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Theme for the Month: Creating Goodness "God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good..." Genesis 1:31


On humanity's first trip to and orbit around the moon on Christmas Eve 1968, the three Apollo 8 astronauts, Frank Borman, Bill Anders and Jim Lovell, celebrated the remarkable achievement and read the first verses in the Bible, beginning with the first sentence of the Bible: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

The Creation Story in Genesis, was not an isolated or exclusive story, but also emerged in the midst of many epic narratives in the Babylonian and Egyptian traditions. The Creation Story, common to both the Jewish and Christian traditions, do emphasize that it is God who creates, and the poetic story is complete with the last verse of chapter 1, "God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good." Apart from individual elements of creation that were good, the whole creation is 'very good,' indicating the intention of God to bless the process of life. The "goodness," here do not essentially refer to a moral quality, but to an aesthetic quality. It may be translated as "lovely, pleasing, beautiful" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The only thing that is not good is that Adam is alone, and God intends goodness in the social life.

We are living in a world that is desperately seeking for goodness and select stories make headlines or breaking news, because we miss it. In the words of an anonymous author, "Go out into the world and do well, but more importantly go out into the world and do good."

This month, we prepare to celebrate the life of Learning among students, and the celebration of Environment. In both, our emphasis of Learning and celebrating the Environment, it is important to see the goodness in the 'Other,' and continue to preserve, nurture and promote flourishing knowledge and growth.

In the midst of the challenges around us, I thank God for the Leadership Team and all of you for your wholistic emphasis in ministry by promoting Rainwater Harvesting in the Campus, and St. Andrew's Centre for Learning, which encourages the spirit of learning. St. Andrew's School at Siddapura continues to be engaged in the field of education and empowerment, and it is remarkable that learning is happening in the most difficult and challenging circumstances including the non-availability of technology and resources. My thoughts are more with our children and young people involved in the different stages of learning and their anxiety regarding their classes and exams. Learning is not only about classes and exams; they are also missing so much of the social life, friends and peers, particularly face to face interactions. Our children need our time, attention, and support. I am specially praying for our children.

Even as we formally talk about learning and preservation of the environment in a formal manner, it is good to talk about life stories that are truly inspiring. Here is a familiar one:

Padma Shri Saalumarada Thimakka, also known as Aalada Marada Thimmakka, is an Indian environmentalist from Gubbi, Tumkur district. She is noted for her work in planting and tending to 385 trees along a 4 kilometer stretch of highway between Hulikal and Kudur. She has also planted 8000 other trees along with her husband. She is the recipient of several national and international awards, apart from being named as one of the most influential women in the world in 2016 by the BBC.

God's goodness means the blessings of God, and we have the joy in experiencing it, and the responsibility of sharing it with the creation and our fellow human beings.

Let us share God's goodness by discovering the possibilities and opportunities of learning even in these challenging times.

May God's blessing be a beacon of Hope for us and for people in need.

Stay blessed and Stay safe!

Your Presbyter
Rev. Dr. Dexter S. Maben
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