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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Community United Methodist Church launches new Creation Care Team

Photo courtesy Chuck Riehm
The Methodists in Motion Outdoors hiking crew on the Opal Lake trail: Sarah, Bob, Tom, Kathy, Laura, Susy and Herb.

By Sarah L. Riehm | Community United Methodist Church

The Community United Methodist Church (CUMC) recently launched a new Creation Care Team to equip members and the community to be good stewards of our beautiful natural surroundings in Pagosa Springs. 

The team will focus on four areas: facilities and grounds, education of members and the greater community, mission and outreach, and incorporating creation care topics into worship and Sunday school classes. 

The team is already hard at work, incorporating native plants into landscaping beds and planning educational programs for the fall. Herb Grover delivered a stirring sermon on environmental stewardship in July. 

The biggest new initiative is MIMO: Methodists in Motion Outdoors. Grover has been leading a series of easy to moderate nature hikes in the area. These are not your usual hikes. The focus isn’t so much on fitness, step count or physical challenge, but rather to enjoy and appreciate our native surroundings. Grover takes time to identify native wildflowers and plants along the way. Hikees enjoy lunch and a devotional along the way. 

We are honored to have Grover as our hike leader. He is a semi-retired professor of biology, ecology and environmental science who has lived in Pagosa Springs for a little over seven years. He spent the last 25 years in teaching and administrative positions at faith-based universities in Texas and continues to teach environmental science online for Wayland Baptist University. Prior to returning to academia in the mid-1990s, Grover was a research professor at the University of New Mexico, worked for the New Mexico Environment Department and served as a project manager for a subcontractor to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

Our next MIMO Saturday hike will be on July 30 to the ice caves and various river overlooks on the Piedra River Trail. All are welcome. We will meet at the Piedra River Trailhead at 9 a.m. The trail is about 3 miles long with a 400-foot elevation gain. Bring plenty of water, snacks, rain gear, a hat, wear sunscreen and bring a lunch. If you’d like to join the MIMOs this Saturday, RSVP to Grover at hgroverco@gmail.com. 

If you have questions about MIMO or the new Creation Care Team, contact Sarah Riehm at (469) 236-0017. 

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