A Message from the Green Team
The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, but this year will be different because of the coronavirus and efforts to keep all of us safe. Still, we have much to be thankful for! God has created for us a world full of beauty, and asks us to be responsible in how we live and care for it. He invites us to reach out to those who may not have enough food, who are living with the after effects of hurricanes, and who may be alone in this world affected by the pandemic.
We may not celebrate in big groups, so it may be necessary to scale down our food purchases. A surprising amount of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions – as much as 13%* - are caused by the production and transportation of food. This is because transportation and fertilizers often rely on fossil fuels. A good way to reduce carbon emissions, then, would be to buy locally grown organic foods.
Cleanup is one of the big projects after a nice Thanksgiving dinner, so try to be mindful of how much water you are using when you wash up the dishes. Whisper a prayer for those who do not have enough water to drink and keep clean.
November introduces the frantic period when we try to prepare for Christmas. Common activities include shopping, decorating, and accumulating. This year, perhaps you could consider making some of your Christmas gifts from materials you have at home. Plug into the goal of reusing and repurposing what we already have rather than acquiring more. Consider the needs of the poor, and make a charitable gift to support their basic needs.
Sometimes during the gray-skied days of November and December, we can feel gloomy. We might be tempted to turn on more lights in the house which may increase energy consumption. If you haven’t already done it, you could install lighting that uses less energy, and to practice the habit of turning off lights when no one is in the room.
Back in October, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee presented a retreat called “Gift, Gratitude and Joy” focused on the Season of Creation. One presentation was led by a young man named Joe Meyer who is a high school science teacher. His 40-minute session was called, “Creation: Simplicity and Joy.” Click on the link and spend a little time in a simple and thoughtful meditation.
Finally, in this time of seasonal and global anxiety, think about this prayer of thanksgiving from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!
The Green Team