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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

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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 23, Year A
(October12, 2008)

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

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.

Coming Home to Eat

The next afternoon we drove over the snowcapped mountains into the Bekaá Valley. With two carloads of cousins we passed through several roadblocks of Shiite Muslim militia, Syrian and Lebanese forces, Hezbollah guerrillas, and local police. Crossing the ancient croplands of the Fertile Crescent, the Bekaá's orchards, vineyards, grainfields, vegetable gardens, and pastures-I grew more and more heartened.

Suddenly our cousins' beat-up old cars careened around a curve into a side canyon where a cluster of cobblestone and concrete houses filled the canyon bottom. They glittered in the sun beneath eroded limestone slopes stippled with fig and olive trees. I could hardly absorb what eth Kfar Sibad landscape felt like, for the cars were slowing to enter a street swelling with kinfolk. "You really have no idea how long they have been waiting for you," our cousin Shibley explained.

It went into slow motion then: I had never seen so many people with the same bulging eyes and beaked noses as me, my brothers, uncles, and aunts. They mobbed the street under a banner proclaiming, WELCOME HOME NABHANS. As we tumbled out of the cars, our cousins engulfed us, wrapping us in hugs and in camel hair abeyas, the robes of princes. Aunts, uncles, cousins kissed us on the tops of our head, on our cheeks, on our mouths. They held on to us as if they finally had us back-back from some unimaginable placeless exile where each of us had become the muhajjar "the ones that had been forced to depart." But now we had returned to the ancestral home, ca biladna, back in the safety of the family haven, our laji. Older women began trilling the zalgrita, keening the song of homecoming as they accompanied us indoors.

We came across the threshold into a home emanating the warmth of jovial men bringing out their home-distilled arak and women warming up foods shaped all day by their own hands. We were conjoined in a feast a world apart from the one we had been offered in the Club Du Lubnan. It exuded the aroma of our aunts' and cousins' hands, the musk of goats and sheep grazed on the slopes above us, the salt and the bitter herbal bite of the alkaline earth itself. We were given a meal I shall never forget, forever since I've carried it homeward, into every one of my body's cells.

from the "Introduction" to Coming Home to Eat by Gary Paul Nabhan, 2002, W.W. Norton & Company. This reading is found in Food & Faith: Justice, Joy and Daily Bread, by Michael Schut, pp. 28-35.

Additional Readings from Scripture are found here.

Back to Proper 23 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.


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