From the Dean’s Desk: Safeguard, Sustain, Renew
The Very Reverend Paul Lebens-Englund
Strive to to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

As you well know by now, the community of Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral has been on a five-week journey of intentional prayer and discernment, bringing to mind the signs of God's presence and activity in us, around us, and through us as glimpsed through the framework of the Five Marks of Mission.

In yesterday's homily, I framed our ministry of 'stewardship' within the ecological context of a 'household,' recognizing that we each play our own unique part in establishing and defending the delicate equilibrium of our various 'ecosystems,' both environmental and social. As 'stewards' of this 'House of Life,' which is entrusted by God to our faithful care, we join in God's mission of creating and sustaining life every time we stand up for the integrity and dignity of God's good earth and all that dwells therein.

Our ministry as EarthKeepers is, at least, twofold: First, we are entrusted with the wisdom and gifts necessary to discern and develop viable and sustainable models for all of life to flourish on this our island home. And, second, we are entrusted with the passion and commitment to rise up against the diminishment and degradation of the earth's fragile ecological balance and the lives within it.

This posture toward God's world recognizes it, in its entirety, as a 'gift' to us, its temporary inhabitants—and, like the God who long ago imagined our future and the provision required for it, we, too, are asked to tend it in our lifetimes with a view to the horizon of our great-grandchildren and beyond. We are stewards, charged to leave it better than we found it—more healthy, more whole, more life-giving, more just, more peaceful. This is the 'eco-spirituality' that places us within God's creation and alongside God's creatures. This is our proper understanding of 'dominion' —to be 'as God' in the world—creating, renewing, sustaining.

At Saint Mark's, we aim to make a big difference with a light touch, leaving our place and people - and all the places we inhabit and the people with whom we share life—better off for our having been here. Our ministry as stewards within God's good creation presumes a posture toward the world and a set of practices within it that, all together, increases the flourishing of life so that all may have it, and have it more abundantly—where conflict may, in the end, be overcome by a just peace—where sheep and wolves may, at last, dwell together. This is our hope and God's promise to us, when we steward well.

Our individual and collective footprint in the greater Twin Cities is significant and is marked by our commitment to safeguard the integrity of creation, and to sustain and renew the life of the earth. Are you in? Are you committed? Consider making your pledge today!

Now, ask yourself, HOW do I or will I engage in safeguarding the integrity of creation and sustaining & renewing the life of the earth?

Idea: Reflect on this question: How are you caring for the places you inhabit?
Idea: Reflect on this question: How are you caring for the people within those places?