What a great time we’ve had over the past 50 days, celebrating God’s Creation AND caring for God’s creation as we care for each other!  Mission 4/1 Earth has challenged us and reminded us of the blessings we have received by God through ALL of Creation.

How have we done in reaching the goals we set for the congregation? Let’s do the numbers!

–        Of our original goal of 500 hours of environmental advocacy, education and awareness, we DOUBLED that goal to 1000 hours a few weeks ago AND as of 9 am Monday we have even surpassed that goal with 1068 HOURS;

–        Of our goal of planting 50 trees, we have planted, funded, OR committed to plant 42TREES;

–        AND of our goal of writing 50 letters of advocacy related to environmental care,  we have collectively sent 426 LETTERS to folks like Congressman John Lewis and to Public Service Commissioners like Tim Echols and Chuck Eaton expressing support for reduced fossil generation and increased wind and solar power in our state.  In each of those letters we have included a picture of “OUR BEAUTIFUL EARTH” painted by children of KUCC!

As a Kirkwood UCC Community we have:

–        Kicked off our earth care celebration with Alexis Chase of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light;

–        Shared in a  Second Sunday Supper featuring local foods;

–        Invited the community to our backyard for a screening of The Lorax, which we shared with around 100 folks;

–        Planted trees and learned about the fantastic gem we have at the Kirkwood Urban Forest, just a mile or so from here;

–        Turned compost and spread wood chips at the Burundi Women’s Garden;

–        Written letters, heard Earth Care readings here in church during the 6 weeks of Pentecost;

–        Had a blessing of the bikes and bike helmets on a rainy Sunday afternoon;

–        Had special childrens’ time guests each week with Josh, Karen, Jordyne, Whitney and Anna reminding us of how special God’s creation is for us;

–        And meditated on  and discussed our role in caring for God’s earth during Wednesday morning worship and communion, led by different members of the group.  One week we used the children’s book The Giving Tree as the basis of our discussions.

What we’ve done individually:

–        We’ve recycled;

–        We’ve shopped for local produce at the farmers’ markets and taken our own bags to shop;

–        We’ve planted trees and tended our organic gardens;

–        We’ve washed our clothes in cold water;

–        We’ve planned and attended Earth Day Festivities;

–        We’ve biked and car pooled and walked;

–        We’ve taken shorted showers;

–        We’ve even voted on more stringent tree protection ordinance in Decatur.

We’ve also increased our awareness and changed behaviors that will help in our long term efforts to care for God’s creation.  Some actions we are considering include:

Buying green power solar and wind- as part of our electric bill;

–        Changing out lights to CFLs or LEDS over time;

–        Composting in our own back yards;

–        Replacing aging appliances with Energy Star appliances;

–        Setting up easy to use Recycling in our home;

–        Walking when it makes sense; biking when it makes sense; taking transit or the bus when appropriate; and driving when it makes sense;

–        Setting our thermostats a few degrees cooler in the winter/ warmer in the summer;

–        Turning water off when brushing our teeth and taking showers of 5 minutes or less.

What we’ve had to say about Mission 4/1 Earth include the following comments:

–        “We’re driving an all-electric Leaf vehicle, reducing our environmental footprint and saving gasoline at the same time.”

–        “We have  composted and recycled like crazy!”

–         “We took a hike in Sweetwater Park with friends, collecting trash and enjoying God’s creation all at the same time.”

“I love the earth however, the earth did not show me the love last week…. Poison ivy and my body do NOT get along well!”

So thanks to everyone for your commitment to Creation Care during the Mission 4/1 Earth campaign- our ongoing response to God’s love for us and for all God’s creation.

 

– Gary Garret, Chair of KUCC’s Mission 4/1 Earth

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