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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

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We meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox.

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Resolution on the Spirituality of Food Production

Resolution on Church Buildings and Grounds

Resolution on Creation Season

Resolution on Green Congregations



Lectionary Reflection

Year A, Lent 1
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary – Revised Common Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Lesson

Genesis 2: 4b-9, 15-17, 25 – 3: 7 (Episcopal [Standard] Lectionary)
Genesis 2: 15-17; 3: 1-7
(Revised Common Lectionary)

[Start Standard Lectionary] In the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up-- for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground-- then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

[Start RCL] The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die."

[Standard Lectionary only] And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed. [Resume both Lectionaries] Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God say, `You shall not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, `You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.'" But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. [End both Lectionaries]



Reflection on Genesis 2: 4b-9, 15-17, 25 – 3: 7
by Nan Stokes

The Old Testament reading for the beginning of Lent is a "never get tired of hearing it" kind of reading – the account of creation, including the formation of a human from the dust of the ground. God had even provided for a way to water the earth before he caused it to rain – "a stream would rise from the earth and water the whole face of the ground." Then he formed the living being to be in the garden in Eden and to till that ground and keep it and care for the plants which grew and were pleasant to the sight and good for food. Even though we are no longer in the garden, we need to continue to keep the ground and care for the plants and the creatures God created, including humans. This is an important and serious task and becomes more imperative with the passing of time.  It could even be one part of our Lenten discipline.

We know the rest of the story – that we return to dust and need to be reminded of how far we have strayed from that perfection. Temptations continue to abound all about us, and during this penitential season, we strive to get centered in faith so we can deal with everything in the world that impacts us in our daily life and work.


Printable version

To Reflections on other Readings for Year A, Lent 1:

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal)
Revised Common
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Genesis 2:4b-9,15-17,25-3:7
(this page)
Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
(this page)
Psalm 51 or 51:1-13
Psalm 32
New Testament Lesson
Romans 5: 12-19 (20-21)
Romans 5:12-19
Matthew 4:1-11
Matthew 4:1-11


Nan Stokes was an active member of St. Edward's Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 1999. Nan and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Nan Stokes or any MEESC member, or mail them to:

c/o C. Morello
4451 Lakeside Drive
Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA

The MEESC assumes that all correspondence received is for publication on this web site. If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence. The MEESC reserves the right to decide which items are included on the website.


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