Ways to Care For Creation Topic at Peace It
Youth from across Canada also have chance to
hear Olympic athlete Cindy Klassen reflect on faith and sports
By Aaron Epp
If the planet is going to be saved, Christians need to get excited about being
the stewards of creation. That was the message shared by Laura Marie Piotrowicz
at the March 7-9 Peace-It-Together conference at Canadian Mennonite University
(CMU) in Winnipeg.
|Laura Marie Piotrowicz speaks at the March 7-9 CMU
Peace-It-Together youth conference.
The theme for the weekend was “My World, God’s World: Hurts and Healing in
During her first speech, titled “God Called This Good? Ugliness and
Redemption,” Piotrowicz, an Anglican priest from Hamilton, Ont., encouraged the
crowd of 100 students from across Canada to picture something beautiful and ask:
“Is that experience sacred, perfect, and pleasing to God? Of course it is.”
She said that one of the most beautiful places she has ever visited is Mount
“It was so stunningly beautiful,” she said. “I couldn’t help but recognize
the presence of God there.”
She went on to describe creation as a gift Christians need to look after
because, unlike a broken Christmas present, it can’t be returned or replaced.
“We’ve only got this one gift, so we need to look after it,” Piotrowicz said.
Quoting from Isaiah 24, which speaks about the earth drying up and withering
because its inhabitants have transgressed laws, violated statutes and “broken
the everlasting covenant,” Piotrowicz said that creation is being judged in the
passage—but “not as a punishment by God, but as a result of the actions [that
have] taken place.”
The world is a different place today, but we still face many of the same
problems, she added, noting that people are still being judged and creation is
Noting that use of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests are two things
people do to harm the environment, she went on to say that God still loves
people, despite their wasteful ways.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean God is too happy about it,” she said.“But it
doesn’t mean God’s love and respect isn’t there, either. We’re humans—we make
mistakes. We need to make mistakes with creation before we can heal the hurt.”
Piotrowicz went on to talk about the ways creation provides for humans, and
the way it heals itself—things that many of us in the affluent West have
forgotten about. Dandelions are one example, she said, noting that while many
regard them as little more than a pesky weed, their leaves can be used to make
salad, the roots can be used to make coffee and they are high in antioxidants,
which prevent cancer.
“Nature has a way of looking out for us and healing us,” she stated.
Sometimes the thing we think is garbage “actually is there to help us.”
Water is another thing we take for granted. The hydrological cycle is “a
miraculous thing,” and yet we abuse it by pouring anything we want down the
drain, she said.
“Think of the last time you poured something down the drain. Imagine if that
came out of the baptismal font. Can you be spiritually cleaned by dirty water?
Would you want to be?”
Creation is a gift from God, she reiterated, adding that people need to find
a balance between consumption and care for the environment.
“What needs to be changed, and how are we going to change it?” Piotrowicz
asked, before suggesting it’s up to everyone to do their part. She challenged
the students with a quote from Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the
Piotrowicz also spoke on the topics “Stop that Racket! Creation is Groaning,”
and “Big Creation, Little Me—What Can One Person Do?”
“I can save a whale,” she said, “but I can’t save all the whales,” she said
during her final presentation. Together, however, people can make a difference.
“One person might not be able to change everything . . . but six billion of us
A special highlight of the conference was a visit by Olympic athlete Cindy
Klassen, who spoke about the role faith plays in her life.
Click here to read
about her presentation.
For Kaylie Dyck of the Leamington, Ont., United Mennonite Church, “the
weekend made me think more about creation care issues. Laura brought in
different points of view to get her point across, and she presented it in a way
that we could understand.”
Tamara Dietrich of the Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C. agreed,
adding the topics Piotrowicz spoke about are vital because “peace is a part of
how God created the world, so I think it’s important that we talk about creation
and how we relate to it.”
Posted March 15, 2008.
For more information contact CMU Communications Director, 500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3P 2N2, telephone: 204-487-3300 ext. 630, fax: 204-889-1694, (www.cmu.ca)