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Co-Create & Cultivate

By the Rev. David M. Crosby, May 19, 2016

On May 13th, I attended a Friday program at Virginia Theological Seminary led by the former Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, on “Caring for Creation: Sharing in Creation.” She reminded us that as God speaks, things happen, and that God speaks of blessings and goodness that is distinct and diverse. In God’s creation, we are called to help the earth be fruitful, to yield fruit and seed for feeding.

We considered the different Creation accounts and “other” creation stories like Noah and the flood, the Exodus through the desert to Canaan, returning from exile in Babylon, and some of the prophetic visions. +Katharine said that being made in the image of God, “we are not stewards of creation; rather we are co-creators”; gardeners, housekeepers, and members of a household, that God, through the Holy Spirit, calls us to join together in the holy work of “co-creating.”

The next Sunday at the May 8th Forum kicking off our 75th Anniversary of Immanuel (“God with us”), Bishop Katharine touched the Five Marks of Mission, noting specifically the 5th Mark:
• To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom;
• To teach, baptize and nurture new believers;
• To respond to human need by loving service;
• To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and
to pursue peace and reconciliation;
• To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the

During the Friday program, I learned about a mission involving VTS students, staff, spouses, and faculty who together promote environmental and community sustainability and health, as well as social justice through gardening, activism, and sustainable practices. You can read more about it on Facebook at CultivateVTS on or at https://sites/google.com/site/CultivateVTS/.

One garden at VTS grows wheat that is ‘cultivated’ into whole wheat flour. Since the seminary recently began using gluten free bread at Eucharist, they have a much reduced need for their home-produced wheat flour. I’m wondering if able Immanuelites might like to begin baking bread for our use. VTS is happy to share their flour with us. It could be a new wonderful ministry or guild within our parish, and would give us yet another life line/tie to the seminary.

Also, if parishioners want to get involved in the CultivateVTS effort for parish/campus gardening, the seminary would be happy to work together with Immanuel. Let me know if this interests you. Thanks.

Grace & Peace,