Summer made its welcome arrival, marking a pleasant shift in our everyday habits. Some of us bid adieu to early morning alarms, rigid timetables, homework assignments and daily commutes. All of us may greet the comforting winds, tart lemonade and unplanned escapades of the summer with open arms.
As we embrace our Christian values this summer, we also can extend our faith into caring for the world God so lovingly created. The season provides a unique opportunity to deepen our understanding of environmental stewardship as an integral part of Christian life, echoing current discussions around climate change and our role as caretakers of the earth.
In April, The Guardian published an alarming article, stating that scientists have issued a “final warning” on the climate crisis: We must act now or face irrevocable consequences.
Climate change has turned into a political subject and its discussion has polarized our nation, it has even touched the church. Some Christians fear they are betraying the faith by mere consideration of the concept of climate change. Yet, as with any other area of community engagement, we must come to the table fearlessly and have an honest conversation. We may be surprised by what we can learn.
Scientists’ dire prediction underscores the divine responsibility toward the environment captured in Genesis 2:15: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Our environmental stewardship not only involves understanding climate change but also confronting it with grace and truth.
Let’s bring this subject to the forefront of each community of faith, openly talk about it to give the time and safe space to others to challenge our positions. Use this season to conduct activities where church and community at large gather with the purpose of caring together for this good world.
As we bask in the bright summer sun and enjoy the extended daylight, it’s an opportune moment to implement eco-friendly practices. By doing so, we honor our commitment to environmental protection and teach our children the significance of preserving God’s creation.
- Consider organizing a family clean-up event in a nearby park, beach or other public area. Equip everyone with gloves and bags, and transform the activity into a treasure hunt for litter. Not only is this an impactful way to serve your community, it also paves the way for conversations about waste reduction and the importance of keeping our surroundings clean. These types of projects allow us to reach out within our ministry contexts in a different way.
- Tree planting is another gratifying way to spend your summer. Each tree planted aids our planet’s health by absorbing harmful carbon dioxide. Incorporate your children in the journey of selecting, planting and nurturing a tree. This provides a valuable chance to explore the symbolic representation of life in the Bible through trees and how we can reciprocate by breathing life back into our world.
- Starting a recycling project at home is an additional, pragmatic approach toward environmental care. Establish separate bins for paper, plastic and metal waste, promoting their use among all family members. Make it an educational and enjoyable game for the younger ones by letting them sort the recyclables. This simple recycling initiative can lead to deeper discussions about the impact of waste on our planet and the importance of the “reduce, reuse and recycle” principle.
As we weave environmental stewardship into our summer plans, we must remember these actions have a broader context and significance. It’s important to encourage conversations and activities at all levels to bridge the gap between all involved. We are not merely cleaning parks, planting trees or recycling waste; we are practicing our Christian faith and enacting the teachings of the Bible. We are demonstrating gratitude for God’s creation and honoring our divine custodial duty.
This understanding deepens our commitment to nurturing and protecting our planet and gives our eco-friendly actions a spiritual dimension.
This shared sense of purpose makes summer an exceptional season — a time of growth as a community together and renewal for the environment and our faith and understanding of God’s will.
Rosaly Guzman is a teacher, speaker and life coach. She holds a master’s degree in theology and is working on a doctoral degree in ministry. She serves at Crosslife Church in Oviedo, Fla,, in the women’s ministry.
Will Christians embrace a ‘Holy Ambition’ for the environment? | Opinion by Don Gordon