Why am I green? Perhaps the deeper question for me is “How could I not be?”
The way that I relate to the natural world – God’s creation – seems to come from the very core of who I am and the ways in which my life experiences, and the Spirit working through them, have shaped and called me.
I’ve had a lifelong affinity for, and delight in, the natural world. I like to camp, birdwatch, hike, and spend time by lakes and mountains. Though I grew up in Michigan, I was born in Alaska; I believe I was “imprinted” by wild beauty early on!
As I matured, my ecological understanding increased, along with my deep concern for how humankind’s actions were destroying creation’s web of life and also having a huge impact upon “the least of these,” raising profound issues of justice.
Even before I began my theological training, during candidacy for diaconal ministry, I was gaining a powerful sense that texts like Psalm 24:1 – The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof – were meant to be taken seriously and shape how we live as God's people.
Through it all, I’ve come to believe that caring for the Earth is an integral part of what it means to be a child of God. After all, it was because “God so loved the world [the cosmos, in the Greek] that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16).
... Not just people, not just the “world” … the whole cosmos/creation.
If we love God and are called to love and serve our neighbor, how can we do any less than care for God’s Earth which sustains us all, and is, itself, deeply loved by God?
I also cherish the words of Mark 16:15, where Jesus instructs his disciples:
Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.
I believe that is the call, to all of us, as God’s people.
Kim Winchell, Diaconal Minister
North/West Lower MI Synod