Saturday, April 20

4-20By Candy Brayton of Independence, Missouri, USA

The earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of the earth to be agents unto themselves.

—Doctrine and Covenants 101:2f, adapted

“Reduce-Reuse-Recycle” was the caption on a thermal mug I brought home from college. Mom loved it, and I ended up buying one for her. In the years after, she would joke about how she was “green” before it became trendy.

Mom devoted herself to teaching children about Jesus. Her chosen medium was handicrafts, using repurposed materials—one person’s trash was Mom’s treasure. I remember washing hundreds of plastic Communion cups and then burning holes in the bottoms, with a hot roofing nail. Colored with permanent markers and strung on scrap yarn that she had saved, the children created unique wind chimes. The repurposed cups became a reminder of the story of the Last Supper, and the sacrament of Communion.

Mom would use scrap felt and fabric to create flannel-graph stories and worship centers. Partly burnt wooden matches became crosses to hang on a wall. Coffee cans, cigar boxes, potato chip cans, rolled oats box cylinders, concentrated juice cans, egg cartons, and more—were all fair game.

In truth, Mom was “green” by necessity. Church school, vacation Bible school, and camp budgets were always tight. She would search for ideas and supplies while contributing modest dollars from her own funds. Her passionate prayers for ministry to the children always led her to needed supplies.

Mom learned through trial and error, without the benefit of “how to” books. Many of our congregations today have many resources available to us that Mom didn’t have. Take the time and care to utilize “garbage gems.” Recycling and repurposing materials is a fun way to teach children of all ages the stories of Jesus’ love. Recycling connects us to two Enduring Principles: Sacredness of Creation and Responsible Choices. God bless you in your generous ministry.

Prayer for Peace
Creator God, we know a shortage of resources often causes disputes. May we be good stewards of all we use as our discipleship reflects the peace and justice of Christ.

Spiritual Practice: Making Responsible Choices
Prayerfully seek God’s guidance in your choices. Discernment invites us to orient our lives toward God and God’s vision for us and creation. Begin by reviewing the responsibilities and opportunities in the day before you. Take these choices into prayer, asking God for wisdom and insight about what matters most. Be aware of images, thoughts, names, or actions that come to you. Ask for a blessing to live this day responsibly and compassionately in the spirit of Christ.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will leave a small footprint on the Earth, which will have a large, positive impact on the environment.

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