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Monthly eBulletin- As Progressive Christians, What Can We Do About Climate Change?

As I am sure you are aware, these are crucial times. Indeed, we have potentially reached the global warming tipping point that we have been warned about now for years. However, this is notthe time to sit around feeling powerless and defenseless. If you are like me, you are feeling angry and apprehensive about the state of our environment and the damage that we as humans have caused. Ideally, our anger is inspiring us toward action, rather than overwhelming us toward inactivity. Anger is a powerful tool that can be channeled toward action and passion. For those of you that are involved in communities, have you considered what you can do as a group? We are capable, intelligent, and adaptable beings and when we come together we are a force to be reckoned with. This is not the time to be complacent. This is the time to draw upon all our resources- emotional, financial and time- to do something…anything.

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“Rising Appalachia’s “Closer to the Edge” is a creative sculpted song-line that speaks to the universal need and desire to stand up, step in, and jump off…digging deep into the corner cracks of our social fabrics. It is a creative interpretation of modern times and their imminent impact and decay. We have a deep longing to join forces to create, and co-shape this upward movement towards solidarity. It is one part apocalyptic and two parts unity…looking at global warming, the abuse of media, the inability to WORK on the problems at hand, and America’s fractured ability to RISE up as a unified and diverse people. What are our edges, and how close are we to that tipping point?” …

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Being a Progressive Christian

Is Not for Dummies, Nor for Know-It-Alls

Chuck Queen explores the following themes from a distinctly progressive Christian viewpoint: Scripture, faith, Christianity, salvation, discipleship, and the Beatitudes. Each chapter consists of seven reflections; each reflection is followed by questions that probe deeper into the topic and facilitate group discussion.

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Not In My Name

An extremely small percentage of the world’s Muslim population recognizes ISIS as having any sort of authority over their lives. In other words, being Muslim does not equate with ISIS affiliation. We need to stop acting as if the two are interchangeable and start acting out of love, rather than from hate or fear. Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35). If there is no love, there is no Christianity. Period. There is just an empty label that leaves the world seeing us in ways that will make you cringe.

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Come Together and Act

Every living being on this planet and indeed this universe is interconnected in a deep and meaningful way. We are literally made of the stars, we breathe the air that the trees cleanse for us, and we are in a symbiotic relationship with every creature in this web of life.

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Global Warming and the Christian Prophetic Voice

In the midst of all this one might well ask: What has happened to the Christian prophetic voice? the voice that says: no, you can’t do that. Christians lately have a tendency to accommodate culture, either by draping the cross with the American flag, or by pretending that new philosophical/theological theories are the answer to the world’s problems. The prophets of the Hebrew Bible had a different take on the divine will. They walked into the king’s court and the king’s chapel, and proclaimed what they believed was the word of God: you cannot do that! We may not like to use the word sin anymore, especially when thought of as “original”. So let us put something else in its place. We are parochial, we do create our own little world, we do put our interests above those of others. And it will haunt us. The eternal now is upon us, and it is time for the Church, progressive and otherwise, to join those prophetic voices that the the world so desperately needs to hear, those voices that cry out: you cannot do this!

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Green Grass in Concrete

Don’t be discouraged or impatient. Nature reminds us that perseverance is not always a linear process but it always involves change. Human beings persevere the same way a leaf falls to the ground- back and forth, two steps forward and one step back. Be prepared to change and fall, many times and then get back up. Life can be a wild and unpredictable ride, but there is always more to come, more to learn and more to become.

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Moon to Earth – A Cosmic Perspective

This cosmic vision changes everything. The incredible thing is that from the moon, you don’t see people and animals and plants as if they are separate, you see patterns of light and shade. You see one small and fragile ball hanging like a mobile over a baby’s crib. It’s all one and not fragmented into human needs and earth needs. The needs are one and the same. Viewed from outer space, the borders between countries, the distinction between human and non human, rich and poor, man and woman, all become trivial.

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The Progeny of the Koch Brothers

As it always has been with all species that defy planetary order, ours will soon be facing a painful adjustment and even the possibility of extinction. How did we – you and I – get to where we are today? Historically throughout human history we see a certain archetypal pattern repeating itself over and over again. Can this give us an answer? Yes, it can.

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The Debate That Should Be Taking Place

This problem began long before the late Middles Ages and the Enlightenment here referenced. It began with the Babylonians, Akkadians, Egyptians and others who lived at the beginning of the bronze, iron and agricultural age; what many now call the beginning of the first axial age. It was an age that tore us away from thousands of years of attachment to nature. Unlike earlier Homo sapiens going back to the beginning of our species who had a reverence toward nature and the delicate balance that needed to be maintained, in the mind of that first axial civilization the earth was turned into an inanimate object to do with as humans wished. Remnants of this contrast were seen when Europeans first met the American Indian. Along the way this contrast was also seen the life of certain spiritual leaders and their followers such as the Buddha and Jesus and Gandhi and in isolated communities. But for the bulk of humanity, we all went from homo sapiens in tune with nature to homo economicus in opposition to nature.

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The Chimney Sweeper

Two poems by William Blake, published in 1789

A little black thing among the snow,
Crying ” ‘weep! ‘weep!” in notes of woe!
“Where are thy father and mother? say?”—
“They are both gone up to the church to pray.

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MEDICINE single by Rising Appalachia

Find your teachers in the voice of the forests
unplug you cant ignore this
wisdom of the voiceless
Remedies are bountiful and surround us
from the garden to the farthest
prayers made of star dust

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