July: Backyard Solstices
June 21st, 2006
Happy Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year! We know you've got lots of sunlight today to soak up, so we won't keep you long. This time we're talking about how even our backyards can be places to experience God's creativity and also be sanctuaries to preserve it. But first, we want to tell you about two opportunities to build community...
Two great Northwest events this summer!
1. As we mentioned last time, the "Tending the Garden: Rediscovering the Church's Responsibility to Environmental Stewardship" Conference will be happening in Boise on August 2-3rd. Peter's going to be speaking there, and attendees can expect lots of great workshops for learning how to bring stewardship to their local churches. We'd love to see you there! (more here)
2. The 15th Annual Celtic Prayer Retreat will be held on Camano Island outside of Seattle this August 11-13th. Participants gather on 40 acres of undeveloped land to enjoy the beautiful August blue sky, the smell of ripe blackberries and the silence of the woods. Many choose to camp here for the weekend. With these people we say morning and evening prayer based ancient Celtic Christian tradition. (more here)
The Delusions of A "Single-Family Dwelling" (A Suburban Meditation)
by Paul Hansen
Unexpected epiphanies are our favorite. Our friend Paul shares how God surprised and humbled him in his own back yard. He writes:
"... As I sat outside trying to dispel the pressures of work from my mind (and wanting to tell my cat that I had more urgent matters to attend to), I began to look and listen to the creatures and sounds that were happening in my back yard. One hummingbird soon hovered behind my back, buzzing curiously while it tasted the flower of the potted Hibiscus I hadn’t planted yet. Then three more “hummers” darted in play or competition (I’m never quite sure which) around the Bottlebrush tree in the back corner of the yard. From that same tree fluttered a Monarch butterfly, which proceeded to quietly explore the blossoms along the bank behind me, while overhead the Jays and Robins defiantly chirped their morning songs (as if daring me to decode their messages).
That’s when a certain realization hit me:..." (read more)
Gardening can combat climate change
As climate change affects the delicate systems of providence God designed to provide for all the critters of this teeming green world, many creatures will no longer have places to call home or stable supplies of food. So, in addition to driving less and offsetting emissions, we as Christians can help mitigate climate change by transforming our backyards into open homes for threatened local wildlife. Butterflies, squirrels, birds, and all sorts of animals can find safety from the early stages of climate change right outside our windows! In the United Kingdom, where the effects of climate change are already being seriously felt by wildlife, the organization English Nature has given many tips to gardeners and homeowners for how to turn their bit of God's creation into a wildlife sanctuary. Their suggestions include: (read more)
Cheers and blessings,
Restoring Eden Staff