Stewardship and Orion – a great magazine gets better

orion sept-oct

Growing up, I often heard the term, stewardship, in church—often enough that today I have to consciously switch cortical channels to avoid thinking the term is exclusively concerned with keeping church programs properly functioning. So to my mind, the word needs a kind of resurrection—for it is both grander and earthier than this.

It’s an encompassing term seeing all of creation as a garden, and it’s an intimate term, a word you could employ for gardener.

Stewardship is an ethic of responsibility engendered by a reverence for creation, and an attitude of humility before nature. It is an inner recognition of our interconnectedness with the natural world, turned actively outward—compelling us to carefully tend the place we occupy.

To my view, this kind of stewardship is something Orion Magazine has taken on as their raison d’être. Certainly this comes to light through the hearts and eyes of writers, artists, poets, photographers and artisans from a great variety of backgrounds.

Orion is a literary magazine with a pragmatic thrust, and it’s garnered awards and accolades from many literary and scientific corners…and it’s ad-free!

But it’s also evolving, looking to constantly improve its content and deepen its impact. To this end, in the words of Editor-in-Chief, Chip Blake, Orion Magazine will be selecting content that:

is aspirational and inspirational; is grounded in ethics; builds a culture of reverence for nature; reinforces readers’ identity as people who care about nature; helps people who are trying to deepen their connection to nature feel supported in their lives and work; builds common ground; includes voices that have not been traditionally associated with the environmental movement; satisfies yearning for something deeper than utilitarian solutions (i.e., spiritual and emotional experience); and positions Orion as an organization that is expanding cultural literacy and emotional capacity by expressing the inexpressible.

Finally, I’m very excited to have been invited on the Board of Directors for Orion. And this weekend I’m at Orion’s headquarters, Great Barrington, Massachusetts, not far from Hartford, Connecticut, for my first meeting.

orion nov-dec


  1. Love this post, Stephen. I resonate with the “old” stewardship meaning but in the last 2o or so years, it has come to mean exactly what you wrote of…love for the land and caring for it in all manner of ways. I’m glad yo are on Orion’s board and look forward to the encouragement and challenge Orion brings.

  2. Bravo to you Steve. You will serve well.
    Incidentally, the root meaning of the Genesis passage that has been translated as having dominion is “to serve the ground.”

  3. Sounds terrific Steve, you are well suited. And I think you will have a grand time of it. Will definitely look into the magazine.

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