Experiencing God’s good creation

God created everything, but we have only this one earth with its marvellous flora and fauna. Over the past few weeks, some brothers and sisters have been working hard to preserve it for future generations and to raise awareness of God’s creative power.

Young people from the congregation of Albertinia in South Africa went for a hike with their rector to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation while climbing the Sleeping Beauty Hiking Trail. On a Saturday morning in April, the group of young people travelled to Riversdale, where they were joined by some young people from Riversdale South congregation. Together the two groups enjoyed every moment of the hike and the beauty of the surroundings.

Making God’s creation tangible for children

At first, the earth was empty and had no form. Then God created the world with His word. Children from the district of Söllingen in Germany were first told how it was created and then they went about creating a work of art using glue, beads, feathers, colours, and glitter. On their outing to an art studio, the children were able to use oil paints and watercolours to put God’s creation and everything that goes with it on paper. Among the works of art was a space station and a treasure chest at the bottom of the sea. Afterwards, they experienced the creation with all their senses. What does moss smell like? What do crisply fried onions sound like? What does vinegar taste like? God created everything: plants, animals, and human beings. That afternoon the children learned that they have been created in the image of God and live in an ingenious creation.

A children’s service in Bruchsal in Germany on 28 April also revolved around God’s creation. At first, everyone contributed to the event by arranging the cut flowers they had brought with them on the altar. The children provided the choral and orchestral music in the service. The Bible text was Mark 7: 37: “And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.’” The children had created works of art to illustrate the individual days of creation, which they then explained with corresponding Bible texts. The divine service just flew by. Afterwards, there was something to eat and those who wanted could do more crafts or play games.

Protecting God’s creation

Yellow plastic bags containing a total of 37 kilograms of trash were piled on the beach near Witsand in South Africa after a day’s beach clean-up. Young people from the Heidelberg East and West congregations met on a Saturday morning in May at the Breede River estuary to clear the beach of trash and patrol the beach to look for any stranded turtles. Later, their district rector came by to say thank you. The clean-up was in preparation for the youth meeting the next day, when even more young people gathered on this part of the beach for a joint activity.

On another continent and in another place called Heidelberg, believers of all generations met on 14 April to find out how they can do something good for the environment. Around 150 members of the German church district of Heidelberg came together in the KlimaArena, an adventure centre that deals with the topic of climate change. The brothers and sisters saw stimulating displays and animations and were able to participate in hands-on activities relating to climate protection and sustainability. And between learning about their carbon footprint and filter technologies, there was coffee and a large playground for the children. On this Sunday afternoon, the brothers and sisters learned about what they can do for the environment on a day-to-day basis.