A light in the darkness.
Mother Theresa will be canonized next September and clearly she was a light in the darkness. Malala Yousafzai is a light in the darkness in her unending fight for the educational rights of girls. Here in Baltimore, Destiny Watford, the high schooler fighting the permit for a trash incinerator in her neighborhood, is a light in the darkness.
Ever since San Bernadino, the hateful rhetoric in our country has escalated. It can seem very dark these days. Regardless of your religion and whether you are celebrating Christmas this week or not, you crave a light in this darkness.
But let me tell you...there is much light already piercing through this darkness.
- 10,901 trees have been planted by Maryland congregations
- 17 Anne Arundel County congregations are installing stormwater improvement projects with the help of Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Watershed Stewards Academy . . . Read MORE 2015 IPC Highlights
Published December 07, 2015 at 12:01pm
At Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, we abound in hope because of all the good we encounter every day – in people, in congregations, in communities, and in Creation. We invite you to pause as we arrive at the year’s end to give thanks for all the signs of hope for and among the community of faith who cares about the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and raises its hands and voice to restore and protect it.
We delight in the realization that during our past two years as an organization, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake has brought forth many fruits of hope . . . Read the rest of Rabbi Cardin's and Rev. Rod Miller's message HERE:
As a cradle Episcopalian, I am one of the least likely people to stand up and talk about my faith. We Episcopalians will talk any topic to death, but usually with each other. [An Evangelical Episcopalian is an oxymoron.] But that is one message I hope some of you take home today—we must speak out to save God’s Creation. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so let’s squeak.Read more
(Sermon given by Executive Director, Jodi Rose, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Annapolis, June 22, 2014)
There is a saying that is Aboriginal Australian in origin and it reads:
If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time.
But, if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.
My liberation is bound up in yours, and yours in mine. We must work together to bring about God’s Kingdom – that is how our Creator intended it.Read more
Kolya Braun-Greiner wrote this reflection on the intersection of climate change and watershed health - and how trees heal in so many ways. Click here to read more...
Mary Gaut, Pastor of Maryland Presbyterian Church, reflects on the Maryland Stormwater Utility Fee and what the current debate says about our calling to care for the Earth
Churches have a responsibility to do our part and lead by example in caring for our natural resources. Our scriptures and our faith tradition affirm the natural world as part of the magnificent creation that God has declared good. Throughout the Bible water is linked to the creative, saving work of God and is often used as a symbol of new life and rebirth because it cleans and refreshes and nourishes all that it touches. Polluted water loses its practical and symbolic function. The Biblical text is consistent with science in recognizing that water was part of God’s creation before the human creature evolved and that clean water is necessary for all life. Therefore churches, as responsible stewards, have a moral and ethical responsibility to protect our waters from substances and activities that would pollute and degrade them. READ ON
This beautiful video reflection comes from the Evanston Interreligious Sustainability Circle. They welcome you to download it and use it for meditation or worship. To view the video, click on the graphic or go to http://vimeo.com/67515529. It can be downloaded from Vimeo.
Katharine M. Preston, writing in Sojourners Magazine, August, 2013, asks:
WHY IS IT so hard for people to respond effectively to the reality of climate change?
Changing people’s minds—with facts, tables, and predictions—has proven extremely difficult. Even showing people the miraculous beauty of the planet alongside the predicted losses is not working. Guilt, anxiety, and anger can be motivating forces, but they have debilitating side effects: They are all soul-destroying.
So I wonder about our hearts. Have we ignored our emotional and spiritual connections to the planet? Could the noise swirling around climate change—science, politics, media blitzes, as well as the weather disasters themselves—drown out the voice of a loss so profound that it rests unnamed in our souls? Could our breaking hearts be part of the reason we are immobilized?
Reprinted with permission from Sojourners, (800) 714-7474, www.sojo.net.
Dottie Yunger, former Executive Director of IPC, writing in Sojourners online recently reflected that:
The water celebrated by the psalmists is the same water we have today—literally. The waters of baptisms and ritual cleansings we use today are all part of the same body of water used by the prophets and Jesus. We are part of this cycle; this cycle is part of us. Yet we know this cycle is out of balance.
The psalmists’ vision of how things should be is not how things are. Our actions (or inactions) are the direct cause. We experience flooding in some areas, drought in others. We build dams and levees to control the flow of water. We allow harmful chemicals to change the very nature of water. Water that used to flow gently over lush vegetation now roars harshly across asphalt into these waterways, carrying with it pollutants and eroding riverbanks. We seem to think we know better than God how water should be water.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that we can help return the water cycle to its natural rhythm, as intended by God and described by the psalmists.
Peter Sawtell publishes a weekly web newsletter, Eco Justice Notes. The folowing is an exerpt from "The Most Ecological Psalm," distributed on July 12, 2013.
"Psalm 104 celebrates a world that includes humans, but does not center on them. The richly ecological core of the passage, verses 10-23, starts by tracing how springs of water provide for a flourishing of life, naming trees, birds and wild asses. People are beneficiaries of this abundance -- water is essential to the plants and cattle that people consume, and it allows for "wine that gladdens the human heart" -- but all other creatures also thrive in this well-watered world. The wonders of creation are seen in a web of relationships."
Trees are watered by the springs, and in them various kinds of birds build their nests. Some kinds of birds gather in the cedars of Lebanon, but "the stork has its home in the fir trees." The distinctiveness of other habitats is celebrated, with wild goats in the high mountains, and coneys in the rocks. Each of these creatures has an appropriate place to which it is well suited.
This psalm puts humans and lions into overlapping ecological niches that modern science would define as nocturnal and diurnal. At night, the lions and other animals of the forest creep out; by day, "people go out to their work and to their labor until the evening" -- and then turn things back over to the creatures of the night.
Nowhere in the psalm is there any hint that the world was made for humans, nor does it suggest that we are in control of it all. Trees and grass, goats and lions, people and birds, day and night all are tied together in a joyous and gracious community of life.