Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Greener Endings – Cornwall Ontario – August 15, 2010

Cornwall ON – Lately I have been inundated with the news of someone’s passing; several people over this last week.  This always causes reflection on this final journey that each one of us will eventually take and serves as a reminder to make the most of each day gifted because it could be our last.  This has also served as motivation to look into Eco-friendly funeral options currently available.

Green eco-friendly funerals seem to be gathering steam as more and more people are looking for ceremonies and processes that reflect how they lived and their love and respect for our natural world.  Environmentally concerned individuals are looking for alternatives.  Ontario’s first and only natural burial site is located in Cobourg, Ontario, The Cobourg Union Cemetery which was established in 1867 opened Ontario’s first dedicated green section for natural or eco-burials in 2009.

All materials in the interment process must be completely biodegradable and must not include substances which can negatively impact the environment or retard the degradable process.   Formaldehyde, which has been classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, is therefore not used in an eco-friendly funeral.  One of the markers of eco-friendly funerals is to be interred in natural surroundings such as a forest or meadow.
Rather than promoting consumption of materials such as chemical preservation and cement vaults; natural burials create living memorials and support natural sanctuaries for friends and family to visit.  Natural burials support and preserve our natural environments and ecosystems which support and nourish life long after our passing.  There is much information on line pertaining to this subject.  The following are a couple of sites to start your journey.  Visit and for further information.

Does one’s concern for the environment make one sacrilegious?

Some comments on Earth Matters sharings have insinuated that one’s concern and work for the environment or for the various life forms that share this world with us is blasphemy.  In response, Earth Matters wishes to share a poem written by Ms. Joyce Scott, written and shared in her Church Bulletin, September 2009.

The Tree
Today I witnessed the death of a tree,
that lived across the street from me.
It had grown there for many years,
I must admit my eyes had tears.
For memories came floating by,
how children played neath its shade and the sky.
It grew outside the front door of a school,
where people passed by in the heat and the cool.
And now the space it has left won’t be filled for a while,
I will remember it always with a grin and a smile.
I’ll remember the maple leaves that glowed red in the fall,
which never failed to give pleasure to all.
How the neighbourhood children played at its feet,
in the snow in the winter, in the shade in the heat.
They played ball hockey using its trunk as a post,
and hide and seek which they loved the most.
Then its life began to fade,
the dark greens of the leaves paled to the colour of jade.
I watched the tree surgeons cut its limbs and lower them into a truck,
where they were shoved into a machine that gobbled them up.
Now the tree is only wood chips and sawdust that will go back to the earth,
where the seedling raised its head when the earth gave it birth.
Back where it first raised its frilly little head,
and now my sturdy tree is dead.
Not unlike us when we die never again to breathe earth’s air,
but gone to a better place more fair.
To bloom in a place more wondrous and glorious,
where Christ rules forever victorious.

Your commentary is encouraged and welcome.  Kindly share your comments here or at


  1. F.Y.I. This news just received. The price of a lot in the green section of The Cobourg Union Cemetery is $1100 plus HST of $143. The price of opening and filling the grave is $700 plus HST of $91.00. This is for a full body burial because there is no provision for cremations in the green section.

  2. Western environmentalism is the codeword for socialism that has run a muck. Here we find the tree huggers, the animal rights group like P.E.T.A., and those who believe in pantheism all practicing their cultish religion.

    Environmentalism is steeped in Eastern mysticism religious thought, specially reincarnation. That is why such have an inordinate devotion for animals and mother earth. Just look at the Eco of Ontario[watch dog group for environmentalism] and look at their logo – the Chinese symbol that expresses the concept of reincarnation – the endless circle: ying/yang.

    Environmentalism is nothing more than a form of Wicca – New age/Pagan worship of Gaia. The four elements of nature are: fire, water, wind and earth. In these four areas environmentalist seek to exert their control. This is how they think and practice their religion: we are one with nature, so the animals, the trees, and the rivers are all in the one big happy family. So we need to protect our family members – thus environmentalism!

    Beware of environmentalism – the green machine is out to control the world, and you and I with it!

  3. Just a small correction, it’s yin yang, and it is not meant as an endless circle, it is meant to the interconnectedness of opposites and sometimes to signify life in balance or life in harmony.

    And one needn’t discard environmentalism just because the movement might be heavily populated by the superstitious. Afterall the goal is simply, not to continue sh*tting where we eat.

    If they’re not against us, maybe just rein them in a little, and focus on humanity in harmony with the environment that keeps us alive.

  4. The preacher is accusing others of “practicing their cultish religion”?
    That’s just too freakin’ hilarious.

  5. “And one needn’t discard environmentalism just because the movement might be heavily populated by the superstitious” – you mean religion. Moral relativism at its best!

    “…and focus on humanity in harmony with the environment that keeps us alive”. In harmony with the environment – I feel a mantra coming on – Hmm, Hmmm! The late John Lennon said it best -“Imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do, Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too, Imagine all the people, Living life in peace”. Lets sing it altogether now!

    It is not a thing of imagination, if we would just get right with God via the redemption work of God’s Son on the cross, then what harmony that would bring. Peace, reconciliation, eternal life, forgiveness of sins, etc. – wow!. Tree hugging can’t accomplish all that. And even being one with the Force, falls far, far short. No comparison, that is! Leave out smoking pot too! Sad that no one every told John that.

  6. Oh oh. He’s on a roll again.

  7. Sure I meant religion. There’s like a gazillion of them, and they’re not going away (like you for example), so in the words attributed to your particular master “If they’re not against us, they’re with us”; surely you can permit the good work, to save God’s work, to go on. And as for your vain contribution, …nah, there’s no point getting into the faith without works thing.

