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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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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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Up Close and Personal With Nature

If you’re the sort of person who is motivated by getting up close and personal with nature, then create plenty of opportunities to do that. Remind yourself that your life is dependent on the life of the earth, and your life affects the earth in every moment.

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Getting Real About the Planetary Crisis

If you take an honest look at the problem, it’s hard to ignore the role of our human lifestyle in creating the crisis. But what do you do about it? Is guilt or regret an effective motivator? Can we force ourselves to change our lifestyles, or is this just a band aid on massive scar?

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Putting Heart Back Into Earth Care

I’m yet to meet anyone who openly admits that they don’t care about the earth. We all SAY we care. The real question we need to ask is, “What are we prepared to do? How far are we prepared to go in our activism? Will we make radical changes to our lifestyle for the cause?”

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Trees and Things that Live

The idea that we humans have been given dominion over the animals, the trees and the waters is just wrong. At some point we are going to have to admit we have been blind to what we have done and are continuing to do. If we do not begin to function in harmony with all Creation, I am afraid Homo sapiens will have a short history on this earth. Even more tragic, we humans will have missed an opportunity to experience an amazing awareness that could have led to a profound, life changing spiritual experience and a very different worldly experience.

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Climate Change, A Vocabulary of Reverence and the Strength of Fragility

For those like me who see Jesus, not as the divine Son of God in our midst, but as a courageous sage and social prophet, and for those of us who see God as other than an all-powerful distant deity – the language of reverence is rooted in the story of existence and the universe itself. That becomes a religious story whispering of a larger meaning of our existence or in Bumbaugh’s words each of us is “a self present in the singularity that produced the emergent universe; a self present at the birth of the stars; a self related through time to every living thing on this planet; a self that contains within it the seeds of a future we cannot imagine in our wildest flights of fantasy.” That non-traditional evolutionary sacred story invites us to stand in awe; and it calls us to create a whole new vocabulary of reverence even as we commit to cherishing and caring for the earth.

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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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