Monday, October 5, 2009

Winners of our Sermon Contest!

On September 26, 2009, over 100 members and friends of Earth Ministry celebrated the Feast of St. Francis with a celebratory evening of worship featuring a sermon contest at University Lutheran Church. In this year's contest, four finalists were selected to present their inspired messages calling the Christian community to action on behalf of God's good creation. Each sermon presented was unique and provided a different perspective on the ways we can be called to care for creation through our faith traditions. We all appreciated their words and took them to heart.

The winners of this year's sermon contest were selected by the attendees of the event who voted with their dollars. Two awards were presented, the Franciscan Philanthropist Award, to the contestant whose sermon raised the most money in support of Earth Ministry's work and mission, and the People's Choice Award, to the contestant who received the most number of votes regardless of the amount of money donated. The two winning sermons will be published in the Winter Issue of Earth Letter and all four sermons can be read on our website.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Freese, winner of the Franciscan Philanthropist Award, and Rev. Anne Hall, winner of the People's Choice Award!

Thank you to each of our participants for sharing your insightful and thought-provoking creation care sermons. We were blessed that all four of them could join us to honor the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. And many thanks to all who entered the contest this year. The judges had a difficult time narrowing their choices to just four finalists and the final votes were very close as the audience determined the winners.

In addition to the sermon contest, the University Lutheran worship team provided beautiful creation-themed music for the evening and thirty-three Greening Congregations were recognized and blessed in their good work.

This year we welcomed a record 11 new congregations to the Greening Congregations Program:

Bellevue First United Methodist Church, Bellevue, WA
Edmonds United Methodist Church, Edmonds, WA
Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Mercer Island, WA
Flagstaff Federated Community Church, Flagstaff, AZ
Kirkland Congregational United Church of Christ, Kirkland, WA
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Port Angeles, WA
St. Augustine's-in-the-Woods, Freeland, WA
St. James Catholic Cathedral, Seattle, WA
St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Bellevue, WA
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Port Townsend, WA
Wooden Cross Lutheran Church, Woodinville, WA

Congratulations to our newest Greening Congregations!

While the votes were being tallied from the sermon contest, those gathered viewed the touching film, "Irreversible, Irreplaceable" from the Wildlife in a Warming World DVD, which is available for free to churches through Earth Ministry.

Thanks to all who attended and supported Earth Ministry. We raised over $4600 in support of religious environmental stewardship!

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