Earlier this year, Ignite Youth from the Parish of Dalby gathered with The Rev’d David Browne and The Rev’d Zoe Browne for the second time to clear their local weir of rubbish before spending time together learning about caring for God’s Creation and the Biblical principle of stewardship. When anglican focus saw what they had achieved on Facebook, The Rev’d Zoe and Ignite Youth were asked to share their experience and insights with readers.
Charlotte Kelly – Year 11 student and St John’s, Dalby parishioner
Stewardship of Creation is an important social teaching to nurture in young people because it creates a level of respect between person and environment. It embeds the idea of us, as young people, being the caretakers and the leaders of God’s Creation as His children.
‘Clear the Weir’ activates our God-given stewardship role by involving young Christians in physically caring for their environment. This allows us to see, first-hand, the importance of our role and the impact we have and the difference we can make as part of God’s Creation.
My family all participate in caring for God’s Creation. My mum, as a veterinarian, is responsible for caring for and nurturing animals. My dad as a ‘farmer’, grows plants and raises animals. And, my brother is currently studying at university so he can make a bigger impact to improving our world.
In our household we all do our part in reducing the use of harmful substances, such as not using single-use plastics that would inevitably end up somewhere – like the Weir.
Charlie Salter – Year 12 student and St John’s, Dalby parishioner
I believe it is so important for us as young people to take care of God’s Creation because we are the next generation. Without us standing up and taking action to care for God’s Creation, the generations that follow us won’t be able to experience it in its true and full glory.
I think that days such as ‘Clear the Weir’ show our commitment to care for God’s Creation and us taking action to preserve it for the future. It’s a part of caring for his Creation to ensure that we get to experience the power of it in our lifetime, as well as so our children get the same opportunity.
Through our farming operations, our family have been utilising sustainable and regenerative farming techniques to improve and preserve the quality farming country God has given us to work with. We have also been involved with a project that aims at replenishing soil carbon levels through planting additional trees, consequently improving the overall health and water-holding capacity of the soil, as well as reducing carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere.
Hadassah Fasi – Year 10 student and St John’s, Dalby parishioner
Stewardship of creation is important as it shows our connection to God and how we love and care about him.
Activities like ‘Clear the Weir’ show stewardship as we take responsibility in keeping safe what God has given to us.
With my family, we keep our home and the areas surrounding it as clean as we can!
The Rev’d Zoe Browne – mother and St John’s, Dalby Assistant Priest (Honorary)
I think that we too often fall into the trap of thinking that young people are only the future of our community. This is short-sighted, because it fails to recognise how they can contribute now to caring for God’s Creation. Time and time again, I am amazed at my five-year-old son Micah’s ability to be a leader to me – his awe and joy for discovery keep me grounded in the beauty and wonder of God’s world.
By recognising that young people can care for Creation now, we also help to shape them in their leadership and stewardship for when they are of an age to nurture even younger minds than their own. They need to learn about the importance of caring for God’s Creation, so they can share it with others.
Activities like ‘Clear the Weir’ are a great example of faith-in-action. They bring alive God’s Word to be good stewards through a practical activity; they have an immediate benefit for our local surroundings; and, they encourage others to follow this example!
With two young children, we try to encourage our boys to care for Creation in a number of ways – we divert grey water onto grassed areas to replenish the soil (so important, particularly with water restrictions!) and we minimise food waste by sharing scraps with chickens. Micah is also in charge of our family’s recycling efforts (the incentive is that he gets to keep the money from the 10c recycling program!).Jump to next article