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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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June 2, 2010

Summer is here!

©istockphoto.com/nodmitry 
Summer may officially arrive June 21. But for many of us, summer is that span of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Here’s a good reminder to care for ourselves and the planet during these months. The wisdom below comes from Josh Judd-Herzfeldt, administrator at my congregation, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chicago, in our weekly e-newsletter:
 
“As we become fully embraced by the warmth of summer, be sure to take time (whether you’re busy or not) to fully enjoy the beauty around you. Slow down, take a breath, pause, and enjoy all that creation has to offer. Sit in a park, do some gardening, climb a tree, stop and ‘smell the roses’ (or any other flower!), take off your shoes and feel the grass, sand or dirt — the earth — between your toes.

We take for granted all that this planet has to offer. There’s no better example of this than daily updates on how much oil is pumping into the Gulf of Mexico — threatening our planet, our wildlife and even our livelihood. And this is on top of concern over the effects of global climate change and other issues facing our planet. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by it all. It seems like nothing I can do will change anything. This is not true.

This summer, make an effort to do something, anything, no matter how small. Every little bit helps, and the more we, as a healthy, vibrant, thriving community of faith can model positive and life-sustaining behavior, the more these actions will catch on. Develop some simple habits:

• turn lights off after you leave the room;
• unplug appliances like toasters, microwaves, mixers, etc;
• plug TV’s, VCR’s, DVD players, video game consoles, computers, sound systems into surge protectors with a switch and turn it off when not in use;
• buy produce at local farmer’s markets;
• walk or bike instead of drive whenever possible;
• set the heat 2 degrees cooler and the AC 2 degrees warmer;
• hang clothes to dry instead of running the dryer.

Doing even one of these things will have an impact if we all start to do them. And once these habits are in place, they’ll be passed down and expanded upon by future generations. Take the time to see what you can do to help, and enjoy the summer!”

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