2 September 2013 A.D.
Posted by Sofia Guerra
Labor day to most of us signals the end of summer, back to school and the start of football season. To people in the early 19th century it was a response in honor of the worker as a result of changing times in society.
The Industrial Revolution and the Labor Movement really worked off of each other but wasn’t the inspiration for celebrating this holiday. Click here for the history of Labor Day.
My personal opinion however, is that Labor Day should be a weekend we reflect if our labor or work is done “Ad majorem Dei Gloriam”. (All for the glory of God.)
Ultimately no matter how we convince ourselves otherwise, everything we do must be done for our Heavenly Father’s glory as He is the Creator who made all things possible.
Our dear friend the Reverend Ed Brown and his wife Susanna truly understand this mission. Ed is the Executive Director of Care of Creation (click on title for more info) a Church and Biblical response to our stewardship and care of God’s Creation.
Personally, I have been so annoyed at the political and monetary issues which surround what is our duty given to us by the Father Himself. It is our responsibility
as His children.
Ed has written two books as part of this mission. I will be reviewing his latest book and much more in several posts on the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, October 4th.We will also have a random giveaway for those who leave a comment in the combox. More on that in the next couple weeks.
Why the Feast of St. Francis?
In 1979, Pope John Paul II declared St. Francis of Assisi as the patron saint of ecologists and environmentalists. At the end of his World Day of Peace address, he called for a Francis-like “fraternity” between people and the natural world. Catherine Sinclair,”Six Christian Environmental Leaders You Should Know About”
So as an introduction to our dear friends, Rev Ed Brown and his wife Susanna, I am posting this recent piece to see where our dear Ed finds himself in this important work. Nothing short of remarkable. Enjoy!
Six Christian Environmental Leaders You Should Know About
By Catherine Sinclair at the blog, “Ideas Shaping the End to Extreme Poverty”
July 30, 2013
Sometimes, in order to feel as though you are truly part of a missional community, it is helpful to be aware of the efforts of those who have gone before you. Here are some introductions to significant Christian environmentalists throughout the ages, as well as two who are serving today.
St. Patrick (387–460)
We definitely associate St. Patrick with the color green, but most people don’t know about Patrick’s environmental mission. As an outdoor captive in Ireland, he spent every day contemplating nature and getting to know the environment.
Later, when he was ministering to the Irish people who believed the nature itself was divine, Patrick was able to use what he had learned about the environment to make it easier for them to relate to our Christian God. He used the Irish symbol of a sun, combined with a cross, to form the Celtic cross, making the cross more meaningful for those people.
Patrick introduced the Irish to the Creator of all that they already loved. He redirected their mindset from worshipping creation to worshipping the loving God who formed the earth.
St. Francis of Assisi (1182–1226)
St. Francis has always been known for his love of creation. There are countless stories and legends of him taming and communicating with animals. Even in the Middle Ages, Francis knew that humans were causing destruction to the natural world, and he preached against it.
Francis’ famous “Canticle of the Creatures” (also known as “Canticle of the Sun”) is a hymn calling the Lord to be praised by all of His creations. He refers to celestial bodies as brothers and sisters and thanks God for the natural resources He has given us.
Francis Schaeffer (1912–1984)
In 1967, Lynn White published his famous article “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis,” in which he interpreted the Bible as allowing humans to take over the earth and use resources irresponsibly. He blamed this for the environmental destruction of the 19th and 20th centuries. Francis Schaeffer was one of the most prominent voices to refute this claim, which was the basis of his book Pollution and the Death of Man.
An interesting aspect of Schaeffer’s approach was the way he balanced faith and logic. His points were argued in such a way that was appealing even to the non-believer.
Pope John Paul II (1920–2005)
In his 1990 address for the World Day of Peace, Pope John Paul II said explicitly that “World peace is threatened … by a lack of due respect for nature.” He continued to recount the creation story and bring to people’s awareness that the Church had been neglecting its responsibility to care for the earth. He said that many of our ecological problems had been caused by a “reckless exploitation of natural resources.”
In 1979, Pope John Paul II declared St. Francis of Assisi as the patron saint of ecologists and environmentalists. At the end of his World Day of Peace address, he called for a Francis-like “fraternity” between people and the natural world.
Ed Brown, who is currently very active in his work, founded Care of Creation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental missions. Care of Creation focuses on communities in the United States and Kenya. Brown has written multiple engaging books, including Our Father’s World and When Heaven and Nature Sing.
Brown emphasizes the idea that Christians who believe there must be a choice between protecting plants and protecting people are deceived. His ministry is dedicated to environmental stewardship, not just out of respect for God’s creation and obedience to protect it but also because doing so ensures the wellbeing of God’s people.
Peter Illyn is also a current-day leader. After taking two llamas on a mountain excursion, he felt the Holy Spirit calling him to do something different. “I went into the mountains a minister, but I came out an environmental activist,” Illyn said. Later, in 2001, he founded the nonprofit organization Restoring Eden.
Restoring Eden offers events and volunteering opportunities related to environmental missions. It is based in Seattle but works all over the United States.
Now that you see where Ed ranks… with two Saints and a Pope, after you have already read more about Care of Creation please go to Amazon.com by clicking on the links below and help the cause while learning why we all have a part in this mission.
Our Father’s World: Mobilizing the Church to Care for Creation by Edward R. Brown
When Heaven and Nature Sing by Edward R Brown