A Rocha & Tending Creation by Patrice Engels of Kelowna Vineyard

Andy Wood, Nov 7, 2017, 3:32 PM

A word from Patrice Engels of the Kelowna Vineyard who is spending a year serving with A Rocha on their heritage property and farm in South Surrey, BC:
Patrice shares: 

"At A Rocha I see the outworking of a holistic Christianity — a faith that seeps into every aspect of life on earth. In my time here, I've learned that loving people demands that we also care for the places that sustain them: a simple, apparently obvious concept, lost in our fragmented society where food just comes from the grocery store. God has given us the special role of "tending and keeping" his irreplaceably beautiful earth. He made, and loves, the cliff swallows and western toads, the multitude of fungi and the trailing blackberry. We are called to also love them, not because they serve us in some way (and they do!), but because they are intrinsically valuable as God's beloved creation — in the same way we are.
Geographical locations and their histories, the natural spaces encircling us and sustaining us, and the non-human creatures and flora with which we share these spaces are all part of this beautiful system that God has made, and we can't in any true way separate ourselves from the "environment" we live in and its' thriving, or failure to thrive. In a Christian culture that focuses heavily on a "personal relationship" with God, including your neighbour in the idea of shalom is one thing, but widening it further to the idea that we human beings are part of creation itself is both humbling and restorative. The ideas of community, reliance, and mutually beneficial relationships put humans and the environment not at odds, as if the earth would be better off without us as some environmental groups would have us believe, but in a place of honour, stewardship, and responsibility. I've found there to be abundant life and alignment in this broader understanding of God's "shalom". "
What is A Rocha?

"We work in conservation because we believe certain things about God and the world. In the words of John Wesley, we have found that "faith in Jesus Christ [leads] us beyond an exclusive concern for the well-being of other human beings to the broader concern for the well-being of the birds in our backyard, the fish in our rivers and every living creature on the face of the earth." 

 For more info on A Rocha and about Creation Care, go to:www.arocha.ca/
 Contact Patrice at: [Please enable JavaScript to see this content]