Many of our churches purchase coffee and chocolate using “fair trade” products. This enables farmers to get a living wage for their crops. Here is a new way to help farmers in time for Palm Sunday. For years farmers have been harvesting palms for Palm Sunday celebrations in America in rain forests in tropical countries. Most of the time they over harvest the palms and there is much waste. The worst part of this over-harvesting is that it is threatening the health of the rainforests. The University of Minnesota has an “Eco-Palm” program in conjunction with palm farmers in Guatemala and Mexico. They are selling palms at a fair market price and the palms are harvested in a careful way so as not to hurt the rainforests. For more information contact: www.ecopalms.org or call 612-624-7418. The deadline to order palms by mail is March 2nd or March 9th for credit card orders.
Stewardship of the earth is an important part of living out our faith as brothers and sisters on the same planet. There are many ways we can curb consumption and make the best use of our natural resources. Green is the color of life and as Christians we can encourage life by protecting our world. What can you do to make your church more environmentally responsible? Recycling, curbing the use of paper products, using environmentally safe cleaning products, putting insulation around doors and windows are just some ways churches can make a difference.
Bishop Peggy A. Johnson