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EcoFair, Earth Matters, and the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

By October 5, 2023No Comments

Eco-Fair Event sponsored by Earth Matters: The Eco-fair will take place this Saturday from 10a to 2p.  This is an educational event sponsored and coordinated by Earth Matters and is taking place to honor St. Francis Day.

What’s this, you say?  First things first.

The Earth Matters group has been around in some form since the early 2000’s. It started as the green team with Mike Walters. As time went on and with influence from John Akerman and Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, the group expanded their mission into three components: Practical action, spiritual practice, and systemic change. The impact of the Earth Matters team exists today in the form of building improvements, Earth Day celebrations, nature walks, pollinator and native gardens, educational programs and resources.

St. Francis’s feast day is this week. In 1979, Saint Francis of Assisi was proclaimed as the heavenly Patron of those who promote ecology.  “He offers Christians an example of genuine and deep respect for the integrity of creation. As a friend of the poor who was loved by God’s creatures, Saint Francis invited all of creation – animals, plants, natural forces, even Brother Sun and Sister Moon – to give honor and praise to the Lord. The poor man of Assisi gives us striking witness that when we are at peace with God we are better able to devote ourselves to building up that peace with all creation which is inseparable from peace among all peoples” (St John Paul II).  The blessing of the animals is our traditional way of celebrating St. Francis.

While you can still bring your pets to be blessed on Sunday afternoon at 3pm, you also have the option of exploring some new ideas to honor the earth at the Eco-fair on Saturday.  We are bringing in both speakers and information table displays to offer many ways that an individual can reduce their impact on climate change.  There is even a little practical science included for the kids with the KidWind display where they can design and test windmill blades.  While climate change is a daunting earth matter, we don’t need to feel helpless about it.  What we do has an impact.  Every little bit matters. The Eco-fair will share with you many practical changes you can incorporate into your daily life, or change around your home, or your transportation mode, or your gardening practices, or your time out in the natural world.  They are all actions that are interwoven and have an impact on reducing waste, use of resources, and your carbon footprint.   Changing our habits will impact what is provided by manufacturers, which will reduce the need for fossil fuels, the biggest source of greenhouse gases.

Thanks to the Earth Matters team of Allen Gooch, Lois Neve, and Doug Mensing for helping to pull together this event.

Sarah Parker