'Caring for Creation Sunday' on April 22 will be 18th annual observance by Millington First UMC


Caryl Rawls, left, is joined by Bonita Dunvant at Millington First United Methodist Church.

By Caryl Rawls
Millington First United Methodist Church, Millington, TN

For the last 18 years Millington First United Methodist Church in Millington, Tennessee, has held a “Caring for Creation Sunday” in the month of April. 
This special service takes place on the Sunday nearest Earth Day, an international event that focuses on the need to protect the natural environment. The focus for this Sunday worship service is on praising God for creation and the Christian’s responsibility to care for His natural world.
One might ask why a church congregation should take an interest in the conservation and protection of the earth and its resources. God created the earth and has given us the primary responsibility for its care, making us stewards of His world. Christians should be demonstrating their love and respect for His world by promoting practices that reduce waste and decrease environmental destruction. 
The United Methodist Church recognizes this in the Book of Discipline’s Social Principles section entitled “The Natural World.” This section begins boldly by declaring, “All Creation is the Lord’s, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it.” 
In addition to God’s expectation that we take care of His creation, there is another compelling reason for our being good stewards. This destruction of our physical world and the waste of natural resources has a disproportionately negative impact on the world’s poor and disadvantaged. 
An example of this harmful destruction is the damage to our oceans and fisheries caused by agricultural and industrial runoff and plastic waste. The damage to this important resource is felt most by those who directly depend upon the seas for life. The waste of natural resources by wealthy nations leaves less for those countries that have little.
Over the years our church has been an example to the Millington community by showing how Christians care for the physical, as well as the spiritual health of our neighbors. Our annual Caring for Creation Sunday is a clear indication we are committed to making our world a better place for all people. 
On Sunday, April 22, our “Caring for Creation Sunday” theme is plastics and the growing problems plastic waste causes our world. Our Creation Care Committee will launch a Reusable Shopping Bag campaign on that Sunday. Those that attend services will be given a reusable shopping bag printed with the United Methodist cross & flame logo and our church’s name. The hope is that these bags will be used to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags and let others know Christians care about this earth we all share.
As Christians we witness our faith to others by how we use and share our bountiful blessings. We would like to encourage you to consider dedicating a Sunday for a celebration of God’s Creation and considering the responsibility of Christians to be good stewards of our world. In this we serve those less fortunate than us, as well as our future generations.
For more information, contact the Creation Care Ministry at Millington First United Methodist Church at 901-872-4414.

To learn more about Earth Day 2018, CLICK HERE.