All Saints Lutheran Church (ASLC) in Bowie, Maryland is a small, active congregation founded in 1970. We strive to live out Christ’s unconditional love and radical hospitality in our worship in our lives together, and in our service to the world. Located at the northern end of the Patuxent River watershed, ASLC hosts a diverse, thriving flora and fauna, supporting the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. All Saints Lutheran congregation stewards three small plots totaling 9+ acres – mostly wooded – and is committed to caring for and nurturing this dynamic piece of “paradise”. The congregation started a “Care for Creation” program in 2009 (then called Green Team), which carries out many initiatives, including:
- Maintaining native plant rain gardens to use roof run-off, and provide habitat for flora and fauna;
- Planting butterfly waystations and “pollinator towers” with native plants;
- Expanding plantings in our 15,000 sq. ft. Storm Water Detention Basin, to biologically diversify it;
- Developing a composting program to reuse biodegradable kitchen and lawn and leaf waste, rescue food, and provide compost for gardening;
- Setting up beehives and native pollinator nesting places, as well as future bird houses and bat houses
- Developing and maintaining a serenity nature trail through the undeveloped 5-acre North woods -- for reflection and contemplation, and
- Responsibly managing the overpopulated white-tail deer herds, by bow and arrow, through Hunting for Charity, and providing venison to local Food Pantries.
Also, since 2017, All Saints has begun a journey to help us recognize our service actions as consistent with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and help build understanding about the SDGs among youth and adults ins our and other faith communities (see http://globalgoalscalling.net/ ) in our region, and ultimately, nationally and internationally.
While the All Saints Care for Creation program serves to take care of the church property, it also strives to be a learning opportunity, helping the whole community to become better stewards of the gifts of Creation. Fellowship is built when we meet in God’s Name to support each other to do His work, nurturing each other and the Gift of Creation. We are also exploring the educational, multi-generational, community engagement and social justice angles and potential (e.g., clean water, clean energy, green spaces for healing) in the spirit of caring for Creation, writ large. Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake is a valued associate in this quest.
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