From the Backcountry

North Greenwich Congregational Church

Pastor’s Weekly Update

April 20, 2018

 From the Backcountry …

“If I’d been born in space, I would desire to visit this beautiful planet.”    David Brown, astronaut.

The photographs of Earth from space remain the iconic images of our time.  The planet appears so peaceful and inviting … so bright and harmonious.  How difficult it is to believe that such a magical sphere could be home to so much suffering and destruction.  How difficult it is to believe that this picture of perfection could be so vulnerable and endangered.   As we pause this weekend to observe the 48th Earth Day, let us consider the ways we walk this good earth.  Instead of carefully measuring our steps, we tend to stomp with an entitled disrespect in every stride.  Let’s take a moment to remember the sacred dimensions of this planet and our dependency on its fragile resources.  We are a part of this earth... not the earth of us.   Our every step should bring a blessing upon this beautiful planet.

Sunday, April 22    Fourth Sunday of Easter   10:30 a.m.

Lectionary Readings:  Psalm 23; John 10:11-18

Text:  “I am the good shepherd, I know my own and my own know me.”  John 10:14

Sermon:  “Hook, Or By Crook”

Tease:   One of my most memorable experiences was visiting a Bedouin encampment on the Palestinian West Bank.  My stay included time in the fields with the shepherds and their flocks.  Once the sun was directly overhead, we guided the sheep to a small watering hole where a number of shepherds and flocks gathered for a time of refreshment.  What was truly amazing was the way in which the flocks intermingled with each other, with no markings to differentiate one group from another.  But, when it was time to go, each shepherd had their own distinct call and the flocks separated themselves and went peacefully on their way.  Each sheep knew the sound of his, or her own shepherd.   Needless to say, this lovely passage offers some welcomed guidance in cacophony and confusion of our own time.

WIDER MISSION -    Earth Day 2018    

Plastic Pollution

Sunday, April 22 is Earth Day, a global observance focusing on the stewardship of the planet.  This year, emphasis is being placed on the plastic pollution that is poisoning our land and oceans.  Every year, some 15-51 trillion pieces of discarded plastic find their way into our oceans.  It is estimated that 40% of the water surface of the planet is now covered with swirling “gyres” of plastic products - grocery store bags, food containers, coffee cups, drink bottles, straws, etc.  Obviously, this crisis is impacting the health of sea birds, turtles, seals, whales and other marine mammals that ingest, or get entangled in these materials.  Ultimately, our own health is impacted because seafood consumes large quantities of plastic’s harmful by-products.

Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to change human attitudes and practices about the use of plastic in our daily life.  If you haven’t done so already, take an inventory of all the plastic items that you use in the course of a day, or a week.  One thing is certain; this plastic never “goes away.”  The health of our environment will require us to make a serious effort in reducing the consumption of plastic on an hour-by-hour basis.

See You Sunday,


Road Rules:  “Yesterday, I was clever … so I decided to change the world.  Today, I am wise … so I am deciding to change myself.”   Rumi