DevotionalNewsMy Creation Justice Covenant by Merrilee Jacobson, March 26, 2023

During Lent, our focus is Creation Justice.  The Creation Justice 101 educational series focused on what we have done as a church and the possibilities of what we could do in the future to keep contributing to the wellbeing of our planet. We were invited to write our own creation justice covenants which will inform a draft congregational creation justice covenant for CUCC’s consideration.

During worship, several CUCC members will share their creation justice covenant for our inspiration.  View Merrilee Jacobson’s Creation Justice statement here or read it below.

 Creation Justice Statement

Merrilee Jacobson

One of the advantages of getting older is that you can turn around and review the path your life has taken. Often you notice a person, event or general zeitgeist of a particular decade that shaped you or helped you select a new direction when the path diverged.

One of the advantages of being a member of Community UCC is that people challenge you to do just that – examine your path and the beliefs that keep you on it and decide if you should hold fast to those beliefs or set them aside for a worldview that’s a better fit with the direction you want the rest of your life to go. And so here I am, reading aloud my first creation justice belief statement.

You may have noticed that I used the word “zeitgeist” earlier, and I’m happy to honor my German heritage in that way. My mother’s grandparents emigrated from Germany in the late 1800s, and I am a true daughter of that “waste not, want not” culture. Grandpa Karl never understood the concept of a vacation, choosing to use that time painting the house or making needed repairs rather than frivolously lying on a beach. I sometimes think of this as the “work is life and life is work and then you die” approach to existence, but Grandpa did lighten up in his retirement years. Grandpa’s brother, my Great Uncle Clarence, washed and stored margarine tubs his whole life, using them to file away a large assortment of string, nails, screws and other hardware that was carefully used or shared with friends and relatives.

When the 1970s rolled around, and both the EPA and Earth Day came into being, my mother took the best part of her frugal German heritage and started on the path of becoming a social justice warrior. We were early adopters of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra. Mom took it a step further in the 1980s by explaining that there was no place called “away” that thoughtlessly purchased items went to live when we tired of them. Throwing things “away” was not a well-regarded option at our house. In the 1990s, Mom did her best to banish single-use plastics from her life, and to this day I hide the plastic wrap to make it the last option of food storage.

Ken also grew up with parents who were careful about what they choose to buy – shaped by living through the Depression in the harsh climate of northern Minnesota. So the Jacobson’s have found it easy and meaningful to compost, recycle and only buy items that are truly needed. (There are some exceptions – talk to me about Ken’s sailboat. But I digress.)

I mentioned earlier that being a member of CUCC can challenge everything you thought you knew about where life was taking you. In the past few years, I’ve enlarged my understanding of how my every action impacts this planet we call home. As the poster says, there is no Plan-et B, and I hear the climate timebomb ticking louder and louder. In both my personal life and as chair of the Property Ministry, I’m trying to do a better job of looking at small and large purchases in light of their ultimate impact on the planet. It’s not easy, and the decision-making process sometimes takes me down paths I hadn’t anticipated, but it’s essential. Thank you for being a community of believers who has helped me to jog over to a greener, more sustainable path.