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Environmental Stewardship Commission
(MEESC)

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

 
Coat of Arms of Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota
Shield of Episcopal Church

Upcoming Activities:

Next Meetings

We meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox and we meet more frequently at Regional Chapter meetings.


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, Trinity Sunday
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary — Revised Common Lectionary

Old Testament – Hebrew Scripture

Genesis 1:1 – 2:3 (Standard [Episcopal] Lectionary)
Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a (Revised Common Lectionary)

[Begin both Lectionaries] In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, "Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, "Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, "Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it." And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

And God said, "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth." And it was so. God made the two great lights-- the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night-- and the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

And God said, "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky." So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."

So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." God said, "See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. [End Standard Lectionary] These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. [End RCL]


 

Reflection onGenesis 1:1 – 2:3 (Standard [Episcopal] Lectionary)
and Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a (Revised Common Lectionary)

by John G. Gibbs, PhD

During the first few decades of Christian existence the “threefold-ness” of God, so to speak was a matter of experience rather than of philosophical theology. They spoke of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit because they had experienced God in those three ways.

Ecological consciousness was not an afterthought among early Christians. From the very first their evangelism(!) spoke of heaven and earth and the end of all time. "To the mountain" chosen by Jesus (Matthew 28:16), and not to a house or any man-made place of worship, those first eleven disciples went to be commissioned. Jesus' choice of place sets the infant Church out on the vast landscape of creation.

"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters." Just as God spoke, and all was/is, so Jesus (the Word incarnate) spoke, and the Church was/is. Just as "a wind from God" blew order into chaos at the first, so the Holy Spirit creates the "communion" that is Church.

New Creation builds on, and partakes of, the first creation. Referring to the creation of the universe, this story emphasizes by repetition: "And God saw that it was good." That is to say, the creation was fit to serve God's purpose. Not even the subsequent murders and other catastrophes in human conduct could succeed, as it were in a reverse anti-creation, to destroy or annul that "good" creation.  God's imprint remains on/in it.

Early Christians later reaffirmed the creation of humanity in the image of God. They found in Jesus Christ the Second Adam in whom all humanity potentially can be restored to their original "goodness" (Romans 5:12-21). But that is not all, for there arose "hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:21).

To Reflections on other Readings for Trinity Sunday, Year A:

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal)
Lectionary
Revised Common
Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Genesis 1:1 – 2:3
(this page)
Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a
(this page)
Psalm
Psalm 150 or Canticle 2 or Canticle 13
Psalm 8 or Canticle 2 or Canticle 13
New Testament Lesson
Gospel
Reflection on all the Readings: Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Reflection on Genesis, 2 Corinthians and Matthew Readings from RCL

 

John Gibbs, a retired theologian, attended Trinity Episcopal Church, Park Rapids, MN, when he originally wrote this reflection in 2002.  He and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to John Gibbs or any MEESC member, or mail them to:


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

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