By Victoria Lawson | Echo
Since its inception in 1997, the Stewards of Creation club - created by Taylor environmental science students - has undergone several shifts in activity and attendance due to continuity issues. Changes in faculty and leadership caused the club to go dormant, but as of this semester, the Stewards of Creation club intends to bloom again.
Philip Grabowski, assistant professor of sustainable development, has high hopes for the club. After presenting the idea to restart the club to the freshmen in his environmental science classes, it gained a lot of student interest, which led to its revival.
"I think there's a lot of things students are interested in doing and have the energy to do, and they just need a little bit of coordination and a little bit of a venue for them to take action - figuring out who is the right person to talk to in terms of staff and facilities or faculty who might be able to support them," Grabowski said. "I think Stewards of Creation can play a role in that, and play a really big role."
The overall vision for Stewards of Creation goes beyond mere classroom knowledge. They hope to tackle environmental and sustainability issues on campus in a tangible way, provide clearer instructions for recycling and initiate more efforts toward waste management.
The Stewards of Creation club will accomplish these goals by creating opportunities for students to be educated in biblical stewardship and implement projects to cultivate the earth. Some of their current club goals include planting edible landscaping on campus, partnering with local farmers who might sell directly to the dining commons and advocating for better recycling habits in the dorms. These goals may become a reality through a re-establishment of the sustainability assistant position in dorms, a title similar to that of PA or DA.
Freshman Justin White is an environmental science major and is looking forward to what he might learn in Stewards of Creation. He thinks a potential challenge could be changing the minds and habits of his peers when it comes to conservation efforts.
"It's going to be hard because some of the habits will be more work for them to do - an extra step," White said. "But it will be worth it because it's what we're called to do."
Freshman Claire Rush, an environmental science and public health major, is excited to see what the future might hold for Stewards of Creation. She believes the call to creation cultivation is not just a call to people who are passionate about it, but a call to all Christians.
Rush hopes to challenge her peers to explore how faith intersects with stewardship and confront their preconceived notions about environmental issues.
"It's important because, first of all, God told Adam, 'You need to care for creation - serve it, protect it,'" Rush said. "Often times when we hear 'dominion of creation,' we twist what that means, and we think that means 'I can do whatever I want with it; I dominate it.' But that's not what that translation really means. When you look at the original text, the word means 'to serve and protect,' and sometimes we forget that we are living in the same ecosystem as all these plants and animals and we act as if we are completely separated. But everything that we do is affecting creation, and creation is affecting us."
Rush believes wasting resources and exploiting creation is a sin often overlooked because it does not seem to directly affect daily life. She thinks students should get involved because waste affects more of the environment and community than people realize.
According to Rush, the Stewards of Creation club encourages people from all majors to participate.
"We have so many ideas for this team, and dreams, but it takes a lot of people to get there and it takes an actual process," Rush said. "Having expertise across different fields would be extremely helpful."
Stewards of Creation will meet Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on a monthly basis in Jacobson II in the LaRita Boren Campus Center. If interested in the Stewards of Creation club, contact Grabowski at