Simpler living ministry:welcome!


My name is Grace van Thillo and I’m a member of St. Paul’s Simpler Living Ministry, assisting the committee by gathering creation care and eco-justice resources that we can put into prayer and practice across our St. Paul’s community, home and city. Our group met initially in response to last year’s study of Michael Schut’s book, Simpler Living, Compassionate Life. We’re striving to follow Christ’s call to live more simply, and to deal with environmental degradation and rampant consumerism through the daily choices we make.

For me personally that means looking at time, talent and money differently; and realizing that social justice is completely intertwined with economic and ecological justice. During the 35 years I worked with children, families and educators, we connected many ecology activities with social science and moral/ethical development; and now thanks to finding God’s goodness with St. Paul’s community, I try to listen with my heart and as the CA Diocese Environment Commission suggests: “The way each person looks at the world and makes daily choices determines how we as a whole affect the earth.”

Although we drive a distance to reach St. Paul’s and our family, the other days of the week we drive very little. Every two weeks my neighbor and I share a Community Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) basket of organic fruits and vegetables grown nearby. We’re eating less meat and only buy the eggs of organically-raised free-range hens. The eggs cost more; so we eat fewer of them! We’re also saving water and energy at home, and praying for our global leaders’ wisdom at the present Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change.

At last summer’s General Convention, The Episcopal Church affirmed a resolution to become a signatory of the Genesis Covenant, “an expression of the unity of the world’s religious communities facing a shared crisis.” The church is making a public commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from every facility it maintains by a minimum of 50% within ten years.

I hope you will join us in this effort. Our Simpler Living Ministry welcomes you, and you can check out the ministry. We hope to see or hear from you soon!

Sincerely, Grace

TIme for a new year’s resolution? Look for the Simpler Living table after Sunday services!

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