The gift of opportunity abounds

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Faith Matters is a column written by the social concerns committee of the United Churches of Lycoming County. The monthly feature will include local faith-based comment on issues facing us today. Opinions expressed in the columns are those of the writers and the social concerns committee, not necessarily the Sun-Gazette.)

When I first was asked to contribute to the Faith Matters column, I felt a twinge of hesitation. This would be one more thing to do. Couldn’t someone else do it? I stopped. The choice was mine. The opportunity afforded me to use my mind, the resources God has given me to share.

Each new day is a gift from God, an opportunity for each one of us. We may choose many experiences or just a few amid our routines, inside or out, for ourselves and for others. How and what we do with our time, talents and treasures is measured only by the Almighty. Facing a challenge or volunteering gives us the opportunity to trust God and feel His presence. We use these experiences to accept others, share blessings from above, lovingly disciple one another, forgive a friend; or perhaps spread joy, kindness, hope and love through our faith.

We are each a voice, called to care. Through repurposing our actions, our environment and that of others living on planet earth, we will be healthier and better protected, according to the Rev. Dr. Ben Guess.

By using our God-given powers to organize, listen and name that which is most dear; by praying, lifting up the possible, finding hope and courage to go beyond our comfort zones and becoming faithful stewards of God’s creation, we can join together for a just and sustainable environment within our distinct and diverse faith communities.

We often pray giving thanks, to our most gracious God, for the beauty of the earth, sky and sea; for the richness of mountains, plains and rivers; for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers. We praise you for these good gifts and pray that we may continue to grow in our grateful enjoyment of your abundant creation, to the honor and glory of your name, now and forever. (1549-Book of Common Prayer)

We also are able to give back to nature on a daily basis. We are relatives of this earth and need to take every opportunity to protect habitat, for the more we save, the less we take. It is our gift to God.

Be thankful for every day of life – for feet to walk amidst the trees, for hands to touch the flowers, for the sense of smell to breath in nature, for minds to think about and appreciate the magic of everyday miracles, for spirits to swell in joy. (Marian W. Edelman.)

For an opportunity to reduce your congregation’s energy usage, join the United Churches-sponsored workshop at 3 or 6:30 p.m. May 29 at New Covenant United Church of Christ, 202 E. Third St. in Williamsport. The gathering, titled “It’$ all about $teward$hip $aving$,” will be conducted by PA Interfaith Power and Light.”

– Landers is a member of the United Churches Christian Social Concerns Committee, New Covenant United Church of Christ and Penn Central Conference United Church of Christ Green Justice Team.