Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Earth Keeping

Today we had our second chapel on the throughline of Earthkeeping. 

Some of our students led us in praise and worship songs.

Psalm 104:24
 How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.

Our Grade 6 students created a slide show based on Psalm 

Some of our students shared a sacrifice of praise with liturgical dance to the 
song Joy by Rend Collective. 

We then got together with our GIFT groups (Growing In Faith Together).
In our mystery bag were some things found in creation. Using only our sense of touch, we explored creation from a different perspective.  We can't help but marvel at His creation when we take the time to use our senses to notice and enjoy.  

However, we know that sin is also evident in creation and in how we care for the earth. 
We are concerned and want to help by being better earth keepers. 

Dear God, 
We love this wonderful earth you have created. 
We are worried about the many things which cause it harm.
We understand that there are many problems with our environment.
We ask you, God, to help us find ways to take better care of our earth.
We know there are many people working to help the earth and we would like to find our own ways to be stewards of creation. Amen

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Earth Keeping

This month we are looking deeper into the throughline of earth keeping. We desire that our students will respond to God’s call to be stewards of all of creation.

As the Prairie Centre for Christian Education's Doug Monsoma writes: Everyone, in his imagination, can go to the most beautiful places on earth.  Perhaps it is a mountaintop with a forever view, or a long, white-sand beach.  Maybe it is the spray and the thunderous roar of a waterfall or the quiet, gentle sway of a seemingly endless golden field of wheat.  These places can help us to have a Garden of Eden experience.  The Garden must have been an incredible place, not only because of the tangible presence of God, but because of its beauty.  The writer of Genesis says “And God saw everything that he had made, and it was very good” (1:31).   It seems almost unbelievable that God calls us to be stewards, caretakers or gardeners of all of creation. (Gen 1:28)  God created the world and he gives us the opportunity to ‘manage’ it on his behalf?  Amazing!  Incredible!  Daunting!

Our Grade 6 students share the creation story

Amazing? Yes!  Incredible? Yes!  Easy?  No!  Caretaking can so easily succumb to exploiting.  Stewardship can so often turn into self-centred greed.  Our sin has made it difficult for us to clearly see the role and tasks gardeners and stewards must play.  Loud voices from our culture shout out, “stuff equals happiness” and we see people wearing T-shirts with the mantra, “Whoever dies with the most toys wins!”

Grade 1 shares a sacrifice of praise on the orff instruments

We and our students need to reclaim the world/universe and relearn how to treat all things contained in it (natural resources, environment, water, trees, farm land) with respect.  By doing this we respect the One who gave us this job!

In our global economy, this earth-keeping is not only about stewarding the environment, it is about the challenge of living lives that balance our wants and needs with those of other people, people living in other areas of the world and those still to come.  This is a counter-cultural message that students must grapple with in our Christian schools.

Today in our chapel, we welcomed Pastor Art VanSlagaren. He shared his thoughts with us about the parable of workers from Matthew 20. He encouraged us to think of big and little ways that we can care and keep God's creation.

Grade 1 led us again through the Butterfly Song. We then watched a really awesome video of some pretty amazing things that God has created. We can't help but be amazed at all the things God has created! And they are good!