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There are many reasons why Circlewood's current mission statement, "To empower followers of Jesus to care for the earth in ways that deepen their faith and cultivate God's comprehensive shalom," resonates with me. How I grew up is one of those. 


I had a dad who loved nature, not just abstractly, but specifically and by name. He knew every mountain in the Cascades, from every angle, I believe. He could name each tree that grew on those mountains. If his kids didn't know what columbine or lupine was, it sure wasn't because we were untaught. Dad's love for creation showed in his recognition of its specificity. 


He loved the land he lived on. Both for the sake of frugality and the sake of our garden, he buried our food waste out back, consistently and persistently, in spite of neighborhood dogs who dug it up consistently and persistently, and in spite of the stench his family complained of when it was unearthed.


God, also, loves what he has made, specifically and by name. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Not one sparrow falls to the ground outside his care. 


That's part of what I value about Circlewood's mission—helping people see and love their place on earth specifically enough to care for it as it needs to be cared for, concretely and practically. 


Recently, friends and I were brainstorming applications after attending a three-session class James presented at Covenant Shores. It was energizing to plan concrete steps we could take to bring greater health to others, ourselves and the world. My dad would be pleased.

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