Our Watershed Moment
(On Earth Sunday 2018, Camilla Dadey made the following
statement on behalf of the Love of Creation Mission Group.)
Watershed; An event or period marking a turning point in a course of action or state of affairs. At Trinity we are in the midst of our watershed moment. This Earth Sunday let's look at what we've learned and accomplished in the past seven months, and to
think about the future.
In September we gathered in conversation to explore how to achieve a sustainable diet for our personal health as well as the well-being of our planet. We explored ways to reduce food waste in our homes, to buy organic and local, and to consume less meat - because eating lower on the food chain not only benefits our health, it reduces our carbon footprint.
This led into our October "Sustaining Creation" event featuring the Rev. Dr. Terry Gallagher. He spoke about the intersection of our faith and our place in sustaining creation - specifically he spoke about the climate crisis. It was important to have Terry address this issue because the U.S. had just pulled out of the Paris Accord, the dismantling of the EPA had begun, our national parks and monuments were put up for sale to extractive industries, and we witnessed, in full force, the blatant disdain for science. This was my watershed moment where environmental activism needed to move from a political activity to the DNA of church life. Because the environment and these events are not happening separate from our lives as Christians.
We brought this to life in our Vision Statement...
"We seek to express our love for God in mission by our love for neighbor, for children, and for creation, for the sake of a just world for all."
In January, a few of the folks who are interested in the Creation Mission got together to decide "what's next." We needed a specific, doable action. The meeting was fortuitous. Because that was the month that the Village of Deerfield was set to examine coal tar sealants.
This challenge led to an amazing experience -- where we stepped out of our comfort zone and exemplified "what we're about." Because of OUR action, Deerfield banned coal tar sealants. Which will lead to improved water quality for not only our property but the watershed. This wasn't accomplished by a couple loud mouths like me, it was all of us. Nearly every member of our congregation signed the petition we presented the board, and we got dozens of additional signatures from friends and neighbors. We mobilized church members and neighbors to show up and speak at the board meeting, twice! One of those nights it was a snow storm!
When we first started this process, we were referred to as "the church on North Ave." Since then, Trinity was mentioned in a Chicago Tribune article about the ban. Now people are beginning to understand who we are and what we stand for.
Look around at how small we are, but how much we've accomplished in just a few short months. So where do we go from here? Is that it? Say, "good job," and move on to coffee hour? We're not finished. We've only just begun.
The monarch butterfly population has declined by more than 80% in the last 20 years. What can we do in our little corner of the world? We will be planting a native garden with milkweed to support butterflies and beneficial invertebrates. The kids will contribute by growing flowers from seed. We can choose to not use Glyphosate herbicides like Roundup in our yards and on church property.
Did you know that Endangered Species day is in May? We're working on a special educational event with the Lake County Forest Preserve to learn about birds of prey in our area and the environmental pressures on them. Our plans are not finalized but we're hoping to have a hawk or an owl come visit. If you're feeling politically active, ask me about current legislation which will jeopardize endangered species in Illinois, and how we can stop it.
Being part of the Love of Creation mission should lead to spiritual renewal, to having a better understanding of our place in the natural world and giving all of us the opportunity to be a catalyst-for-change. So, the most important next step is for all of us to join in a Love of Creation Conversation after worship in the Gathering Hall on May 6th... Because...This is our Watershed Moment.