Care for Creation

By Diana Laskaris, Stephen Ministry Leader
At St. Pauls we have A Statement Of Faith we recite during Sunday services. This is one part of the service I look forward to every time. The reason is that, not only is there an opportunity for me to express my faith in tangible terms, but it also helps me apply my beliefs to the real world, the one which often conflicts with, overwhelms and even ignores my faith.
One line in this statement stands out to me and touches me as well. It comes after loving and serving others and before seeking justice and resisting evil. The line is included in the things that God calls us to do. God calls us “to care for creation...” I still get chills when I read that. It cuts to my very core. 
Although we live in an area where wildfire dangers are not too concerning, my birthplace of Southern California has been ablaze in ways never seen before. There have also been earthquakes. And drought. Even the governor has said that California residents need to be prepared for this to be “the new normal.” The images of trapped horses trying to run away from fires are heartbreaking. Stories of deer, other wildlife, and even pets left outdoors at the wrong time being overwhelmed are tragic. And this is just the latest in a string of natural disasters piling up around the world.
While some are ignoring or rationalizing the groans of the earth, the devastation of natural resources and the extinction of species at an alarming rate, we are not allowed to do so. We are compelled by our faith to “care for creation.” Not conditionally, not because it is financially beneficial to do so, not because it would look good on our resume. But because we believe God calls us to do so.
One video that went viral showed a man who got out of the car to rescue a frantic rabbit from a fire zone. The story was a bright spot amid otherwise horrific news. While the details of the rescue, the identity of the rescuer, the potential hazards caused by such an act have subsequently provided fodder for naysayers, the message still came through loud and clear. Someone exercised his belief that he could make a small difference by a selfless act to care for creation.
Sometimes our lives feel like we are utterly removed from nature and creation, surrounded by steel and concrete and electrons. It can be just as disorienting to deal with a disruption in our lives as any natural disaster. Stephen Ministers are called as the rest of us to care for creation. And they have special training to help you put your own fires out. You are part of God’s creation. A Stephen Minister is ready and waiting to get out of the car to help you. Anytime. Anywhere.