Where have wisdom teachers, prophets and saints of diverse faith traditions most commonly heard a challenging or strengthening word from God? The natural world! Elijah heard the voice of God as a "still small voice" in the silence of the wilderness. Jesus went out into the wilderness seeking confidence in God's call to ministry. Prophet Mohammed PBUH heard God's teachings from both trees and the water. The Buddha found enlightenment while sitting under the Bodhi tree. Saint Hildegard of Bingen experienced the "The Word is living, being, spirit, all verdant greening, all creativity. This Word manifests itself in every creature." St. Francis heard the voice of God expressed in the songs of "dear brother birds." These are just a few of the wisdom teachers and spiritual leaders who experienced a theophany or revelation affirming their calling clearly heard within the natural world.
We too can seek wisdom from the natural world amidst the clamor of our lives, which allows space for the voice of God to be heard. Giving our attention to the natural world can foster compassion and inspire us to care for it. Once we have heard the call to be caretakers and advocates of God's intricate environment through our actions, how do we motivate and inspire others in our community to "go forth and do likewise"? Are you yearning to strengthen your congregation's engagement in "tikkun olam" (Jewish tradition meaning the restoration of the world) expressing a deep commitment to becoming a community of faithful healers of Creation?
IPC is excited to announce we will be launching a robust training on how to develop, strengthen and sustain your own congregation’s ministry of caring for Creation). Building a team starts with deepening relationships. A few weeks ago, that's exactly what staff and 5 congregational leaders learned about during our training recently offered by BUILD (Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development ). We learned the core skills for relationship-building to promote successful organizing, which will be a key component and building block for our Leadership Team Training.
Our Leadership Team Training will include one initial full day training including 1) How to Build Your Team, 2) Action Planning Steps 3) Sustaining your Team’s Commitment and 4) Communication Tools to tell your story. Monthly remote/virtual meetings will focus on equipping you to learn and implement a particular greening practice or team building strategy and opportunities to learn from other congregational leaders through “Solution Circles”. Your participation in this inspiring skills-building opportunity will qualify your congregation for project seed money in specific regions of the One Water Partnership.
We’ve heard your voices expressing the need for strong environmental teams/ministries. Strong teams are a foundation for effecting the change we need in the world, at hundreds of congregations! Sign up to express your interest here to be one of those new teams. By responding to the call, you can become an even stronger voice committed to creating the healing change that we’re all praying for. Individuals are drops in the bucket, but communities fill the bucket! ~David Gershon
If you are interested in receiving more information about the upcoming trainings, please add your name HERE.
To learn more about the One Water Partnership click HERE.