Faith Practice – River Walk: The bliss of Locality

By the Rev. Gina Metze

Riverfront Park was a hot and humid event. We enjoyed a walk on the pathways as we took time to look at God’s creation. We were encouraged to take the time to notice a detailed creation along this pathway. We were given a notepad and a pencil so that we might draw a sketch of what we noticed. It was wonderful to spend time in creation as we walked and talked to one another during this event.

We gathered to learn about creation and how we might better be workers in the kingdom of God’s creation. We were given prayers for creation that might be used in our daily lives and in worship.

We spent some time discussing how we might recycle and be “green” in our churches. We are to be stewards of the creation which was created by God.

By the Rev. Michele Fischer

One of the Faith Practices offered during the 2018 South Carolina Synod Assembly was “River Walk: The bliss of Locality.” We were led down to the Riverfront Park (312 Laurel St, Columbia) with Rev. Kris and Rev. Ginger Litman-Koon and their two adorable girls, Stella and Virginia. We spent half an hour, taking in the water, the trees and the beauty of God’s creation all around us. After some time to explore on our own, we gathered back together under a gazebo for some conversation.

Most of us can easily identify the problems of climate change. But that is such a large problem, sometimes it is hard to figure out how we can solve on our own. Borrowing the language from the keynote address Friday morning, we were encouraged to “close in”, look for things we can do in our own communities. Pastor Kris Litman-Koon shared the story of Tim Wong, who discovered a beautiful butterfly in his backyard. This butterfly was endangered and was only found in that particular area because it ate only one plant. As that plant became more difficult to find in the urban environment, the butterflies began to disappear. He began growing this plant and created a butterfly sanctuary in his own backyard. Thanks to one man’s efforts — providing a safe place for the California Pipevine Swallowtail — this butterfly is making a comeback.

One man helped to save an entire species of butterflies. What can we do in our communities? Maybe we can’t solve climate change, but what about recycling in your churches? What about choosing not to use Styrofoam and plastic cutlery at church dinners? What things can we do in our own homes and in our own congregations to be better stewards of God’s magnificent creation close up?

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