Environmental Stewardship and Creation Care at CornerstoneBy Simone Dekryger on March 4, 2020
Walking around Cornerstone University's campus, you are likely to see a variety of trees, flowers and other plants as well as birds, squirrels and the muskrat that lives by the pond. God has crafted a beautiful world for us to live in and has entrusted its care to us.
The CU campus also houses a variety of student-led clubs, including ones like Creation Crew, which encourages the campus community to be educated and responsible stewards of God's creation.
Creation Crew was started in 2018 by two students with a passion for caring for the environment: Nicole Parsons (B.A. ’20), an environmental biology major, and Gracelyn Gaw (B.A. ’22), a media relations major.
Parsons and Gaw were roommates at the time, and their shared enthusiasm prompted them to begin envisioning ways they could empower others to be more aware of environmental responsibility. The conversation sparked into action, and they began the application process.
Initially getting the club off the ground took some persistence, but it was well worth it. Now, Parsons is the acting president and Gaw works media relations for the club. After the creation of the club, they were quickly joined by Faith Morgan (B. A. ’20), a communications major, who serves as vice president.
"Our goal is to spread awareness about our role as stewards of God's earth. It is not something everyone considers on a daily basis," said Parsons. "The trees, the birds, everything around us is something God has called us to care for."
The club meets near the end of each month, alternating between Fridays and Saturdays and often provides snacks. Meetings often differ; some include planned activities while others are more informational. Through the club, students have painted bat houses, decorated reusable bags and hosted a guest speaker who presented on the benefits of recycling.
"We only have one planet and this is a God-given gift to us," said Gaw. "We need to be able to take care of it, not just for our own lives and benefit, but for future generations as well."
Why The Environment Is Important
We are called in the earliest chapter of the Bible to take care of the earth. Creation is a gift to God's people. Genesis 1:26 says, "Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'"
Empowering students to achieve more after college means preparing them for all aspects of life. While we spend many hours in the classroom preparing for our future jobs, we all have a responsibility to the future of our earth as well.
"As humans, a lot of our destructive tendencies have caused negative impacts on the earth, and we want to raise awareness and educate others on anything we can do as students to better that," said Parsons.
How You Can Get Involved
I can say one thing for sure: Cornerstone students live in community, whether it be in dorms, class or taking a stand to make the world a better place. We take pride in being grateful and responsible for the blessings we have been given.
Creation Crew is just one opportunity for students to be active participants in influencing the world. Cornerstone is home to many other student organizations and clubs full of passionate students looking for ways to make an impact and grow in their personal journeys. I encourage you to explore the student organizations on campus as you get to know more about Cornerstone!