Thursday, April 23, 2009
Churches Across Faith Traditions Plant 12,000 Trees
In keeping with the biblical mandate to care for God's creation, thousands of people from ten faith traditions have come together to plant 12,000 trees in northern Michigan.
About 100 congregations from Presbyterian, Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, United Methodist Church, Jewish, and Quaker traditions, among others, and nonprofit organizations are participating in a tree project led by the interfaith coalition Upper Peninsula Earth Keepers.
Volunteers planted the first of 12,000 12- to 16-inch White Spruce and Red Pine trees during the blessing of the trees ceremony on Wednesday in observance of Earth Day.
"This is about more than putting trees in the ground – it’s an expression by the faith communities of love and care for God’s creation," said Kyra Fillmore, Catholic Earth Keeper team member and the project’s communications coordinator for faith communities, according to the Presbyterian News Service.
Thousands of volunteers will be picking up tree seedlings on May 2 and planting the equivalent of a forest across 400 miles the following day.
"Our interfaith tree-planting effort is more than another conservation project," said the Rev. Jon Magnuson, co-founder of the Earth Keeper initiative and executive director of the Cedar Tree Institute, as reported by the Presbyterian News Service. "With prayers, hymns and the blessing of 12,000 seedlings, it's a gentle proclamation of a new consciousness and commitment among our faith communities to care for God's creation."
Being stewards of God's creation has taken on greater significance as more Christians view global warming as a serious problem.
The Painting is by Henry Hillier Parker