Monday, September 1, 2014

Eco-faith community

The Season of Creation is celebrated in many countries, and challenges us to re-orient our relationship with creation. While the challenge may have been provoked by the current ecological crisis and a growing awareness of our place in the web of creation, the origins of our re-orientation lie deep in our Christian tradition, especially our biblical heritage.  We are challenged to return to our biblical roots to rediscover our intimate connections with creation. We return to see ourselves again as part of the very Earth from which we are made.

Very topical with discussions about climate change, environmental issues, fracking, and 'green' solutions to generating power.

Rev Dr Jason John is a Deacon in the Uniting Church in Australia. Eco-ministry is 0.6 of his placement and he is also a minister at Sawtell Uniting Church. The photo shows a combined outdoor service at Gleniffer. Jason's sermon on the day can be found here: - look under worship>season of creation>forests.
I wonder how many other Deacons/Deaconesses around the world are involved in eco-ministry of some form or other?

Jason did his PhD exploring biocentric thought. The abstract begins:
"Anthropocentrism assumes that human beings alone are created in the image of God, charged with dominion over Earth, and responsible for the fallenness of creation, though not necessarily through the actions of a literal Adam and Eve. Earth began to be talked about not as an inanimate resource for human consumption, but something good and valuable in and of itself. Having listened carefully to the story of life as told by ecological and evolutionary scientists, I conclude that the traditional anthropocentric paradigm is no longer tenable.  Instead I propose that all of life is the image of God, in its evolutionary past, ecological present and unknown future.  All of life is in direct relationship with God, and exercises dominion of Earth.  Evidence traditionally used as evidence of the fallenness of creation is instead affirmed as an essential part of life'. Jason's thesis is online at the link above.

by Rev Ellie Stock from St. Louis, Missouri
Let the Earth breathe!
Let its heart beat,
    pulsing and firing the fruit of its seed.
Let four winds tease,
    air bright and clean.
    converging and swirling through life’s mystery.

Let waters wreathe.
Let rivers be,
    pristine and free from deep valleys to seas.
Let singing streams
    stir slumbering leagues,
    awakening the dreamer and changing the dream.

    Let mountains rise!
    Let forests thrive—
        primal communities birthed to survive.
    Let kindred be wise,
        not compromise
        their courage and care for greed’s beckoning lies.

Let oceans race!
Let new waves chase
    ancient tides washing ashore cosmic grace.
Let rhythms of peace,
    still conflict’s pace,
    emerging, connecting in trust’s healing place,
bold creatures revealing hope’s eternal face,
beloving, one dwelling, in Earth’s sacred space.

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