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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

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

Upcoming Activities:

Next Meeting:

We meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox.

Annual Special Projects


Resolution on the Spirituality of Food Production

Resolution on Church Buildings and Grounds

Resolution on Creation Season

Resolution on Green Congregations



Creation Season 2008 (Year A)
October 5 – 26, 2008

Proper 22, Year A
(October 5, 2008)

Special Recognition of the Place of Food in our Lives:
as Commodity

Welcome! We're glad you're planning on observing a liturgical season of creation. We have prepared some materials for you to use in worship, teaching, and personal reflection for this Sunday.

The alternate Creation Season reading from a secular source below may be used in place of or in addition to the readings scheduled for this Sunday.

Farm factories: the end of animal husbandry
The following excerpts by Bernard E. Rollin (Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Physiology and Animal Sciences at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado) come from Christian Century, Dec 19, 2001
A few years ago, while visiting with some Colorado ranchers, I observed an example of animal husbandry that contrasts sharply with the experience described at the beginning of this article. That year, the ranchers had seen many of their calves afflicted with scours, a diarrheal disease. Every rancher I met had spent more money on treating the disease than was economically justified by the calves' market value. When I asked these men why they were being "economically irrational," they were adamant in their responses: "It's part of my bargain with the animal." "It's part of caring for them." This same ethical outlook leads ranchers to sit up all night with sick, marginal calves, sometimes for days in a row. If they were strictly guided by economics, these people would hardly be valuing their time at 50 cents per hour--including their sleep time.

Yet industrialized swine production thrives while western cattle ranchers, the last large group of practitioners of husbandry agriculture, are an endangered species.

CONFINEMENT AGRICULTURE violates other core biblical ethical principles. It is clear that the biblical granting of "dominion" over the earth to humans means responsible stewardship, not the looting and pillaging of nature. Given that the Bible was addressed to an agrarian people, this is only common sense, and absolutely essential to preserving what we call "sustainability."


It is a radical mistake to treat animals merely as products, as objects with no intrinsic value. A demand for agriculture that practices the ancient and fair contract with domestic animals is not revolutionary but conservative. As Mahatma Gandhi said, a society must ultimately be morally judged by how it treats its weakest members. No members are more vulnerable and dependent than our society's domestic animals.

The complete article is available Online.

Additional Readings from Scripture are found here.

Back to Proper 22 Main Page


Note: The additional reading was provided by the Rev Wanda Copeland.


We welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to 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.


This page last updated 2008-08-25.

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