropic, which means that they turn their flowers to follow the movement of the sun across the sky east to west, and then returns at night to face the east, ready again for the morning sun. Heliotropism happens during the earlier stages before the flower grows heavy with seeds.

We planted LOTS of sunflowers seeds and MANY varieties (see photo of the sprouts and seedlings) in various church gardens but especially the new trinity/peace garden. Sunflowers (soniashnyk in Ukrainian) are the national flower of Ukraine. Throughout Ukraine’s history, the flower has been used as a symbol of peace. Today, sunflowers are a key component of the Ukrainian economy, with Ukraine and Russia contributing upward 80% of global sunflower oil exports. The flowers are abundant across Ukrainian villages, gardens and fields. We hope they are abundant in our church gardens this summer as well as we continue to pray for peace.
Quarterly Update

This Quarter
Generated: 3,887 kWh
Used: 1,444 kWh
Donated: 2,443 kWh
Estimated Value to BBC: $588
Estimated Value to TCMF: $274
Total Value for Quarter: $862
Grand Total
Generated: 63,554 kWh
Used: 27,338 kWh (25,549 kWh from Solar, 1,789 kWh from the grid)
Donated: 38,005 kWh
Estimated Value to BBC: $9,265
Estimated Value to TCMF: $4,737
Total Value: $14,002

Steve and Heather have been asked by the national Interfaith Power and Light to share our story.
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT - HENS (Helen, Esther, Norah - Sisters)
photo caption: Helping HENS have been raising money through eggs sales. During Lent they collected over $500 for MCC emergency Ukrainian relief efforts. Currently they are fundraising for a planting peace pole at both TCMF and Wild Church.

Q: What is something you love about God's creation?

A:   (Helen) I like that God made us all a family... people, trees, plants, animals. (Esther) I love how God made everything. I wish I could have seen God make the people. (Norah) I love that God made everything to depend on each other.

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

A:   (Helen) I take care of plants outside by just letting them be in nature as they are. (Esther) I am in charge of the compost at school. (Norah) I try not to make much trash.
Abundance: A very large quantity of something. Lots and lots!  In the summer what is there abundance of? ...swimming, green, fresh food, play time
Companion: one that keeps company with another, one of a pair that is complement to the each other. Who are your companions?
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
We need Jesus as a companion to have lots of life.

Did you know that plants need companions too? One example is the squash plant which benefits from a companion plant, like borage, in order to attract bees and butterflies, otherwise the squash will never fruit. No pollinators, no pumpkins. Ever watch VeggieTales? If we are the squash (Jimmy and Jerry), Jesus is our borage... Because of Him we bear fruit!


Mennonites Against Militarization
Reigniting the Anabaptist peace witness.

No Warming, No War

Challenge question:
Consider how creation care is a faithful response to active peace making on earth.
TCMF Creation Care Committee updates

Thank you for your support of the church garden expansions which was made possible through grant funding we applied for over the winter months.

This spring we worked on finalizing peace pole and plague language consulting with native speakers and linguistic experts.

- Laura, Steve, Heather

Caring for Creation Beyond the Physical...

When we think of "Creation Care" I often associate it with caring for the physical/material aspects of creation: the earth, ecosystems, biological organisms, etc. However, orthodox Christian theology implies that Creation extends beyond the physical and to the spiritual realm because all spirits other than God are created. A recent question about the spiritual realm helped highlight this to me in a sermon.

Our scripture from the book of Numbers (22:21-39) read last month was suggestive that beyond the veil of ordinary human perception, there is a realm of interaction that has influence on the spiritual climate that can influence the events that take place in the physical world. In this case, “Balaam son of Beor” is a “seer” or a prophet of sorts, and at the direction of Balak, the Moabite King, Balaam sets out to travel to a place where he will curse the children of Israel. He has expressed this desire to God (in previous verses) but God does not want Balaam to proceed. While Balaam is riding on his donkey, he is interrupted by an angel on his path. The donkey that Balaam is riding does not want to proceed, because she sees the Angel of the Lord in the middle of the road with a sword. So the donkey stops and turns off the road into a field.
The angel is invisible to Balaam, so what does Balaam do?

He beats the donkey until she gets back on the field. This happens two more times with the donkey doing what she can to avoid proceeding including going up against a wall and pressing up against Balaam, and the donkey even lays down on the ground.
The donkey speaks up to Balaam to say, “What have I done to make you beat me these three times?”

Balaam’s answer is that she–the donkey– has made a fool of him, and if he could, he would have killed her. Finally, it says “the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road”.
The angel asks Balaam essentially the same question that the donkey asked, “Why did you beat her these three times?” And Balaam admits, he’s sinned. The donkey can see something that Balaam does not.
The people indigenous to this land have referred to the animals that came before us in Creation as “older siblings” (this was noted by Heather at Wild Church).
As Genesis sequences things, humans are on the scene after the other various species of living organisms. This is suggestive that we might learn things from them.
The story of Balaam (and Balaam’s donkey) suggests that animals may see things in the spiritual realm that we do not. In light of this, I think we should pay attention to our non-human neighbors--and to children-- for spiritual insights that we may be calloused to–in fact, there are instances in the gospels where Jesus explicitly tells us to do just that (e.g. Matthew 6:25-27).
There are lots of reasons for thinking that there is more to reality than meets the eye. I'm reminded that Creation Care entails caring not only for the physical aspects of creation but also for the spiritual (soul and spirit) and that even our nonhuman neighbors might have insights that we can glean about attending to the spiritual realm.


Wild Church Network

Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions

Mennonite Creation Care Network

Vermont Interfaith Power and Light


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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