The cold reality of human impact on the environment
Update on Eaarth Advocates’ Environmental Activism
So, Why is “Eaarth” spelled with two “a’s?
Answer: Because the earth that God created, and that our grandparents grew up on, no longer exists. It has been changed irrevocably by human activity. Bill McKibbon in his book Eaarth uses the different spelling to denote the forever-changed earth that we have now and which we need to protect from further damage.
The Eaarth Advocates group in our church grew up from grassroots concern – what can we do, individually, as families, as a church, and advocating in the wider world…. to care for our planet?
In 2014 Mary and the Eaarth Advocates group focused on giving each of the weeks of Lent an environmental theme tying together worship and social hour activities. The first week, Eaarth Advocates led Sunday worship, emphasizing mindfulness of our relationship to the earth, and, for the social hour, Jan Day prepared delicious snacks that were all locally sourced. She also brought in items available in the supermarkets that are brought from the far side of the world at tremendous cost in fuel and therefore in greenhouse gases that contaminate our atmosphere and are the major culprit of global warming. The second week’s focus was on the atmosphere, and we made prayer flags during the social hour. The third week the focus was on water; the congregation was invited to submit words that spoke to their concerns about water and a “word cloud” was composed from those words. The fourth Sunday the topic was energy; kids and adults insulated all the electrical outlets in the building. The final Sunday a scavenger hunt led people to explore energy efficient and environmentally friendly things in our church.
This year, everyone is invited to take part in our Environmental Eastertide during the period from Easter to Pentecost on May 24. On Easter Sunday, Eaarth Advocates Jan Day and David Durfee convinced the Easter bunny to bring eggs for adults as well as kids; each egg contained a tip for making the earth a sweeter place for us and our descendents, in addition to jelly beans and wildflower seeds. On April 12 Barbara True-Weber and Kathy Shaw made a Spring Cleaning Display with non-toxic cleaning options and a list of what ingredients to avoid when looking for cleaning products. On April 19 the Eaarth Advocates led worship, exploring food and farming in connection to care of the environment.
On April 26 there will an opportunity during the social hour to learn about bats as well as about other organic, non toxic ways of dealing with insect pests in our gardens. Come see how bats are a natural pesticide against insects, much better than chemicals. Sunday May 3 we are all invited to ‘dress down’ (or come as you like) and, after worship, help clean the inside of our church with non-toxic materials. On May 10, Mother’s Day, come see the artwork that invites us to honor and celebrate our Mother Earth. The weekend of May 16-17 we plan a plant sale, together with instructions on how to make good black earth by composting (good for your garden and the environment). Eastertide concludes on May 24 with Pentecost Sunday. Our celebration of the installation of our solar panels will follow later, possibly in June.
Throughout all this we aim to further the ways in which we are a congregation of what the United Church of Christ calls “Green Justice” – building a community spirit based on care of God’s creation at the individual, community, and global levels.