By Marsha Smith, Chair of Grounds Committee
Discussions about our congregation’s values and how our church building and grounds can reflect them have revealed that caring for God’s creation is one of the values shared by us all. The peace and tranquility that results from being surrounded by nature is something that all of us can relate to. Hebrews 3:4 says that God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, can be understood from creation. Perhaps this is why we feel such peace in the midst of forests and nature.
The Grounds Committee’s aspires to be good stewards of this property that God has entrusted to us. In planning our landscaping, we aim to provide a beautiful, natural surrounding for our congregation and our community where they can experience God’s invisible qualities. We are also mindful that we are to care for our animal friends as well as plants. With this in mind, our goal is to use native trees and plants as much as possible as conservationists tell us that this is one of the most important things we can do to support our fellow creatures. Limiting the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides will make St. Francis a healthy place for us as well as the animals. Our hope is that the thirteen native trees that have been planted thus far will supply food and shelter for animals and serve as a reminder of God’s invisible qualities for many years. Someday, perhaps the small overcup oak that is planted next to the playground will look like this awesome one that is growing at the Missouri Botanical Garden.