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Mission 4/1 Earth: This is the theme that the United Church of Christ (UCC) is taking for the 50 days between Easter (March 31) and Pentecost (May 19) to work on many of the issues that make up being good stewards of the earth. Over this 50-day period between these two major church holidays, let’s learn more about what it means to live earth-friendly lives. Some of us are working on this kind of lifestyle already and some of us could use a little encouragement. So this is our chance to do it together.
Nationally, through the work of its 5,100 churches across the country, the UCC will strive to collect a million hours of community service for the earth, a million trees planted and a million letters to Congress speaking up for policies that address care for our land, water and air.
The Mad River Valley community and our own congregation can participate in a variety of ways both individually and together. There is no wrong way to count your “Earth Hours.” As stewards of this earth we are at different points in our quest for green living. Every effort, no matter how small, is valuable and should be proudly counted.
If you are wondering “How do I get started? What difference will my small effort make?” consider the following: If you believe you are already leading an earth-friendly lifestyle, consider adding a new discipline to help your greening reach beyond your own life so that it reaches out into the community.
Research and study new energy efficiency methods. Learn to freeze or can garden produce. Grow vegetables at home or work in a small garden plot or a container planter. Support energy efficiency workshops by sharing information on social media and among friends. Gather friends for Green Up Day on May 4 to clean litter from our ditches and rights of way, then have a cookout; shop at a local farmers’ market or farm stand; walk to work or the post office. All these minutes and hours count.
Make time to learn more about federal initiatives and conversations that relate to our earth’s resources. Write letters and send emails to Vermont’s elected representatives with your views, concerns and thoughts. They are accessible and willing to listen.
If you are making time in your day to learn more about living an earth-friendly lifestyle through research, prayer or reflection, count that time spent exploring this new area of learning. Be sure to recognize the new habits, both physical and spiritual, that you are incorporating into your life. They will add up and together our efforts will represent transformed lives and a healthier planet.