LPC Nutrients for Good Soil
One Sunday back in September we sat under the trees on LPC’s beautiful lawn. Remember the wind? I spoke of good soil, and the way tree roots find nourishment there. “The soil needs tending!” we proclaimed as we watched a “farmer” scatter seeds during the scripture reading. “A man went out to sow… and some of the seeds fell on the path and the birds took it away… some fell on rocky, weedy and good soil.”
The month of May is a good time to take account of the growth and accomplishments of LPC’s past nine months. How well have we tended the soil? How balanced are its nutrients? Do we see growth? How can your session, pastor and church support your farming efforts?
To tend good soil you were encouraged to choose one offering to participate in from each category of LPC’s four “Nutrients for Good Soil” this year.
LPC LIFE (Four Nutrients for Good Soil)
- Family Promise
- Earth Care
- Climate Advocates
How did you do? Do you still need to get a class in this year? Engage or host a fellowship event? Experience shows that a well-rounded church-life helps keep us from becoming stagnant. All of the LPC Nutrients are offered with great care and thought by LPC leaders. Then the participants come — sometimes we show up kinda weedy, sometimes thorny, some are flighty, and sometimes we show up as good soil (to one degree or another!), ready for whatever seed God has for us.
There is no such thing as “been there, done that” when it comes to these nutrients! It’s new every time — unless you yourself have become stagnant. We all get that way too, at times. That’s expected. And we’re expected to get ourselves out of that stagnant place so we can continue to be vital as Christ’s Body in the World.
And why is this so important to me, as your pastor?
“LPC Nutrients for Good Soil” are designed to spiritually prepare us to take on the next phase of LPC’s life. There are brand new evils and challenges in our world and backyards today, and there are also very old ones that have gained more public attention. Times like these require Christ’s church to remain healthy, alert and ready to follow the Spirit’s lead.
What message does LPC have to say about racist structures in our culture and institutions? What message of Jesus does LPC have for people suffering from addiction, depression and poverty? What message of the Risen Christ does LPC have regarding refugees, immigrants, and other strangers? What Word does LPC proclaim regarding sexuality and gender identity? What Word does LPC proclaim regarding climate change and earth-care?
Following Christ takes teeth. That is to say, we need to be authentic, even when it ruffles feathers or invites stares — or glares. Christ is not silent, and neither is Christ’s Church. Join me in preparing our church to know how, when and where God is calling us to proclaim and act on Christ’s ancient, new and always relevant Word.
In Faith with You,
Family Promise at LIncroft Presbyterian Church
May 28 – June 4, 2017
Lincroft Presbyterian Church will host Family Promise guests the week of May 28 through June 4, 2017. This is our opportunity to stand in solidarity with local homeless families as they work through a very difficult time.
Please volunteer! Click here to pick your spot or contact Kathy, 732.768.3247 or Dave, 732.972.3242. Our guests will arrive Sunday evening May 28 for dinner. Each night of the following week two volunteers will prepare dinner, two will spend the early evening hours with the guests, and two will sleep overnight in the church. (Families can volunteer to provide dinner or to be the evening hosts.)
LPC is invited to consider becoming an Earth-Care Congregation
Earth Care Congregations are congregations that have committed to the “Earth Care Pledge” and accomplished a specific number of actions toward caring for God’s earth in four categories: worship, education, facilities, and outreach. Congregations earning 25 points in each of the four categories will be certified as Earth Care Congregations and receive various honors. Congregation members will also be invited to participate as individuals by completing similar actions in their homes. “A Guide to Greening Presbyterian Churches” provides congregations with worksheets, resources, and instructions for becoming an Earth Care Congregation. The four categories of actions in the “Earth Care Pledge” were used as a guide for developing “Earth Care Congregations: A Guide to Greening Presbyterian Churches.”
WHY SHOULD WE CARE FOR THE EARTH?
Our faith urges us to strive for eco-justice: defending and healing creation while working to assure justice for all of creation and the human beings who live in it. This call is rooted in the human vocation of “tilling and keeping” the garden from Genesis 2:15, as well as Christ’s charge to work with and for the most vulnerable. Because of their love for Christ who is firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15), churches are challenged to live in a manner consistent with God’s call to not only care for creation, but commune with creation.
HOW CAN MY CHURCH BECOME AN EARTH CARE CONGREGATION?
The first step is to form an Earth Care Team and complete the audit
(part of the ECC application, Click here for details)
1). The Earth Care Team can be as small as two people and does not need to be a formal committee. Completing the audit will give the Earth Care Team information about what earth care activities and facilities improvements the church has undertaken and what remains to be done. The environmental audit is divided into four categories where earth care progress can be evaluated. Many of the activities can be completed with little to no funding.
2). With the environmental audit completed, the Earth Care Team can recommend next steps based on available resources, cost-effectiveness, and acceptance by the congregation. The Earth Care Team should then present the information to the session and ask for approval of the Earth Care Pledge and approval to submit an Earth Care Congregation Application.
Click here to access Pledge and Application
Dear “Climate Advocates,”
Thank you for joining us to watch and discuss the film “Before the Flood” this past weekend. Thank you for raising questions, and sharing your experiences and perspectives with our guest climate scientist Rich Grudgel. This was important and helpful in and of itself. Now, let’s continue the work.
As leaders in our communities (which, I argue, we all are) we need to educate people AND keep them from being so overwhelmed by the problems that they don’t take action.
As was announced Sunday evening, there are not only immediate actions individuals and families can take; there are organizations to support, including the local CO3 group. Some of you have already been working to raise public awareness about the facts of climate change — and encouraging them to get their opinions heard by politicians. Lincroft Presbyterian Church (LPC) supports you.
LPC brings a Christian perspective of being good stewards of the earth. I invite you to hear the recent sermon (April 23) on the topic
at this link on the LPC website:
“The Whole Creation Has Been Groaning” – Genesis 1 and Romans 8:16-27 .
Take time to imagine how you can partner with LPC to further the work of caring for the earth.
P.S. There’s enough brains, heart, resources and talent in Sunday night’s group to make something positive happen. Here is a reminder of some of the questions that were asked of our guest climate scientist Rich Gudgel.
- Where is the NOAA (which is facing loss of federal funding) data stored?
- According to scenarios that scientists run, when might the current crisis start to improve?
- What about the science learned about a “nuclear winter” to help cool the earth?
- What kind of incentives are being considered to get more people/companies to change their ways?
- What successes have already occurred (e.g. ozone improvement)
- What “CO2-eaters” (e.g., trees) are being thought up?
- What larger organization/s can we be a part of to address all of this?
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