The Time is Now!

United Church Speaks, a regular submission to the Castlegar News

By Rosemary Manarin


What have you been procrastinating about? Now is the time, during the season of Lent, to reflect and contemplate about your life. The spiritual focus of reflection leads up to Easter, the season of re-birth. This year Easter is at the end of March and the beginning of spring, a season of new growth, renewed energy, new opportunities and new hope.

During our reflections it’s time to see what we can do in this new season coming, what we can do better, what we can commit to do that we did not do before. Bearing in mind that care of creation and eco-justice is at the centre of church work on climate change, we are called to act in ways that will nurture and protect our earth.

What have I been procrastinating on? In relation to environmental issues, I had been putting off checking the public bus schedule so I could begin using our local bus. It’s a small thing but it is the principal of cutting down on single car use. So I tried it out and plan to use the bus regularly, at least once a week, instead of driving my car.

There are myriad ways to be environmentally responsible but supporting the gardening culture in our valley is the most obvious. With the advent of spring it’s time to get excited about planting, whether you have your own garden or you’re helping someone.

Avid gardeners are past thumbing their seed catalogues and checking their seed inventory, they’re planning their vegetable plots, ready for the new growing season. A friend of mine who lives far in the north is currently in his cosy workshop rebuilding his window flower boxes, replacing rotting wood. He’s working through the first step to seeing the colourful flower blooms that will adorn his house this summer.

For those of you, who don’t have a garden; consider container planting. To me, tomatoes are the most rewarding of all vegetables to grow because the taste of home grown tomatoes is incomparable. Tomatoes, peppers and herbs are suitable for growing in pots. Are you prepared?

Buying from a local farm market or fruit stand is another thoughtful choice. Buying Fair Trade products like coffee or tea benefits our earth because most Fair Trade co-operatives employ diversified and sustainable farming methods.

Canning fresh vegetables and fruit yourself is a huge benefit of gardening and a way to eat healthy, local food all year round. Preserving vegetables in season allows you to take advantage of the volume available whether from your own garden or a local farmer’s so it’s economical.

Eat less beef. Cattle emit methane gas, which is a powerful greenhouse gas. Raising cattle is hugely land-based and is unsustainable. Cattle use large areas of land which often could be used for sustainable farming. Just cutting down on the number of servings of beef you eat in a week is a good way to commit to eating less beef.

This is the season to look ahead at ways of taking care of our Earth and ourselves, nurturing creation, as we believe God intended us to do.

So what are you procrastinating about? Now is the time to act. “Enlivened as the spirit moves to cleanse, awaken, and renew; I pray that justice, peace and truth may seed and grow in all I do.” -Exerpt from United Church Hymn book “More Voices United.”



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