The first week of June I was out of the office most of the week, hosting a group of young adults who were exploring the cross-roads of environmental stewardship and the Christian faith in the urban setting of Portland, Oregon. This year’s program was focused on Connectional Urban Living as Creative Response. As title and theme for the week, I kept having to ask myself: Creative response to what? To answer that, let me step back a bit and interpret it from a larger perspective.
“The Eco-Stewards Program is a Christian community responding to God’s call through applied eco-stewardship. We seek to educate, train and inspire young adults (ages 20-30) in the ways of eco-stewardship within the wider context of our Christian faith.” (See www.ecostewardsprogram.org)
I have to answer my own question. Creative resopnse to what? Living within the context we find ourselves in and applying the best ecologically sound stewardship practices available to our means.
To that end, I re-committ to being present not only to community of place and family, but to the community of the earth and all its creatures. To that end, I will endeavor to raise awareness of the fragility of earth’s systems-and also the incredible beauty of it all-in word and deed from the context of my current chapter of life. To that end, I pledge to reduce the carbon footprint of my home and my commute.
In the past several years, the zest and vigor I had for following my earlier eco-steward ideals waned in the face of “real life” issues. Milestones such as marriage, home ownership, commuting to work, having children, and just trying to stay afloat during it all.
This year’s program in Portland came a pivotal moment for me; I am now just beginning to settle better into my current chapter of life (married, raising children-and on the early side of being 20 years older than most eco-steward participants).
Now that I am getting ready to do more than just tread water, I think I may be finding more energy, finally, to be able to re-engage more of my goals of applied eco-stewardship and integrating them into my family and work life…at least that is my hope!