Respect for creation is of immense consequence, not least because "creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God's works", and its preservation has now become essential for the pacific coexistence of mankind. Man's inhumanity to man has given rise to numerous threats to peace and to authentic and integral human development - wars, international and regional conflicts, acts of terrorism, and violations of human rights. Yet no less troubling are the threats arising from the neglect - if not downright misuse - of the earth and the natural goods that God has given us. For this reason, it is imperative that mankind renew and strengthen "that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying".
From Pope Benedict's World Day of Peace message, 2010 http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/peace/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20091208_xliii-world-day-peace_en.html
We are pleased that St. Joseph's Parish Council is committed to Catholic Social Teaching and includes an environmental component in parish life. As a faithful Catholic community, we believe that families and parishes are responsible for the changes necessary to reduce energy use, thereby saving resources (both natural and financial) and honoring God's creation.
We are called to be stewards of all the gifts God has given us. This includes taking care of the natural resources on our earth. In a time of economic and environmental challenges, we are called to actively seek ways to be stewards of these gifts.
How much energy and other natural resources do we really use and how are they measured? The Alliance for Climate Action has designed a free website where you can measure your residential consumption.
Another group - Carbonfund.org includes tips for any individual, business or organization. http://www.carbonfund.org/site/pages/save_energy
Check them out - surf the net - there are plenty of ideas for preserving all the resources God has gifted us with. Solidarity is the fruit of stewardship. And consider joining the Parish Environmental Council at our next meeting: please check calendar and bulletin for meeting dates and times. For more information, call Diane at 899-2743.
Relevant links for more information
And the best resource is to personally link yourself to deeper discernment through a trip to Jubilee Farm. The farm is an 111-acre center for ecology and spirituality. Programs and experiences are designed to help people understand our interdependent relationship to the whole of creation and learn how to live more sustainably with Earth. The labyrinth (an ancient symbol that can be traced back over 3,500 years; and the one replicated at Jubilee Farm is that which is embedded in the stone floor of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Chartres, France) and walking paths help us make the connection to our faith in a unique way, and increase our appreciation of this planet we call home.