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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

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Shield of Episcopal Church

Upcoming Activities:

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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

Lectionary Reflection

Year B, Epiphany 4 (Standard Episcopal and Revised Common Lectionaries) Year B, Easter 2 (Standard Episcopal Lectionary) Year C, Proper 23 (Revised Common Lectionary) Psalm

Psalm 111

1 Hallelujah! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart,*

in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.

2 Great are the deeds of the LORD!*

they are studied by all who delight in them.

3 His work is full of majesty and splendor,*
and his righteousness endures for ever.

4 He makes his marvelous works to be remembered;*
the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.

5 He gives food to those who fear him;*
he is ever mindful of his covenant.
6He has shown his people the power of his works *
in giving them the lands of the nations.

7The works of his hands are faithfulness and justice;*

all his commandments are sure.

8They stand fast for ever and ever,*

because they are done in truth and equity.

9He sent redemption to his people; he commanded his covenant for ever;*

holy and awesome is his Name.

10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;*

those who act accordingly have a good understanding;
his praise endures for ever.

Reflections on Psalm 111

by the Rev Wanda Copeland (for Epiphany 4, Year B)

I recently visited an intentional community in the Appalachian Mountains, and for the first time was not moved to leave my hustle and bustle world and join such a noble band. Here a group of people were seeking to live as closely in connection with nature as possible, applying not only construction and farming techniques that were in harmony with nature, but in all phases of their common and individual lives were seeking consensus and to live lightly on the earth. But, I found myself being put off by the fact they were miles off the beaten path. Thanks to modern technology, I can visit them through their web site and follow their journey. Still, they have felt they can only accomplish their goals only by removing themselves and their creative energy from the mainstream. Their work was not being done "in the assembly…, in the congregation" of all people. I cannot help but wonder how much richer we all would be if their passion and commitment were more visible for the rest of us. Perhaps the path of least resistance, and the place where we find our greatest fulfillment of our dreams can be found removing ourselves from the common path. But do we, in that process, lose our ability to speak to others who need to hear how wonderful all of God's works are, and may only hear that from our lips?

by John G. Gibbs, PhD (for Easter 2, Year B)

Peace and Justice are often seen together, for there is no peace in injustice, and justice cannot arise among those who experience no peace.

Psalm 111 praises the Lord who upholds his covenant with works that are “faithful and just” and deeds that are “gracious and merciful” (vv. 7, 4). The beginning of wisdom is the reverent awe of this Lord.“Shock and awe” arise here not in reaction to utter destruction, but in response to “the power of his works” (v. 6).“Holy and awesome is his name” (v. 9).

“Thanks” to God (v. 1) is the basis of our life together. Here is the source of all the peace and justice we shall ever know. This psalm gives expression to a gratitude that has seen the grain of the universe, and marvels in it. The universe is founded on God’s honor and majesty and righteousness (v. 3) whereby God’s activities on behalf of the creation “are established forever and ever” (v. 8).

But to see God’s works is to have the wisdom to live in accordance with them (v. 10). That is, awe (astonished attention) of God produces understanding of the interconnections between peace and justice in all relationships: with other persons, other peoples (nations), and with the whole earth and cosmic totality.

Printable version

To Reflections on other Readings for Year B, Epiphany 4:

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Revised Common Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Lesson:
Deuteronomy 18: 15-20
Deuteronomy 18: 15-20
Psalm 111 (This page)
Psalm 111 (This page)
New Testament Lesson
1 Corinthians 8:1b-13
1 Corinthians 8: 1-13
Mark 1: 21-28
Mark 1: 21-28

To Reflections on other Readings for Year B, Easter 2:

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Revised Common Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Lesson:
Acts 3: 12a,13-15,17-26 or Isaiah 26: 2-9, 19
Acts 4: 32-35
Psalm 111 (This page)
Psalm 133
New Testament Lesson
1 John 5: 1-6 or Acts 3: 12a,13-15,17-26
1 John 1: 12: 2

To Reflections on other Readings for Year C, Proper 23 (RCL):

Semi-Continuous Track Gospel Theme Track
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Lesson:
Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
2 Kings 5:1-3, 5-15c
Psalm 111 (This page)
New Testament Lesson
2 Timothy 2:8-15
Luke 17:11-19

  • The Rev Wanda Copeland was a rector of Holy Trinity Church, Elk River, MN, and Co-chair of the Environmental Stewardship Commission when she originally wrote this reflection in 2001.
  • John Gibbs, PhD, is a retired theologian, who resided in Park Rapids, MN, when he originally wrote this reflection in 2003.

Wanda, John, and we welcome your comments.Please address your comments or additional reflections to Wanda Copeland or John Gibbs or any MEESC member, or mail them to:

MEESC 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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