Creation Care in our own backyard

Wes Crawford

Today’s CliffNotes was written by Worship Pastor Wes Crawford, with assistance from Danielle Pruitt and Kristie Hartwell

Dear Christ Church,

When we purchased the property at 112 Medina Street that Christ Church now calls home, we knew that we were stepping into a context with a particular history and its own host of stories to celebrate and stories to lament. We also knew that we were by no means the first church to engage in gospel ministry here, and so we knew that to faithfully proclaim the good news of Jesus in and from this place would entail taking the posture of learners, with a curiosity and respect for what came before us and the courage to honestly assess the current situation. One arena that we knew would be important to us was the faithful stewardship of the living things on the property—in other words, creation care.

In 2017, in consultation with A Rocha USA we had a Texas Master Naturalist assess our property, identifying every plant species (native species, introduced species, and invasive species) and giving us recommendations for developing a biological and programmatic landscape plan to help manage the property in a way that would not only be functional but also bear witness to the importance of stewarding God’s creation. The implementation and maintenance of this landscape plan has been a community project, from planting day in August 2018 to the present.

We want to highlight and celebrate two individuals in particular who have cared for our grounds. You may have noticed that the garden next to the basketball court is looking fantastic these days. Christ Church parishioner Lindsey Lin has been tending it along with her baby son Alex. With a background as a florist, Lindsey has planted the garden with a mixture of flowers and vegetables, and she also took the lead on our flowering cross, to which many of you contributed, on Easter Sunday. The garden has been tended by many parishioners in the past, including Matt Evans, Ben & Emily Johnson, and our youth group.

When the landscapers planted the trees along the middle of the north parking lot in 2018, they told us that it was reasonable to expect that only about 50% of them would survive, and that we’d need to replace the one that didn’t.  A huge part of why 100% of them have survived (!!!) is that Christ Church parishioner Madison Grant faithfully comes every week to drag the hose across the street and water them. Madison is a San Antonio native with a background as a track & field athlete, now in his 80s. You may have seen him on Sunday mornings picking up litter on the grounds.

We’re thankful for these and many other neighbors and parishioners who have faithfully and joyfully cultivated and tended life on our grounds! I’ll leave you with this quotation from NT Wright:

We are assured, by the words of Paul [in 1 Corinthians 15:58] and by Jesus’ resurrection as the launch of that new creation, that the work we do is not in vain. That says it all. That is the mandate we need for every act of justice and mercy, every program of ecology, every effort to reflect God’s wise stewardly image into his creation. In the new creation, the ancient human mandate to look after the garden is dramatically reaffirmed… The resurrection of Jesus is the reaffirmation of the goodness of creation, and the gift of the Spirit is there to make us the fully human beings we were supposed to be, precisely so that we can fulfill that mandate at last. What are we waiting for? Jesus is coming. Let’s go and plant those trees.

—N.T. Wright, in his article Jesus Is Coming — Plant a Tree

Peace,

Wes Crawford