Our theory of "environmental stewardship" is very detached from practice. The level of engagement of Christians and churches in caregiving-related causes is still very low. If the mission of the Church derives from the mission of God, it should include the whole creation.
How about the next time you sit down at the table with fresh and healthy food, speak to God - in the light of Psalm 116: 12, "Lord, thank you for the fruit of the earth that comes to our table. What can we do to always have them in our home and how can we better share what we have with others? " The more grateful we are, the more free we will be for service and for mission.
A very common mistake is to stop doing something good for people and the environment because we think it is small - or small in the face of a more complex problem. It even seems that we forget what James says in his letter: "He that knows to do good, and doesn't do it, sins" (4:17). A group of Christians, members of local churches in Curitiba and region, linked to the Evangelical Network Paranaense de Acción Social, decided to take action! They believe that through simple attitudes and actions we can contribute to the care of creation and that education is done with action and not just with "talking".
Considering that every day about 200,000 tons of garbage are collected in the homes of Brazilians - more than half is organic waste that goes to landfill or spreads through the still existing garbage dumps in the country - this small group of Christians thought that churches could be replicating agents of good practices in the areas of composting and growing vegetables without pesticides in small spaces. The action consists of transforming residues such as barks, stalks, leaves, scraps of fruit and vegetables discarded from our homes and churches into fertiliser that will serve as a base for growing vegetables, vegetables and teas for family and community consumption.
The Sowing in Good Land project was born, a simple action that can transform "idle nooks" in the churches into food gardens. The production can be shared with members and neighbours, serving as inspiration for the community. Maybe one day there will be a network of churches that have what to "talk" and what to "show" in the matter of responsible management of organic waste and urban agriculture.
The initiative is in the phase of pilot project in two churches, one in Curitiba and another in Colombo. New connections are already happening with neighbors - people who have never approached the "temple" approached the "backyard" to know "what is this church 's story turn trash into compost to make garden ...".
The earth is good and the seed is planted! As "realistic hopefuls" we want to see more and more communities of faith in this country developing practical actions to care for people and the environment - this will give coherence to our discourse that the earth and those who inhabit it belong to the Lord and are The targets of his love and his redemption.
• Bebeto Araújo is a forest engineer, pastor and member of the Evangelical Alliance in Brazil.