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Worship is action-oriented for Earth-Day

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¨‘If there were no bees, the flowers would not bear ruit.

If the flowers were stricken, what of the butterfly’s fate?

If all the butterflies died, beauty would suffer.

If beauty were diminished, what of the songs of the soul?’

This was part of a two-part congregational prayer at Shandon United Methodist Church in April.

As First United Methodist Church in Myrtle Beach and Shandon in Columbia are doing, more churches are focusing at least one Sunday a year on God’s creation and United Methodists’ roles in caring for the Earth.

Shandon’s service began with a joyful processional that included about two dozen bell-ringers and a liturgical dance by young girls in green. At the children’s time, Congaree’s National Park’s ranger Fran Rametta gave his famous call of the barred owl, “Who-whoo…,” that means “this is my territory.”  “The Earth is our territory,” Rametta told the children.

Beneath the cross, a globe was settled on a bed of greenery as Green Team member Judy Coull read the Scripture. ¨Chair of the Green Team, Bill Deemer, said there are 2,463 verses of Scripture that relate to Earth’s care. “We are created out of earth. ‘Adam’ means ‘earth.’

Deemer reminded people of the Jewish traditional story. Noah is loading the ark with the Camels and water buffalos and the goats, when up the ramp comes a pair of tiny little gnats. , Noah turned to God and said , “You want me to save the gnats?  Of what possible value could they be?” And God replied “Yes Noah, save the gnats.  They hold many secrets you may never know.” Helping people to make the connection between all of nature and building a relationship with God, Deemer quoted Martin Luther, “If you truly understood a grain of wheat, you would die of wonder.”

The Foy and Knudson family members told what they are doing to keep the planet healthy, including turning off lights, making a butterfly garden and taking a reusable cup to the usual morning coffee at the coffee shop.

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