Tina Rising was raised a Mormon, but stayed away from church for about 38 years. She experienced the church as judgmental, political and anti-science, and couldn’t imagine going back. Then, Tina’s sister began talking about going back to church and reading the Bible.
Tina wasn’t sure what to think, so she did what she always does when she wants to think things through: she read books. “Christianity was all I read about for months and months. I was surprised to find myself falling in love with Jesus. I was sitting by myself one day when I let Jesus back into my heart. Immediately, I heard, ‘You are forgiven.’”
After reading Greg Boyd’s book Letters From a Skeptic, Tina started attending Woodland. She said, “It was frightening to go back to church after all those years, but I fought through it and fell in love with Woodland Hills. It really helped that Greg says there is no place for politics in church, and that he is an outspoken advocate of science. Woodland Hills has become a lifeline for me, as it has for so many other people.”
In particular, the recent emphasis on creation care has resonated deeply with Tina. “It’s the subject that I care about most in the world. My mom raised my sister and I to love and care for the earth and all the creatures that live here, and she did a really great job. My sister and I love and are fascinated by everything from creepy-crawly bugs and spiders to bats, moles, possums, skunks and pigs! As teenagers in the ‘70s, my mom took us around to recycling centers, and we’ve been recycling ever since. Boy, were we happy when cities started picking up single-stream recycling at our homes!”
Tina has a B.S. in environmental science and has held a series of volunteer positions caring for wildlife and the environment. As we share tips on stewarding the Earth and the animal kingdom, Tina has some great ideas for us:
- The Twin Cities has one of the largest wildlife hospitals in the country, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. They look for volunteers year-round to feed, clean and care for injured animals of all kinds.
- Humane societies always need people to walk dogs among other things!
- Look for cruelty-free product labels.
- Buy your eggs from pasture-raised chickens.
- Use trash bags made from recycled plastic.
- Support locally-grown food to reduce your carbon footprint, since your food won’t need to be transported as far. Co-ops and farmers markets are a good place to look!
Choose your meat carefully
- Meat labeled “certified humane” ensures that the animal was treated to a higher standard of life. Claims such as “raised humanely” are also good, but their qualifications are less rigorous.
- If your store doesn’t have any humanely-raised meat, ask the store manager to provide it.
- Patronize restaurants that use humanely-raised meat or meat-alternatives
Get the message out!
- Most of all, spread the word! Tell people what you’re doing to help the environment, and how important you think it is. Most people want to help, they just don’t know how.
Thank you, Tina, for sharing your passion about being a good steward of the earth and animal kingdom!
Have your own Creation Care tips? Share them here.