Message from our Eco-Minister

January 10th

January 2024  smiling Wendy Janzen

As we have crossed the threshold into 2024, I know many of us have spent some time reflecting on the coming year and setting intentions. For those of you who preach, teach, lead Bible study, or simply read the Bible for your own devotions, I would like to invite you to consider how you can more regularly bring an ecological lens to your interpretation of scripture. Creation care and ecojustice can fit into our sermons on a more regular basis, not just on special focus Sundays. 

In my first two years as Eco-Minister, one of the workshops I created and have led in various settings is called Reading the Bible with an Ecological Lens. I would love to bring it to more congregations and groups – please reach out if you are interested in learning more. 

"Consider how you can more regularly bring an ecological lens to your interpretation of scripture."

Here’s some quick tips for including creation in your Bible reading and/or sermon preparation. When you are reading scripture, consider taking it outdoors (maybe more of a warm-weather option, but you could do it any time of the year). Either literally take your Bible outdoors with you, or read your text and then take it for a walk. Sometimes getting outdoors with our thoughts can bring new insights and creativity. While you are out there, ask yourself these two questions: 1 - What wisdom do the trees, birds, plants, water, sky, and earth, have to speak into this text or your sermon? 2 - What Good News of shalom, healing and liberation does this text or your sermon have to offer creation? 

Related to this, I would like to introduce you to the Wild Lectionary – a lectionary resource for ecologically minded teachers and preachers. This is a project of Salal + Cedar Watershed Discipleship Community, supported by the Anglican Foundation of Canada, Geez Magazine, Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Ministry, and the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice. It was piloted over Advent, and was well received. It will be rolling out gradually in the coming year, so keep an eye on it. You can be involved by a) using the resource in your own teaching, preaching and personal study; b) becoming a writer if you have gifts for biblical, ecological, and theological writing; c) sponsoring a Sunday – they estimate that it will cost $275 to cover the work for each week’s post. 

There was a previous iteration of the Wild Lectionary on the Radical Discipleship website, with reflections on lectionary texts from 2017-2019 (I contributed a few entries to that project). It is still available for reference and is a simpler version of what is being rolled out moving forward. 

Also, I just want to note that in my role as pastor of Burning Bush Forest Church I am leading a hybrid book study on Refugia Faith: Seeking Hidden Shelters, Ordinary Wonder, and the Healing of the Earth over three Tuesday evenings (January 30, February 13 & 27). I am happy to have any interested MCEC folks join us. You can register through this form.