Welcome to FBC’s Earthworks: The Psalm 8 Collective. First Baptist has embraced a model of creation care based on the words of Psalm 8: “O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!…I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers.” The Psalmist reminds us of the beauty of God’s creation and our role to be stewards of it. To that end, we have created a six-team collective. Here we highlight the different teams. Pray and consider how God might be inviting you to participate in the shared work of Psalm 8! To join one or more teams, click the team’s link to sign up on the form on the team page, or contact the church office.
Given the fact that we start with Psalm 8, a song of worship, designed to be sung in the Temple, thanking God for the blessings of earth and land, it’s appropriate that Team Yellow helps us Worship! In the songs that we sing and the Scriptures we read, worship teaches us to care for creation. We are thinking big: not only anthems, hymns, and sermons that speak of creation care, but also considering how our church grounds could be made to inspire worship—perhaps with special outdoor worship services including a “blessing of the animals” service. Other churches have integrated what they call a liturgical “Season of Creation” (the four Sundays in September prior to St. Francis of Assisi Day, October 4th.)
The Scholars, or Team Purple, include those who engage with creation care through scholarship: intellectual, theological understandings of creation care. Some might be interested in hearing and understanding the philosophical and intellectual ideas of creation care, including land sustainability, use of chemicals and pollution, species protection, global racism and the impact on the Global South, and climate change. This group may bring in speakers, panels, discussion groups, or read books or view movies for discussion.
Team Green includes folks we might call the “Re-sourcers.” Simple changes in the way we live can make a big difference: “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle”; “Be green to save green.” Changing light bulbs, windows, and switching to alternative energy and energy-saving practices are less expensive AND better for the environment. Churches across the country are making these changes as a key component to caring for God’s creation. Team Green is interested in working to make these practical changes at church, and to help people make them at home. Recycling efforts, work days or training events, in-home energy audits, and hosting outside energy consultants to reduce the carbon footprint of the church…these are all ideas that Team Green is exploring.
The food we eat and the water we drink—these are the Sustenance concerns of Team Orange. Team Orange considers the ways that we care for our natural resources, and advocates for natural/organic/local food. They support public health professionals, water conservationists, and other advocates. Often, they’re simply label readers, watching closely what’s in their food or that of their family. The team may cook a meal together, learn about waste-reducing cooking and food preservation techniques, share recipes, or bring in speakers to teach us about where our food comes from. In non-pandemic times, they may partner with the Presbyterians up the street to care for our shared food pantry garden.
The folks on Team Blue, the Nature Lovers, want to do more than save the environment for theoretical reasons. They want to save it because of their passion for being in nature. Camping. Hiking. Bike rides. Backpacking. Mountain-climbing. Trail running. Stream or park clean-up. Birdwatching. Nature photography. Fishing and hunting. Some Blue Team goals include:
- helping FBC members to experience God’s awesome and majestic creation through events and activities in nature. “O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1)
- providing a variety of events and activities so that all FBC members, regardless of experience, fitness, and gear, can find an event/activity they can access and enjoy.
- Sharing our experiences in God’s creation with the whole congregation (through photo, videos, storytelling, etc.)
Team Red are the folks inspired by the prophet Habakkuk. In 2:17, he writes, “For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you; the destruction of the animals will terrify you—because of human bloodshed and violence to the earth, to cities and all who live in them.” Out of the prophetic tradition of Habakkuk and other prophets who have cried out for justice on behalf of the earth, Team Red, the Advocates, involve themselves in direct action for the benefit of a healthy environment for all. In the vein of the prophetic advocates of old, their activities may include letter-writing campaigns, organizing of petitions, public appearances, or even nonviolent protests.