From JustFaith to Creation Care - St. Noel Church
Creation care began at St. Noel Church, located in the woods of Willoughby Hills, Ohio, after a group went through a 30-week formational study on social justice issues called “JustFaith”.
Creation care began at St. Noel Church, located in the woods of Willoughby Hills, Ohio, after a group went through a 30-week formational study on social justice issues called “JustFaith”. Wanting a specific focus for their actions, a group interested in creation care formed and a desire to hold a parish-wide Earth Day Sunday led them to Earth Ministry’s resources.
“I had volunteered to do the opening and closing prayers and didn’t want to ‘re-invent the wheel’; so I googled ‘earth prayers’. This led me to earthministry.org which stood out among many other offerings,” said Rosemary Sterbank, a member of St. Noel. “The rooted-in-Faith ecumenical nature of content and high quality, comprehensive breadth and depth of presentation, coupled with generosity of spirit in sharing ‘the how to do it’ impressed me immediately.”
Rosemary’s enthusiasm quickly bubbled over to the rest of the group. After much discussion and prayer, the group ordered several Greening Congregations Handbooks and started planning events for the parish in groups of two to four.
To date, the “Caring for Creation” group at St. Noel has put on two events at their church. The first event was held near the Feast of St. Francis with a broad theme and the second event was focused on water. Each event offers a variety of ways to interact with the topic in an attempt to reach different people, which allows each person on the planning team to put utilize their personal gifts, according to Alice Hinkel, Pastoral Associate at St. Noel. The “Caring for Creation” group has several more events planned for 2008 with themes such as recycling, wildlife, sustainable food systems, and transportation.
St. Noel is one of a growing number of Catholic parishes that have transitioned from JustFaith to using Earth Ministry’s resources to focus on creation care.