by Leslie Minkler
Creation care liaison, Faith Mennonite Church, Minneapolis, MN

From fall 2018 to summer 2019, we celebrated the earth and tried to understand our place in the life cycle of the earth. The theme was “God’s Earth: honoring, loving, protecting, healing.” Sunday school classes, last fall’s retreat, and this summer’s sermons all challenged the congregation to focus on the human impact on the places where we live, work and worship and more broadly, on the climate as well.

One of our church members, Karla, created the idea of the eco-tree. For the year, the brass slots in the back of the pews contained pencils and blank leaves. We wrote down any actions or observations we had that would benefit the earth. The blank leaves were a weekly reminder to do something positive for the earth.

Karla salvaged a large branch which had been removed from a tree for another reason. This became our tree and many leaves budded from our actions. We celebrated by reading some of the leaves during a recent Sunday service. The leaves will be compiled and all the notes transcribed into a shared document.