July 27, 2014

Greetings brothers and sisters,

We are in the middle of our summer season, and it’s been such a beautiful one. I am 
so very thankful that God shares this wonderful and gorgeous creation with us. In 
Southern California, I am thankful for the glorious sunsets, the crisp breeze, and the 
brilliant blue sky. In the days that I spent in Tsaile, Arizona, on the Navajo 
Reservation; I was thankful for the amazing night sky, the rolling thunderstorms, the 
tall mesas, and rich, red-clay earth. And yet, I will admit some deep trepidation as I 
think about our own imprint on all of this beautiful space. For in Genesis 2:15, we 
read that we are God’s caretakers of this place, not its mere inhabitants: “The Lord 
God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."

As God’s children one and all, we are compelled to care for one another and all of 
God’s “green” creation, too. So, with that in mind, I ask: How are we doing this as 
individuals, as neighborhoods, as communities? How could we be doing better, and 
what are the ways to do that? Where are we having this conversation in our church 
family and in our communities?

I share a traditional Navajo Prayer that simply reminds me and calls me to reflect on 
the beauty of God’s creation. Perhaps, it could help us all to see ways that we can 
protect, conserve and appreciate even more the beauty before us all.

Traditional Navajo Prayer
Before us it is blessed, behind us it is blessed,
below us it is blessed, above us it is blessed,
around us it is blessed as we set out with Christ.

Our speech is blessed as we set out for God. 
With beauty before us, with beauty behind us,
with beauty below us, with beauty above us,
with beauty around us, we set out for a holy place indeed.

I am grateful for God’s creation, and as we set out together on and for God’s holy 
place, I pray that we may find ways to continue and improve our care for it. 

Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Melinda