Thank you & Earth Day video

Matthew and Nancy Sleeth, and the rest of the Blessed Earth team, want to thank you for your prayers and encouragement surrounding our huge weekend of events in the nation”s capital.  It all went better than we could have imagined and we are excited for the next phase of work around the Seminary Stewardship Alliance and the Blessed Earth Year with the National Cathedral.

In case you missed the events last weekend, here are the links to the video from the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Feel free to watch these links in your church or small group.  If you do, please let us know your reflections and how your faith community is practicing Creation Care.

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Earth Day 2012 – A time to Celebrate

What an incredible few days! Matthew and Nancy and the Blessed Earth team hardly stopped this past weekend and we are so very grateful for our partners and the National Cathedral for long hours of preparation. We will be releasing photos and video as well and reflections on what comes next. As we launch the Blessed Earth Year and follow up on the Seminary Stewardship Alliance we will have tons of news and exciting updates. But for now, we pause and give thanks to our Creator God for a marvelous Earth Day weekend in Washington D.C. Here are some selected images from the major events (you can click on the image for a larger view).

Blessed Earth team prepare for the day at the Cathedral

Matthew preaches at the National Cathedral, Earth Day 2012

Wendell Berry receives award

Matthew speaks at the award luncheon

Award Luncheon hosted by the National Cathedral, Blessed Earth, and the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care

Matthew Sleeth and Wendell Berry during the Earth Day forum

Seminary officials pray after launch of the Blessed Earth Seminary Stewardship Alliance (Will Samson, Blessed Earth Development Director pictured far right)

National Cathedral congregants

Earth Day 2012 at the National Cathedral

Processional (Matthew Sleeth is pictured in the dark suite near the bottom of the image)

Matthew gets ready to join the processional

Cathedral TV on Earth Day


All Creation Worships the Creator

In February of 2004 I spent a month backpacking and canoeing in and around Big Bend National Park as part of an 8-month graduate program in wilderness leadership through Wheaton College. This experience opened my eyes, not simply to the beauty of God’s creation, but to the reality that all creation worships the Creator.

Traveling in the desert is not easy. It is dry and dangerous, filled with snakes and stickers, and I was not expecting this desert jaunt to be a stroll through the Garden of Eden. Nevertheless, I was astounded by the stark beauty, inspiring vistas, and surprisingly abundant life to be found in the Texas wilderness.

Over the course of many miles hiked through the park and paddled down the Rio Grande, I fell in love with the beauty of this desert landscape. The many varied forms of cacti, impressive rock formations, numerous species of birds (more than any other national park in the country), 8,000-foot mountains, colorful sunrises, and clear night skies provided a tableau for God to paint upon.

Perhaps the most spectacular scene in this Texas desert is the brilliant night sky. With its dry, clear air, and being dozens of miles from any cities, Big Bend affords some of the best star gazing in the U.S. Each night I lay down on my sleeping bag under an open sky and gazed in wonder at the magnificence of God’s handiwork.

It was here, in the desert, that I truly began to understand the importance of Psalm 148 for our generation today:

“Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds…” (7-10)

We humans are not the only ones that worship the Creator. The Bible says that all of creation sings God’s praise. Cacti and lilies, deserts and forests, doves and scorpions–everything that God created worships him. When we carelessly or needlessly destroy something that God has created, we are destroying something that was designed to bring God glory and which he called “good.” Thus, caring for God’s creation is an active way of worshipping our Creator.

Before Texas I had always enjoyed the wilderness environment, but had never connected this natural experience with my faith. Experiencing God in the Texas desert—seeing him glorified in the magnificent canyons, vibrant sunsets, intricate desert flowers, peaceful mornings, and striking mountains—brought new understanding to what it means to worship.

Brian serves as the Director of Communications for Blessed Earth and is passionate about helping people connect their faith with God’s call to care for his creation. He lives with his wife, Becky, and daughter, Acadia (“Cadie”), in western New York where he also serves as the Director of Intercultural Student Programs at Houghton College.