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REVERENCE - April 2015

Reverence: Live the Truth in Love

Live the Truth in Love


Contributed by Jo Lynette H. Watley MSN, RN, instructor in the Division of Nursing & Health Sciences, and member of the Care
of Creation Committee of Neumann University. 

This month we celebrate Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22nd. 
The Care of Creation Advisory Committee, values “reverence for creation.” Take a moment to watch this video as it illustrates
the wonders of God’s abundant creations.

This is the day the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it. - Psalms 118:24




The following video was created by Scott Beadenkopf, M.Ed., member of the University’s Care of Creation Committee. 

A Year in the Life of a Twig - from bud to leaf to autumn colors, bare branches and back to bud


All photos were taken on the St. John Neumann Circle at Neumann University, Aston, PA. Music by Nashirah, the Jewish chorale of greater Philadelphia, from their 2102 concert titled, “A Seal Upon Your Heart."


REVERENCE - March 2015

Live the Truth in Love

Keep America Beautiful

Reverence: Live the Truth in Love

Neumann University Adopted 2 miles of Pennell Road in 2007 as a way for our students and academic community to Keep America Beautiful, consistent with Neumann’s mission and care for creation.  Within this PowerPoint, Patricia Fallest-Strobl, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, chronicles the history of Keep America Beautiful. Within the presentation slides, you’ll find pictures of Neumann students and peers participating in NU’s four (4) adopt-a-highway events each year!  We don’t just say it, we live it! 


Dr. Fallest-Strobl and the Students for Environmental Awareness Club (S.E.A. Club) invite all students, faculty and staff to participate in our Adopt-A-Highway events on Sunday, 3/29, and Sunday, 4/19.  Email Dr. Fallest-Strobl to sign up at

For more information, see the University’s Care of Creation Events webpage



REVERENCE - December 2014

Live the Truth in Love

Neumann Students Incarnate Eco-Spirituality Through

Reverence: Live the Truth in Love

The following reflection is contributed by Sr. Diane Tomkinson, Associate Professor of Theology and member of the University’s Care of Creation/Sustainability Committee. As we celebrate this Christmas Season, let us open our hearts and minds to the Franciscan spiritual traditions that remind us of how inter-connected we are with all of God’s creation, and how knowledge is a gift to be shared in the service of others.  

From his dramatization of the Christmas story in the first “live nativity” at Greccio to his “Canticle of the Creatures,” St. Francis celebrated the interwoven mysteries of creation and incarnation, pondering how the All Good God, creator of the cosmos, became “Emmanuel” – “God with us” in the person of Jesus Christ and so entered into relationship as brother with all human persons and all of creation.  Inspired by the example of Saints Francis and Clare, Neumann University names Reverence as a core value: to “honor as sacred the worth and dignity of each person, celebrate our relationship as sisters and brothers with one another and all creation, and create a compassionate, welcoming and reconciling community.”

Neumann Students Incarnate Eco-Spirituality through Service-Learning
Neumann Students Incarnate Eco-Spirituality through Service-Learning
Neumann Students Incarnate Eco-Spirituality through Service-Learning
The photos above show the students
and the growing gardens they
helped create.

On Saturday, April 1st, 2014, ten Neumann University students spent a cold, windy morning in a common service project that brought these three dimensions of reverence together in a deeper way.  The students and their theology professor, Sr. Diane Tomkinson, OSF, worked in and around the grounds of Anna’s Place in Chester preparing new community gardens for planting and cleaning up litter and other debris after the long winter.  This service-learning experience culminated a unit on eco-spirituality as part of an upper level theology course on Contemporary Christian Spirituality (Theo 203).  In preparing for their service at Anna’s Place (or at Red Hill Farm for those unavailable on April 1st), students studied the connections between the Franciscan spiritual tradition and contemporary eco-spirituality and eco-justice, including theological and social analysis of the complex ways food (from farm to table) shapes and expresses “our relationship as sisters and brothers with one another and all creation,” and helps or hinders the creation of more “compassionate, welcoming and reconciling communities.”  The morning of service began with a simple prayer experience, concluded with a shared lunch and was followed up by a process of theological reflection in the subsequent class session. 

In addition to helping provide a source of fresh, healthy food for elderly residents of Chester served by the hospitality ministry of Anna’s Place, students built stronger relationships with one another through their common service.  In reflecting on their experience together in class and individually in their theological reflection essays, students made new connections not only with their study of Franciscan eco-spirituality, but also with a previous unit of the course that explored how spirituality intersects with 21st c. digital culture.  Many students commented positively on the experience of being challenged to put down their smart phones and other devices and to work, eat and talk together in a “low-tech” hands-on environment.




REVERENCE - November 2014

Reverence: Live the Truth in Love

Live the Truth in Love

This month we celebrate both Veteran's Day (November 11th) and Thanksgiving (November 27th). The Care of Creation/Sustainability Committee would like to share a video that reflects our theme of "Reverence" for God's creation, all peoples, and especially, our armed forces. We often take our freedom for granted but it comes at great cost to our brothers and sisters. Thus we celebrate this month "our relationship as sisters and brothers with one another and all creation."



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