Care for the Earth

generous stewards tree roots and fall leaves

Living Water

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | March 13, 2023

I’ve been thinking a lot about water lately. That’s partly because our congregation is exploring the theme of “Creation Care and Climate Justice” in this worship season. The Holistic Stewardship Team, which I lead, initiated it. But it’s an important topic for global, more official sources, too, such as the Revised Three-Year Common Lectionary, 1…

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Clean Eating

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 24, 2020

June fifth is coming up soon – World Environment Day. And boy, do we have a lot of issues to address! But one essential dimension of our impact on the environment that calls out right now is what we choose to eat. “Clean eating” is a phrase that’s becoming popular in some circles these days.…

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As Wild Geese Fly

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | October 21, 2019

Stewardship is the how of living toward God – not the wheels on the bus, but the way the wild geese fly. The way the wild geese fly – not just instinct but also intention: the how of living toward God. The how of living toward God – using what I have for God’s goals:…

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Autumn: Why and Now

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | September 23, 2019

This is the first week of fall, and I’m beginning to see the signs. When I lived in Europe, the seasons changed dramatically from one day to the next, and they certainly do in other parts of this nation and the world. But in Northern California it’s usually a more subtle change. The night temperature…

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Winter Stewards

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 14, 2019

Being God’s stewards of the land is a year-round enterprise, even if we don’t have to be useful, making a profit on crops or livestock. There’s a lot to trimming off dead limbs from trees, for example, especially ten-story oaks. Whether oaks or pines, trees depend upon their interlaced roots, and can fall on their…

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Encounter with an Owl

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | October 1, 2018

God’s creation is a lot more powerful and mysterious than we human beings usually think. And most of it is certainly not tame. I was on our back deck, looking out into our woods mostly of ten- to twelve-story pines, when hundreds of resident wild birds sounded the alarm, circling and screaming at one another.…

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Generous Care in Fire Crisis

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | August 7, 2018

Before I moved to a wooded rural area I was aware of forest fires, but they were more of a news item than a personal issue. Since moving to the Sierra foothills, fires have become the biggest potential danger to us, our critters, and our home. But now, with the new normal of California crispiness,…

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John Wesley’s Creation Theology

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 8, 2018

The four sources of authority for John Wesley – Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience – have long been an important decision-making guideline for me. As a lifelong camper, I’ve tended to see this “quadrilateral” as the four corners of a tent with the crossbar of Jesus Christ holding them together in the center. Some people’s…

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Love in a Time of Climate Change

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 7, 2018

Rev. Sharon Delgado’s Love in a Time of Climate Change: Honoring Creation, Establishing Justice is a “faith response to climate change” (p. 178) that tells the truth about how far down the road we already are in global warming, while simultaneously giving us hope for transformation – IF we have the political will to take…

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Big Day of Giving 2018

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 4, 2018

Yesterday was this year’s Big Day of Giving. Begun in 2013, it’s a program of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, to grow philanthropy through a 24-hour online giving challenge that highlights the year-round work of the region’s nonprofit community. Last year, donors gave almost 39,500 donations, worth $7.2 million. Yesterday, givers donated nearly $7.4 million…

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