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British Columbia Churches Pursue Creation Care


A small sign points the way down a country road to a farm tucked away in Surrey, British Columbia. The farm is called A Rocha. It’s one of 19 sites worldwide for an international Christian conservation organization, which began in Portugal and whose name means “the Rock” in Portuguese. The farm has welcomed and inspired many Christian Reformed folks.

Cindy Verbeek, a member of Houston (B.C.) CRC, is A Rocha’s church and community liaison.

Verbeek’s church has committed to serving fair trade shade-grown coffee and encourages programs like the “Idle Free BC” campaign, which is aimed at reducing wasteful vehicle idling. The church’s GEMS club for girls also developed its own creation care unit.

Verbeek encourages other churches in her classis (regional group of churches) to form Creation Awareness or Stewardship groups. “Caring for creation is an integral part of our Reformed understanding of our calling in this world,” said Verbeek. “This is not a new eco-legalism.”

She encourages congregations to choose a few things to work on, adding that it takes prayer, patience, persistence, grace, and a collective will to bring about environmental restoration.

Stephanie Leusink, a member of Hillside CRC in Abbotsford, is also involved with A Rocha. She participates in a local Campbell Valley Watershed study.

“Through my upbringing in the CRC and also the influence of my parents, I have always understood that it is our call and responsibility to care for the creation,” she said.

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