This week Siobhan Sargent, who is the Associate Pastor at SP&SA as well as a great help in all our greening initiatives, shares her uplifting perspective on what it means to be a steward.
How does caring for and/or relating to the earth tie in with your faith?
I believe that there is a lot of surface area in which to connect to God, and that nature happens to be the biggest surface. A recent trip to the Grand Canyon was very eye-opening for me. When you visit, you are required to leave no trace and cut yourself off from many daily necessities, like phones. With these distractions and fancy gadgets gone, I was able to appreciate not just how beautiful creation is, but the interconnected nature of Creation. I realized how little I really need in order to feel connected to God. Consumerism gets in the way of this connection.
How do you practice earth care?
A big part of this is adjusting how I look at nature. Instead of objectifying nature as something that revolves around me, I strive to see that nature is living, and to see that my relationship with it goes two ways. I strengthen this relationship by being in and appreciating nature as much as possible, whether that means hiking, horseback riding, playing with my dog or composting. The more ways I can find, the better, and the more I can share this interconnectedness with others, the better.
What is your greatest hope for the well-being and healing of our planet?
I believe people have lost touch with the fact that we are actually a part of creation. I think, as a result, its easy for us to carry guilt and fear around our growing distance from that truth. My greatest hope is that people can overcome that guilt and fear by getting back in touch with the earthly and creaturely aspects of who we are. If people can see nature not as some mechanism to be used or an object to manipulate but instead as a part of who we are as people of God and as God’s creation, then the way we interact with the world around us will be changed.
Thank you, Siobhan!