Earth Day Challenges

washline cropped

I had an absolutely lovely Saturday. It was warm and sunny in southern Manitoba. My husband and I turned over our sorry looking boulevard, lovingly added compost and grass seed in hopes of greening up our section of street frontage.  We purchased an umbrella style clothes line, and I hung out wash again, after many years of using my dryer and an indoor clothes line. It was spring and we were happy.

But then the weather turned nasty. Winter jackets and tightly drawn hoods are once more helping us keep out the biting north wind. Snow made the roads too icy for secure cycling this morning. And we wonder. Is this the kind of climate change our society’s excessive carbon emissions are bequeathing on the next generation? Lord, have mercy.

I love my work of gathering, developing and sharing faith forming resources for all ages. Whenever I hear appreciation for these resources from a family or congregation I go all soft inside. I’m convinced that the work I do helps nurture faith and Anabaptist denominational identity and vitality.

But there’s stormy weather in this part of my life as well. We’re trying hard to learn unity which is rooted in Christ rather than in shared opinions. There’s a decline in both denominational membership and donor dollars. We keep trying to do more with less, and stretch marks are threatening.

I yearn for an inhabitable Earth for the next generation. I yearn for a sustainable denomination for the next generation. I yearn for a church that will continue to provide faith forming resources for its homes and congregations.

So this year, I’m setting up a unique challenge: Good for the Earth, Good for Faith. As well as hanging laundry outside, gardening and composting, I’m committed to cycling to work till the snow flies again (hoping that’s 6 months from now). I will donate the fuel saved to resource development.

I’m inviting others, like you, to sponsor my cycling efforts with donations to this project. Please consider the faith practice of making a pledge and find your own ways of protecting our earth.  To do so, just follow the link, above.


biking Elsie



About Elsie Hannah Ruth Rempel

As a young senior whose life could easily have ended in a nasty car crash in 2012 I live with an extra dose of gratitude to God, humanity, and the wonders of our human bodies. I am a passionate advocate for ministry WITH children and seniors in the life and ministry of the church. I started working in Faith Formation with Mennonite Church Canada in 2002. Thinking and writing about faith helps me see God at work in all kinds of surprising places. I'd like to be remembered as one who encourages others to live into God's good dream for our world. My book, Please Pass the Faith: The Spiritual Art of Grandparenting, is one big way I'm trying to share that encouragement with my peers. This blog is another way I'd like to engage people who care about growing in faith across the generations.
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