You may have caught on that I'm a bit of an amateur birdwatcher (remember my "more bird" sermon?). But it's not just me; Incarnation is a church that delights in, wonders at, and cares for God's creation. We even have an outreach priority called "Creation and Beauty":
We value creation, craftsmanship, and creativity, seeing them as true expressions of God’s nature in the world, worthy of our protection and investment. We recognize the interest in gardening/urban farming, creation care, and the arts among many in our congregation.
So when I learned about John Stott Memorial Birding Day, I was over the moon. (I *may* have even typed the event in all caps in our staff meeting agenda.) A day to wonder at the birds God created and remember a prolific Anglican theologian? Yes please! This day also happens to fall just before Rogation Sunday, a traditional time of asking God's blessing and care over nature (read more). It's a wonderful opportunity for our church to notice, care for, and learn from creation.
How will we observe May 8?
Join us for a hike at Sky Meadows State Park on Saturday, May 8, at 10am. Bring binoculars, a field guide, or simply listening ears to enjoy the birds along the way. (This is also our farewell hike for Abbie, who is moving to NYC this summer, so please join to say farewell!) Questions? Email Jenni: firstname.lastname@example.org
Snap photos or sketch the birds you observe wherever you are -- even just out your window! Tag us on social media (@incarnationanglican) and use the hashtag #johnstottbirding. Don't have a social media account? Send to us; we'd love to post your bird pics!
Involve kids in the wonder of birds! Read Josie's wonderful Wild Wonder post about birdsong and try to identify the birds you hear. Or try sketching birds from paintings, field guides, or real life. Bring kids' bird illustrations on Sunday, May 9, for display on the fence!
Use this wonderful guide for a simple retreat of prayer, scripture, and contemplation that takes its cue from the birds and from John Stott's bookThe Birds our Teachers.
Noticing the birds may seem a small thing in a world full of so many needs. But slowing down to notice God's creation fosters rest and compassion, helping us to better love God, our neighbors, and the earth. Jesus himself invited us to "consider the birds" (Matt 6:26) and May 8 is an opportunity to do just that. Please join us!
I'll leave you with this video of a fish eagle's call, Liz's favorite and a mainstay of the South African bush. What birds are meaningful to you?
Considering the birds,