NEWS & EVENTS
Dordt College News
June 23, 2014
“Our natural response when we observe the beauty and intricacy of creation should be to give thanks and praise to the One who made it all!”
That statement was part of the winning essay in the first annual “Let All Creation Praise Him” photo contest sponsored by Dordt’s Environmental Studies Department. Parker Cunningham from Helena, Alabama, was awarded first place in the contest for his photo of a goose taking flight and essay titled “Creation’s role and our response.”
One goal of Dordt’s environmental studies program is to get students to see that creation is valuable for much more than the resources it provides for our use, to see that it is “good” and praises God.
“God the creator has a relationship with his creation that is independent of its value for us,” says Dr. Jeff Ploegstra. “That relationship is embedded in many of the Psalms.” Stewardship of God’s good creation means helping it flourish so that can continue to praise its Creator.
Cunningham concluded his essay with “God orchestrates all of creation in a glorious symphony of praise. He inspires awe and thankfulness for everything that he has made. God has placed us as stewards over the earth. Therefore, we need to carefully nurture it. Never miss an opportunity to see God through what he has made because every aspect of creation invites us to praise him! For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever!”
The photo contest offered students across the country an opportunity to explore the value of creation by submitting a photo and an essay describing their photo that exemplified the theme “Let All Creation Praise Him.” Organizers felt it was a fun, engaging, and worthwhile activity that integrated visual arts, written communication skills, and faith.
Photos could include but not be limited to plants, wildlife, insects, and natural landscapes—anything that depicts the creation praising God. Students were asked to think about
- ways they saw God-given value in the subject they chose to photograph
- how creatures formed in the image of God respond to creation
- God’s intentions are for his world and how Christians fit into that
- and the need for Christian stewardship in facing current environmental issues.