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The Wyoming Interfaith Network, shares the vision of the Interfaith Alliance by bringing together the diverse voices of our own community to challenge religious and political extremism. We also work to protect religious freedom in ways that are most relevant to our community.
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One Acorn, A Thousand Forests

Blessings to You, WIN Community:

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes, the work ahead of us to make a difference in the world may seem so big that we are not sure where to begin or where the path may lead. This week, I was inspired to consider the importance of continuing to walk the paths of social and ecological justice, and was reminded that what we do together today matters.

My husband, Mark, and I took a road trip to Kansas City, MO, for a leadership workshop in which I participated. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to learn valuable tools for adaptive leadership during times of transition. I look forward to putting these tools to use in my work.

As we left the conference in Kansas City, Mark and I got back on the road and asked God to lead us to a relaxing, fun place. We had a couple of days of an open schedule in front of us. We found ourselves in Nebraska City, Nebraska, at the Arbor Day Farm. This was indeed meant to be.

The farm is 260 acres of natural beauty. It is a National Historic Landmark and the birthplace of Arbor Day, which is the tree planter’s holiday. It is located on the homestead of J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day. His mission was to plant trees and orchards and to teach others about the value of trees and conservation.

We stayed for two days. As we walked for miles through apple orchards, sunflowers, grape vines, and forested trails, we indeed experienced inspiration and a sense of peace and hope. J. Sterling Morton had arrived in his new home in the late 1800’s to find a field of tall Nebraska grass and had begun planting trees that now comprise 260 acres of a lush place to refresh and reconnect with the immense beauty of God’s green earth. If you’d like to visit the Arbor Day Farm website, please go here.

Yes, we all have a great deal of work ahead of us, and, at times, it may feel confusing, overwhelming, and lacking direction. Nevertheless, I hope it brings you a sense of hope and inspiration to think about all of the small and big things you are doing right now, today, that will result in the big changes you wish to see in the world.

The WIN Board will meet in August at a retreat to plant tiny seedlings that will, one day, amount to meaningful accomplishments of the interfaith network. The work and direction that grows from the retreat of diverse individuals and faiths will be a walk together on a path to add to the list of accomplishments of the Wyoming Association of Churches since 1976.

The 260 acres of trees on the Arbor Day Farm began with the planting of one tiny seedling. Likewise, what you do in your own communities and in the WIN network begins with planting tiny seeds of hope and compassion.

Below, I’m sharing one of the hundreds of photos I was inspired to take at the Arbor Day Farm.

With Gratitude and Peace … and Resolve to Make a Difference,

Susie Markus

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