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Update, July 12 2010
Our book study continued as we reflected upon and dialogued about children and youth developing eco-justice attitudes and behaviors as the important adults in their lives express the sacredness of all creation in prayer and worship, and model, advocate for and engage in positive actions for creation care and social justice. Likewise, where children live in neighborhoods striving to implement more sustainable practices, they gain first-hand experience in these practices, e.g. recycling, composting, reusing items, planting an organic vegetable garden; buying/eating organic, fresh foods, and foods lower on the food-chain, etc.
We also discussed how “voluntary simplicity” and being able to take the time to experience the sacredness of creation out in the natural world are privileges to participate in. That is, for individuals and families living at or below poverty level and those in oppressed violent situations, basic survival, multiple low-wage jobs, and single parent realities, challenge many youth’s optimum development. Youth who thrive through these challenges demonstrate inner and outer resiliency. These many factors are explored at Search Institute’s Center for Spiritual Development
In the spirit of Ubuntu, our discussion continues during our final session on Tuesday, June 13 about collaborating for the common good to transform daily lives toward justice, voluntary simplicity and environmental sustainability. We will connect the diverse book themes the group has been reading into Jubilee and Distributive Justice and explore our interdependence with nature and our neighbors, helping to heal God’s creation and assure ample and more equitable resource use for future generations.
Here are some local resources that promote social equity, justice and sustainability:
If you would like a copy of the book list we’ve been using to read to explore these themes on your own; and if you would like to assist the Simpler Living Ministry’s Growing Justice and Faith project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Closing Prayer is:
“When we live in hope, we commit ourselves to those great causes, those holy causes, because that is what is required of us. It is required in our calling to embody God’s shalom in the world. It is required in living out our personal discipleship. We may never see the results that we hope for, but we will live our lives in ways that are true to God’s reality. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord” Rev. Peter Sawtell, Executive Director, Eco-Justice Ministries
Grace van Thillo
Reverend Woody Bartlett, Episcopal Priest (retired) from Atlanta, in “Love God, Heal Earth”, a compilation of religious voices on the sacred duty to protect the environment, discusses his awareness of the vast environmental threats we face. He became aware after a visit to the San Diego Zoo, made during a conference trip here in 1989. He was shocked to discover how many species were tagged “endangered”. And later to realize that the human race is responsible for 99% of that! He notes that during the period 65 million years ago when dinosaurs became extinct, 90% of the existing species became extinct. Now, 1000 species are becoming extinct each year. He asks when humanity will become extinct. These realizations brought tears to his eyes.
I am thinking about the recent global conference on the environment and the failure to accomplish much of anything. Even though some islands are already being lost to global warming and rising sea levels!
What will it take? More disasters, I fear, will be needed. I realize I don’t even have an “earthquake readiness” kit in my apt. Maybe I’ll get one when the next earthquake comes to San Diego. If it threatens me, of course! I’m hoping at least one person can start taking this more seriously…….ME
Stewardship can’t just be writing a check to St. Paul’s every month….as important as that is, it’s not anywhere near enough to honor God’s gift of divine earth to us, and to me.