    Thanks for reading my comment, now read your textbook, and consider what it says rather than what you want to say. Because you know my friend, what comes out of the mouth of a man, may defile him.

  8. “just because the movement might be heavily populated by the superstitious”…Might be? The movement is pure superstition. It is extremely frightening unless you have the power of the one true God to fight off all the evil of their sinning ways, for which we all pay. Environmental catastrophes are God’s way of giving sinners a wedgie; the more you sin, the harder he pulls. Fact: Now Orleans was full of sexual deviants. Result: Katrina. You have been warned.

  9. I had an impure thought about six years ago, and I’m still waiting for The Big Guy to push The Smite Button. The impure thought was great, and I hope to have another one some day. Next Friday, I’m gonna go out with the wife for some Chinese food complete with fortune cookies. On Saturday I think we’ll have a BBQ with a few beers and some tokes. Sunday, we’ll just hang out in the back yard being thankful that some insane religion isn’t f_cking up our day. Here’s to hell! May the stay there be as pleasant as the way there.

  10. From PJA link – “doing the will of God by submitting utterly to the Lordship of His Son Jesus Christ” to be the only acceptable reason for living. Amen that is absolutely right! All for His glory and His honor!

  11. You know love of nature and God are hardly mutually exclusive.

    I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.
    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
    A tree that may in Summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;
    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain.
    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.
    — Joyce Kilmer

  12. City man your political correctness is showing – “You know love of creation and God are hardly mutually exclusive” would be biblically correct and God honoring.

    “Trees that pray”? It says that all creation rejoices, and even the trees clap their hands – Isa 55:12 “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands”. Of course this is figurative language, but all of God’s creation is God’s handiwork.

    Psalm 19:1-3 “The Heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard”.

  13. Then we’re agreed (figuratively speaking).

  14. PJA – The Bible doesn’t teach nor does it promote “Christian Fascists”. Yes, there are those who believe that legislating morality is the way to go.I am not one of them, for sure. Political activism is not how true Bible Christians are to “bring in the kingdom”. Preaching the Gospel so that those that hear will begin “doing the will of God by submitting utterly to the Lordship of His Son Jesus Christ” to be the only acceptable reason for living” is first because there has been a change of heart -“being born of God”. After one is converted, then all falls under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. To be like Him – in thought, word and deed is God program of biblical salvation. This is what it is to be a disciple of Christ.

    Morality is never forced upon society by laws, but by changed lives that willingly, lovingly, for the Glory of God want to do right. And that according to God’s Holy standard – the word of God. The Bible speaks of believers being “salt and light”, which brings about a moral influence upon all.

    I preach that there is an absolute standard whereby all must live and all will be judged by – the Lord Jesus Christ. Some would say I am forcing my standard on others, no so. I declare what the word of God says and try by His grace to live it myself [for the right reasons, motives, etc – love, in the power of the Holy Spirit]. Political activism, morality by law is what the Lord Jesus came to overthrow, not to set up, nor promote. Those who think so, err greatly. Social Christianity is not true Christianity of the Bible. Just read the Beatitudes of Matt. 5 and you will see the difference between what the Lord Jesus taught, and what modern Christianity is practicing.

  15. I don’t believe you. Not one single word of it.

    Your assertion that you don’t try to force your standard upon others is a blatant lie. You routinely disrupt public events at which you accost innocent passersby, verbally abuse people who ignore you, pick fights with total strangers and frighten children. Many times you’ve come within a whisker of getting arrested for your behaviour. You routinely violate this website’s message boards with posts that spew your hateful propaganda and have nothing to do with the topics at hand. You advocate death and destruction upon anyone with a point of view other than your own. And worst of all, when you’re beaten at your own game, you go ad hominem, play the martyr card and scurry away like an earwig exposed to sunlight. You have no right to deny any of it because the proof is well documented and irrefutable. So before you condemn others as subhuman, I suggest you take a good, hard look at YOUR OWN less than stellar behaviour before you go around pointing that fat little finger of yours.

  16. A “Christian Fascists” forces their morality on others by political activism. Just like any other political party, i.e. – wacko environmentalism. Christianity does not force itself upon people by laws, or even by Islamic jihad. It is never by the sword! The Roman Catholic church was always at fault for launching the Crusades, but in light of the Islamic aggression, something had to be done. The closeness of the church and state back in those days made it difficult to differentiate between a military campaign and a holy war.

    But a preacher of the Gospel preaches that sinners are to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for the saving of their eternal souls. A call to repent of sin is never a welcomed message. I try to follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ – Luk 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”. The Lord Jesus said this also – Mar 16:15 – 16 ” And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned”. Note again – who said it : “….he that believeth not shall be damned”.

    And you will see, if you take the time to read the book of Acts and note the normal, sinful reaction to the preaching of the gospel of Christ, that your animosity is not much different then those who opposed the gospel in the book of Acts, and particularly the ministry of the Apostle Paul.

    So a word of warning goes out to you and to all that oppose the Gospel – Repent and believe the Gospel before it is to late.

  17. As usual, you’ve completely skirted the whole issue with more propaganda. Answer me with a plain yes or no: do you deny what I’ve said in my last post?

  18. Lovely poem, City Man…thank you. Don’t worry about the preacher, PJA. Listen to poets. Here’s another dandy:

    Some keep the Sabbath going to Church–
    I keep it staying at Home–
    With a Bobolink for a Chorister–
    And an Orchard, for a Dome–

    Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice–
    I just wear my Wings–
    And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
    Our little Sexton–sings

    God preaches, a noted Clergyman–
    And the sermon is never long,
    So instead of getting to Heaven, at last–
    I’m going, all along.

    —-Emily Dickinson c. 1860

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