Wednesday, November 08, 2006,6:00 PM
Creation Care and Giving the church our best...
So this is a topic that keeps coming back to me. As an American, I've been indoctrinated to not care about our environment and to care about money a whole lot. This is echoed in the typical church in America. Creation care is just not discussed in most church settings. And while the love of money is looked down upon (as is usually a teenagers desire to wear namebrands), money is still central to church life. I've never been a part of health and wealth churches, but I've been in churches where buying whatever is cheap is next to godliness. But all too often the ignored value of creation care get further ignored when the pursuit of saving money is uplifted. So in our typical churches we use cheap plastic/paper cups, cheap coffee that come from farms that hurt the enviroment and don't pay the farmer a living wage, and buy cheap prepackaged food from factory farms thats full of additives, hormones, and antibiotics. And we don't see a problem with it at all.

Honestly its only been in the last couple of years that I've been realizing how much of a hypocrite I am in this area. Even after I got over the evangelical lie that caring for the environment is wrong, it still didnt translate to my everyday life. And even now as I am more aware, I am still doing very very little. I checked out my ecological footprint and realized that if everyone lived as carelessly as I do, we would need 4.5 earths to sustain life.

At times it seems hopeless and I can come up with any number of excuses as to why I'm not doing better (there is no public transportation out here in the exurbs!!!). And there are certain comforts that I know are wrong, but refuse to give up (a big car and disposable diapers come to mind...). But I try to do what I can. Especially at church. Cause it seems more hypocritical to trash the earth at church... So we use real cups and mugs at church. We still have to wash them, but we aren't filling up landfills needlessly each week. (I loved that at the Emergent Gathering we were all asked to bring our own cups and utensils so as to reduce waste). I only serve Fair Trade coffee. Not only can we then at least try to ensure that the people who grew it for us are getting a fair wage - it is grown in ways that are environmentally kind.

And in my own life. I realize that buying locally not only is good for our local economy, but I can support farmers that use sustainable practices and so don't hurt the land. Also by buying locally I'm not using a ton of gas to just get my produce to me. I don't do it across the board. I buy stuff at the grocery store too (I'm Texan and they just don't grow avocados up here...). But we did spend the extra money and joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) Farm this past season. Each week we would get a box of whatever was in season. It was great and forced me to try new things. But I wasn't always good about using what I got (or canning or freezing excess food). (Don't ask the fate of the lovely brussel sprout stalk I'm holding in the picture.) But it felt right to do it. It was a way to put my money where my mouth is and buy as a christian.

So why am I thinking about this right now and writing a very rambling post about it? Well over at tallskinnykiwi Andrew Jones had a good post about church potlucks and bringing the best (and not just what's cheap and easy) to church. Why do we reserve the best for ourselves at home and don't share it with the church? Or why in food drives do we give mac n' cheese, old candy, and other stuff we don't want and/or that's cheap? If we value the earth, sustainable and humane practices, and healthy food (without poisons in it)why do we still just go with what's cheap when we go to church? And VC people this has nothing to do with the great food you bring to our dinners... this is me seeing what a hypocrite I am. And tryig to convince myself to not buy the cheap turkey at Jewel (or worse Walmart) and actually go to the local turkey farm and get a free range, but more expensive turkey for our church Thanksgiving dinner.

So just thinking outloud here, and trying to change...

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posted by Julie at 6:00 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 11/08/2006 08:37:00 PM, Blogger Shoshana

    Maybe it's a Lutheran thing(Front of the food line, back of the church, middle of the road), but the pot lucks I've been to with my inlaws are about half "quick and easy," and half "entry for the unofficial contest for best food." I've married into a family with a card file FILLED with potluck recipes. The favorite is Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake. It's a cross between cake and brownie with a fudgy icing. Yum!

  • At 11/10/2006 11:40:00 AM, Blogger Doxallo

    I typically DO take the best to church - or anytime I am serving someone. I'll eat the scrap, but I'm gonna serve you my finest. However, I think many of us fall down on the cheap plastic cup sort of, easy, etc. I just posted on my blog the other day a link to waste free lunches -- or something like that. Its really NOT necessarily cheaper, and as you noteds, it leaves a footprint the size of sasquatch.


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