Recently, on a beautiful, sunny afternoon the Holy Spirit Environmental Group took to the beach.
They gathered at Bellambi beach, gloves, bags and litter pickers in hand to remove as much litter as they could find.
The afternoon began with a short liturgy in the fresh air to thank God for the beauty of the earth and to show a willingness to help with improving the environment.
The group were pleased to find the beach was not as bad as anticipated, but the foot path that runs along Bellambi Creek was another story. Old wetsuits, bicycle tyres and a wheel, and even half a car set were removed and disposed of.
An enjoyable and worthwhile afternoon was had by all.
We would like to pay our respect and acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Land on which we meet, and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future. We would also like to extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people present here today.
We gather today to embrace the beautiful landscape in which we have the privilege to learn. Today we have an opportunity to give something back to this land and the flora and fauna within it.
In Laudato Si, Pope Francis says
Human beings too are creatures of this world, enjoying a right to life and happiness, and endowed with unique dignity. So we cannot fail to consider the effects on people’s lives of environmental deterioration, current models of development and the throwaway culture.
Naturalist David Attenborough says of our world:
“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty, the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”
Sadly many people are not as caring of our planet as they should be. All around we see litter, deforestation, pollution and poverty. But every small action has an effect.
The starfish story:
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…” I made a difference for that one.”
Today we hope to make a small difference.
Let us pray. Maker of all things, Creator of heaven and earth, we thank you for the wonder and beauty of nature. May we be ever vigilant and responsible with the world that you have given us, keeping mindful not only that we are your stewards, but also that your creation is a gift for all generations. Amen