Care for the Earth

generous stewards tree roots and fall leaves

“My Child Is a Flower” Stewardship Songs

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 29, 2018

Rev. Dan Damon is an inspired writer of hymn texts and tunes, as well as a seminary teacher, pastor and friend. I was thrilled when he showed me a stewardship song he had written after I preached at his church one day. But his new songbook, My Child Is a Flower, contains many thoughtful, creative,…

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Care for the Land

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | October 3, 2017

Preparing for coming rains involves a lot on a farm or ranch, even when we don’t have to be useful harvesting crops. Dead limbs need to be taken down before winds allow them to fall on our animals or buildings; scattered branches should be picked up and gathered under tarps before rain or snow –…

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Baptized into Wilderness

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | August 21, 2017

With all the political and economic threats to the environment these days, Baptized into Wilderness: A Christian Perspective on John Muir is an important reminder of why we care for God’s creation. This book of environmental theology by Richard Austin is a classic, using the life and thoughts of John Muir, supreme naturalist and activist,…

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Plan for Earth Day

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 10, 2017

Earth Day is coming up soon this month, so now is a perfect time to decide as a congregation what you can do to encourage good stewardship of this earth. Here is a response I sent to Adam Hamilton, United Methodist minister and author, in reply to his 2015 blog about Earth Day at adamhamilton.org:…

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A Reminder from the Birds

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 9, 2016

These past months the wild birds have been everywhere, first seeking whatever they could to build their nests. When much of the U.S. was still battling snowstorms, Northern California began to see spring. Thankfully we’ve had enough rain this year to cancel the current year’s (although not long-term) drought. Mornings have been filled with birdsong…

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John Muir, Earth Steward

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 21, 2016

Today, April 21, is John Muir’s birthday! Born in Scotland, he came to the United States and then to California. A devoted family man with his home in Martinez, he took over his father-in-law’s sheep business for ten years. Taking the sheep (and noticing their devastating effect) up to the Sierra Nevada mountains led him…

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Animals Know

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 17, 2015

I’m one of the honored few. Our horse Tuxedo greets me regularly the way trusting horses meet one another: by coming nose-to-nose, breathing in each other’s breath. It takes trust, especially for a human being: one push of his head against my face could knock me silly. But it’s trust on his part, too –…

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Stewards of God’s Mysteries

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 28, 2015

Space discoveries have been thrilling these past few weeks, thanks to traveling telescopes launched many years ago. The New Horizons program, nine years on its journey, has sent back amazingly detailed photos of Pluto, the icy dwarf planet at the near edge of millions of icy-rock balls in the Kuiper Belt at the far edge…

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Water and Justice

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 6, 2015

The colorful Acorn Woodpecker perches on the top of our fence at the edge of the lawn. He dips his head as the sprinklers sweep by, as if in thanks for the welcome spray. The four-year California drought is taking its toll. By this month of July the grass, trees, and animals large and small…

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Cosmic Pentecost

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 25, 2015

Today is Pentecost, when we celebrate the living presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst. For years, I used to describe Acts 2 as when God sent the Holy Spirit among us. But God is the Holy Spirit as clearly as God is the Creator and the Redeemer. And the Holy Spirit has been…

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