Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 2012 Creation Corner Column

2012 Stewardship Week theme is "Soil to Spoon: Connecting Food Back to Soil"

"Soil to Spoon", the theme for the 57th Soil and Water Stewardship Week, Sunday April 29---Sunday May 6, 2012, sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), heralds the ethic of personal and social responsibility to be good stewards of land, water and natural resources. Thus stewardship "is essentially a synonym for conservation," so as to leave a "rich legacy for future generations."

Especially helpful materials from the NACD, besides the PDF Educators Guide, is the PDF "Church Leaders Guide." Over fifty biblical scriptural passages are woven through the Guide to lift up the narrative concept of being in HARMONY with God and His creation. The letters in HARMONY are used as an acronym (Humble yourself; Act; Reconcile; Mercy extended; Own your tongue; Never hold a grudge; Yield to others).

A homily on world hunger, a farmer's point-of-view, hymn suggestions and a litany are also proposed.

The NACD "Soil to Spoon" education materials for children would be good for those in an urban context---those who are most separated from "the land." Four levels of objectives, vocabulary, activities, worksheets and standards are appropriately informative for grades K-6 and up. Churches from farming communities will also benefit from the materials in their VBS or Sunday School curriculum, and secular classrooms will also appreciate the recommended book list devoted to raising our agricultural literacy.

Other resources include Soil to Spoon bookmarks,posters, clip art, placemat/activity sheets, PSAs, bulletin inserts, etc. Future upcoming yearly themes are Water/Watersheds (2013), Soil (2014), Wildlife/Habitat (2015) and Forestry (2016).

Because the origin of Stewardship Week preceded the founding of Earth Day, and because it follows the annual April 22 observance of Earth Day, and also occurs at the same time as National Arbor Day (the last Saturday of April), people of faith have many opportunities at this time of year to emphasize their caring for creation.

NACD marketplace:
NACD, 509 Capitol Court, NE Washington DC 20002-4937
P 202.547.6223
F 202.547.6450
Or contact one of the 3000 U.S.A conservation district offices nearest you.
The mission of the NACD is "conserving natural resources for our future." It is one of the rare secular organizations that has outreach materials for churches.