By Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan, Durham Herald-Sun
DURHAM — On Sunday morning, the importance of caring for God’s creation will be preached from the pulpits of hundreds of churches. The common topic thread is part of Interfaith Power & Light’s National Global Warming Preach-In this weekend.
At Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Durham, the Rev. Ginger Brasher-Cunningham will urge her congregation to be mindful about how they walk on the earth and to respect creation and that God has given them this beauty.
Last year, 50 congregations in North Carolina were among the 400 preach-in participants. North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light, which is based in Raleigh, is a program of the N.C. Council of Churches.
Brasher-Cunningham said it is also important to be mindful of the earth’s resources. For the United Church of Christ, social justice is a main aspect of who they are as a people, she said. Realizing how their actions make an imprint on the earth is a part of that, and they still have a ways to go, she said. Pilgrim UCC held a faith and environment conference last year.
At Durham Mennonite Church, Rev. Spencer Bradford’s Sunday sermon will focus on the stewardship of creation, as well as prayers and information shared during the service.
Bradford said he’ll also preach about using God’s gifts well to affect positive change and heal things around them that are broken.
Bradford will reference the Biblical vision of manna and God’s provision of there being enough for all, if we don’t consume it excessively.
The environment will also be the theme of the sermon, prayers, call to worship and hymns Sunday at Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church in Chatham County.
Rev. Mindy Douglas Adams will refer to the passage in Deuteronomy 30, when Moses shows the people the land they are about to enter and calls on them to care for it.
“I’ll talk about how we are called to care for creation and work toward a balance to allow all parts of creation to flourish,” she said.
Adams will also draw from the Broadway show “The Lion King,” which just had a month-long run at the Durham Performing Arts Center. She’ll note how the pride lands under King Mufasa were green and in balance, but after the villain Scar took over by evil means and with selfish motives, the land becomes black and the balance is lost.
“In our world,” Adams said, “we’re selfishly using the land to provide for our own comforts. As people of faith, we are called to bring it into balance.”
She said that individual choices can make a difference, but the biggest impact is when they join together across religions to do what God has called them to do — care for creation.
Other local churches who have signed up for the preach-in include Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham, United Church of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill and Hillsborough Presbyterian Church. To find out more information, visit www.ncipl.org.