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Nature, Creation and the Creator

The relationship of humanity to the natural world, or the wilderness, has been varied throughout history. The church sometimes saw the wilderness as something to conquer and sometimes as something to fear. As we became aware of our destructive nature, or our capacity to sin against God’s creation, we began to address our relationship with nature in a different way. Some think the only way is to preserve and view creation from a distance. Recently, there has been more conversation about how we interact with the world of the Creator. There is no doubt that we are part of it - responsible for the protection and uplifting of God’s creation. 

Over the past four years I have been in relationship with an organization called Interfaith Power and Light. I connected with their Executive Director a few weeks after arriving at St. Stephen’s. I was completely unaware of where that relationship would take us. During COVID we have been in conversation about the ways the church, our church, can be part of the holy relationship with the area we call home. Home being 13th and Broom Street. Through the National Wildlife Federation’s Sacred Grounds Program, we can look at how our location can be an oasis for not just people, but also the wildlife and plants of God’s. 

The sacred grounds project at St. Stephen’s would have us look at the grounds around the church in a new way - as a way not just of potential beauty - but as a way of restoration. Restoration of native plants for food and habitat. For over three decades we have been providing emergency food relief to people across Wilmington and Delaware - over the past decade we grew to be the highest volume food pantry in the state. COVID has seen an increase of need nearly doubled. We have a banner out front that reads “feed my sheep.” 

Through a Sacred Grounds initiative, we will join our neighbor Church of the Holy City and Pastor Shada in exploring how together we can make an environmental impact in the community by utilizing our grounds. Our friends at Interfaith power and Light, Delaware Nature Society, and the National Wildlife Federation can show us that feeding God’s sheep includes all of God’s creation. Through the native plant restoration project and Sacred Grounds initiative, we will also be feeding insects and small wildlife. Our little part of giving back to God in our own way on 13th and Broom.

If you want to learn more, please fill out this brief survey or call the office at 302-652-7623. I would love to invite you to be part of a Green Team here at St. Stephen’s as we look towards a future of great possibilities. 

Imagine, our church grounds as a park for people and wildlife and plants. A place that honors God’s command to care for creation through example. We can give residents and church members an opportunity to experience what a neighborhood church can do when it becomes a good steward of our place. Our partnerships can help give us access to grants and funding to put in place initiatives that will help transform us into a certified habitat. After a walk around the church, we are already more than halfway there!

It would be a great blessing to have more of us on board with this conversation. Please click here to answer a few questions. 

Thank you!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Jason


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