Blessings to you this Lent. I'm excited to share this edition of EARTH with you.
Below you'll find the link to our Lent Devotion, information about the Eco-Stewards gathering, our next EARTH-Keeper, as well as poetry and images to encourage us in the journey to care for all of God's creation.
We're always looking for new and additional voices to add to our monthly collection of reflection and action. Please do let me know if you want to join us.
with hope and love,
Abby Mohaupt, Vice Moderator and Newsletter Coordinator
Presbyterians for Earth Care
Join us during Lent
At the PEC conference in September 2015, The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, Director of the Office of Public Witness, preached, "Presbyterians cannot solve the worldâ€™s environmental issues alone. It will take a unified effort from the privileged, those living in poverty, people of different races and cultures." To that end, we have invited a diversity of voices to provide devotions for this yearâ€™s Lenten Devotional.
Our inspiration comes from Isaiah 58: 6-9, Is not this the fast that I chooseâ€¦ God promised the Israelites a new thing on their return from exile. Yet on their arrival, they built a system that included injustice, oppression, and hunger. This was not the fast that God chose. Today, climate change and environmental degradation lead to issues of injustice, oppression, and hunger. This is not the fast that God chooses.
Reflections are planned for Ash Wednesday, each Sunday in Lent, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. We hope that you find these reflections helpful and hopeful in this Lenten time of journeying to the cross.
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to southern California. One of the days I was there, we visited the LA area, and took a trip up to the Griffith Park Observatory. We headed up after lunch with a friend, who casually remarked about our plans, â€œitâ€™s a good thing it rained yesterday â€“ it really cleared out the air.â€ Once we got to the top of the mountain, it was clear what he meant. On a typical day, it would be hard to see those snow-capped mountains in the distance due to the air pollution. Not to mention looking the other direction and being able to see the LA skyline with the ocean in the distance. On this day, we were able to see beauty in many directions. And it made me think of the things we need to do to keep it beautiful. Consider walking or riding your bike to nearby destinations or using public transportation when available. Every little bit we can do to keep creation the way God intended helps.
High on the hill above the Farm
I stood in snow, sled rope held tight;
I knew if I dared, I could fly.
A sound beyond the drifted fields
Held me hovering,
Tempted but afraid to yield.
Now this sound recurs;
In a dream I fly back . . .
Sled with me down the alabaster track
Past the orchard and garden,
The yard wall and garage;
Curve left by the churchyard fence,
Past the chapel, the bronzed oak grove.
This time with extra weightâ€”
Daddy's on the bottom!â€”
Weâ€™ll make it down the last stretch
To the paved highway. . .
an excerpt from Nancy Corson Carter's poem, A RETURN
Former Moderator of PEC, Nancy Corson Carter, has finished her third chapbook.
I first met Jiyoung Kim when we were students together at McCormick Theological Seminary from 2008-2012. She came from South Korea with her husband when he started his masters program; he was going to school while she took care of their three children.
When she was in South Korea, Jiyoung had been an artist for Christian Education curriculum for the Presbyterian Church in Korean (PROK). Her beautiful images made from clay are perfect illustrations for how God speaks to us as we learn and grow as people of faith.
In 2012, Jiyoung started her Doctorate in Educational Ministry at Columbia Theological Seminary, and her focus is how we use the church to care for creation.She has focused on how small churches can work together to love the earth and all that God has made. In a recent piece she wrote that "Christian education should be a place in which to thoughtfully engage in understanding our practices and performances. Furthermore, it should help them to live their lives the way God wants them to live. For this reason, ecology is one of the subjects which Christianity can put it into action as a specific, important and meaningful idea. We are empowered to do stewardship that should reimagine what it means to have dominion over the Earth, doing well by God, our Creator."
Her work relies on all senses so that the children, youth, and congregations she engages feel connected in every way to the earth and to each other. You can see some of her work and read her writing here.
abby mohaupt (on the left, with Jiyoung Kim)
Eco-Stewards in Seattle
As we gear up for the Eco-Stewards Seattle Program, we thought it might be nice to spotlight a couple of the organizations we plan to engage with. This month we bring you an overview of Earth Ministry, a 20 year old organization that works to connect faith, justice, and environmental issues.
In their quest to inspire and mobilize the religious community to play a leadership role in building a just and sustainable future, Earth Ministry engages in education, outreach, organizing and training both individuals and congregations. Earth Ministry has grown tremendously since itâ€™s inception in 1992, and has hosted hundreds of public presentations, engaged in countless legislative issues, and partnered with a multitude of similar organizations to advocate for the earth, itâ€™s resources, and itâ€™s inhabitants. In 2008, they launched Washington Interfaith Power & Light, an interfaith religious response to climate change. Today they are still close allies, participating in lobby days and such well-known events as the 2014 Peoplesâ€™ Climate March in New York. The Eco-Stewards are excited to learn more about their additional ministry programs include greening congregations and faithful advocacy. We will visit their office and talk with them about their "Power Past Coal" and "Stand up to Oil" campaigns.