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April 25, 2014

Good Shepherd observes Earth Day

THOMASVILLE — Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, 515 Oak St., observed Earth Day 2014 Tuesday.

Several earth-friendly activities took place at the church’s Earth Day event.

A tree was planted on church grounds, Good Shepherd’s community garden was tilled, and rows of crops were planted.

Collard greens were harvested from the garden and given to friends and neighbors of the church. Volunteers walked the neighborhood around Good Shepherd and picked up trash.

Merits of composing and recycling were discussed.

Susan Jobson, chairman of the local Earth Day event committee, said, “It’s so good to see that the neighbors are here. We even had a few people present who drove over all the way from Albany. This Earth Day effort is a wonderful start. Planting is taking place, and people in this neighborhood will reap the benefits. It’s all about their choices. We will plant whatever they want to be planted in their garden. We will do everything in our power to bring to fruition what they envision for this community garden.”

Jobson also serves as chairman of Good Shepherd’s Garden Committee.

Good Shepherd Episcopal Church is one of three Episcopal churches in Thomasville. Good Shepherd was established in 1894. The laity and vestry at Good Shepherd maintain strong fellowship ties with their counterparts at St. Thomas Episcopal Church and All Saints Episcopal Church.

Congregants from St. Thomas and All Saints took part in Tuesday’s festivities. Father Dwayne Varas, new rector at St. Episcopal Church, attended with his family.

Keep Thomas County Beautiful (KTCB), a local initiative of Keep America Beautiful, follows a practical approach that unites citizens, businesses and government to find solutions that advance core issues of preventing litter, reducing waste and beautifying communities.

KTCB and its director, Pam Lister, partnered with Good Shepherd in planning and execution of the Earth Day observance.

The first Earth Day celebration was held on April 22, 1970. Each year, Earth Day commemorates the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement.

The event was born during the height of the hippie/flower child culture in America and has since evolved to the advocating for green energy, conservationism and environmental consciousness globally. Volunteers in more than 190 countries actively participated in Earth Day 2014 initiatives.

“It was a privilege and a pleasure to be a part of this expansion of the beloved community. As Psalm 24:1 says: ‘The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.’ The importance of being good stewards of our natural resources is always a timely lesson, especially for our children and teens,“ said the Rev. Jeremy G. Rich, First Missionary Baptist Church pastor.

Said Loretta Gibbs, a Good Shepherd Episcopal Church member, “Our Earth Day 2014 event was something I would certainly consider a success. We had fellowship, friendship, stewardship and discipleship all happening here today for a worthy cause. It was a beautiful day — and a beautiful gathering of God’s people.”

Gibbs also is a member of the Episcopal Development Association of Thomasville.

“The children were amazing here today. As soon as we started digging in the garden, everyone really got into it. They were so helpful in planting the seeds, stacking the pine straw and aligning the bamboo stalks. What an awesome project,” said Robin Enright, a member of All Saints Episcopal Church. Enright’s daughter, Olivia, also attended.

An informal meal took place near the end of the program’s activities. Some of the food for the meal came from the church’s garden.

Anyone who wants additional information about Good Shepherd’s community garden should call Jobson at 229-221-0182. Her email address is rosequeen0442@yahoo.com.

Keep Thomas County Beautiful’s phone number is 229-977-2559, and the email address is ktcb@live.com.

KTCB’s website is www.greentowns.com/initiative/keep-america-beautiful/keep-thomas-county-beautiful-thomasville-ga.

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