It’s hard to imagine that it has been a full year since the novel Coronavirus upended our lives, community, congregation and society. So many things have changed that we never could have anticipated, and in such a short period of time. Many of these changes have been detrimental in myriad ways. Coronavirus has made plain the direct relationships between environment and human health. Recent scientific studies have suggested that as humans increase development and encroach on virgin eco-systems, the risks of transmitting diseases like coronaviruses from animals to humans also increases. Once established, we also have seen that the impacts of COVID are not distributed equally. It’s now well documented that communities with highest rates of particulate air pollution are also those that see the highest rates of severe COVID disease. The links between environment, public health, and social inequities are inextricable.
Yet the COVID experience has also been humbling in its teachings, including for our environment and our society. Almost overnight, we saw air pollution plummet as more fossil fuel burning vehicles have been taken off the roads. Polluted waterways have run clear for the first time in decades. And species being pushed toward extinction by human behavior patterns have rebounded in ways that would never have been anticipated. What has also become apparent in the pandemic is God’s unwavering love and commitment to the care of all creation, and renewed hope for a better tomorrow.
- Our spring theme is “Environmental Superheroes,” and the next Green Team Adult Forum on March 21 will feature a special guest speaker who is a real-life environmental “superhero” – please join us!
- Another simple action you can take at home this month is to celebrate Earth Hour on March 27, by turning off your lights and electronics for an hour starting at 8:30 PM (to learn more about this global event, visit: https://www.earthhour.org/).
- In April, mark your calendars for April 25, when Barbara and Lorraine will be leading a special virtual Sunday School forum on “Environmental Superheroes” for grades pre-K through 6th grade, in honor Earth Day 2021.
- Finally, we are currently planning volunteer service projects for spring, including a spinach gleaning with our local mission partner NJ Farmers Against Hunger on May 22. We encourage you to sign up for this fun and safe outdoor, socially-distanced event! More details to follow.
If you would like to join the Green Team at at one of our virtual monthly meetings, held the first Monday of the month (Ministry night), please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out our website: https://stmatthew-lutheran.org/green-team/, and follow the SMLC Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/smlcmoorestown/.
—Brian Lestini, chair