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Issue #66 "UM Friends at Work"
|February 19, 2013|
With new, spring life emerging from the ground, it seems like a fitting time to talk about some of the exciting, creation-care work emerging among United Methodists -- in the PNW and throughout the country. This current issue features a smattering of examples -- from Jeff Staley's "love" poem for Little Swamp Creek, to Jenny Phillips' Earth Day work with the NCC, to Bill McKibben's activism
, to Queen Anne UMC's ability to bring together some of today's most important, creation-caring voices. What a gift that this Lenten season can be both a "springtime for the soul"* and a springtime for God's Earth. Thank you, United Methodist friends, for helping to bring about this springtime!
Grace and Peace be with you,
Creation-Care Projects Coordinator
PNW Office of Connectional Ministries
*Barbara Brown Taylor writes, "...the church announce[s] a season of Lent, from the old English word lenten, meaning 'spring' -- not only a reference to the season before Easter, but also an invitation to a springtime for the soul." (Home By Another Way, p. 66)
Poem from Jeff Staley
Bothell UMC member and steward of Little Swamp Creek*
My creek cannot speak
for herself-though she babbles
sometimes in summer.
Once, I watched her storm
off in tumultuous rage,
swollen muddy red,
as though all heaven
had turned against her. But not
even then, could she
mouth the words I wished
to hear from her. So I write:
"At her mouth, cutthroat
trout splash, and salmon
spawn. Upstream, beaver gnaw down
young alders; while tall
cedars, with raccoons
rollicking from branch to branch,
dance as though on ants.
On nights in late spring
Pacific tree frogs sing sweet,
And neighbors open
their windows to listen." Still
my dear does not speak.
It must be for me
to listen for your quickening
Signed, your Valentine.
*Note from Jeff: "[this poem relates to] the work I have done alongside 'Little Swamp Creek' in my backyard, in Bothell, and the wetlands behind that. There is a small development planned just downstream from me, and today I wrote this Valentine's Day poem about it. I have written a lot about the stream over the years--besides the "real work" I have done in restoration.The style of the poem is a variation on haiku--called photo haiga."
Image source: http://www.littleswampcreek.com/2010/01/why-erosion-control-rules-should.html
| Small Steps... for Greater Good|
|REMINDER: Receive a "Climate Justice Ministries" Designation
At last year's Annual Conference we invited all PNW local churches and ministries to receive the "Climate-Justice Ministries" designation. If your congregation/ministry would like to receive this designation -- and recognition at Annual Conference 2013 and in the PNW Journal -- please click here to read more
This designation as an opportunity to celebrate the CO2-reducing efforts already taking place within ministries throughout the PNW. Rather than a set of difficult "hoops" through which one needs to "jump," we offer this designation as a way to announce to the broader world that your ministry cares deeply for God's creation. Please contact Tanya Barnett
if you have interest in this designation and we will work with you to help your ministry receive it.
|Tools for Renewal|
|NCC Earth Day 2013
FREE Resource Now Available
Sunday Morning Sustainability
Sacred Spaces and an Abundant Life:
Worship Spaces as Stewardship
The National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Programs has just released their comprehensive, congregational resource for Earth Day Sunday (on or around April 21, 2013), which includes a bulletin insert (with an entire order of worship), sermon starters, and very practical "Eco-Justice Impacts and Opportunities" related to transportation, electricity, clothing, food, water, and other choices that one might make
on any given Sunday.
The PNW UMC's very own Rev. Jenny Phillips* authored this excellent resource, which is FREE to download through the NCC Eco-Justice Programs' website
. Theme Description
: "Many of us have similar Sunday morning routines. They include tasks we hardly think about, like turning on a light, taking a shower, and eating breakfast. Yet, our routine actions impact people and places around the world, often contributing to environmental degradation, hunger, poverty, and chronic illness. We can help bring healing to God's people and God's earth by examining our routines and changing our habits to live more simply and sustainably. In doing so, we respond to Jesus' call to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, and care for the sick (Matt 25:34-45)."
*Jenny Phillips is a pastor who teaches faith communities about creation care through sermons, workshops, classes and retreats. Topics include Food and Faith, Jesus and Nature, The Bible and the Environment, Climate Change 101 and more. She also consults with congregations on greening their ministries. If you would like Jenny to work with your congregation, email her at email@example.com
|Some excellent, on-line sermon helps -- most of which coincide with the Revised Common Lectionary:|
|Events & Actions|
|Winter-Spring 2013 |
- February 19 (Olympia, WA): Environmental Lobby Day
- February 22 (Beaverton, OR): EcoFaith Recovery's Ecology of Grace & Justice series - "The Cosmic Story, Part I"
- February 26 (world-wide): NCC Eco-Justice Programs' webinar: Climate, Energy, and Clean Air
- March 9 (Kent, WA): Seattle-Tacoma Districts' Training Day with creation-care workshop (2:15-4:15 p.m.)
- March 22 (Beaverton, OR): EcoFaith Recovery's Ecology of Grace & Justice series - "The Cosmic Story, Part II"
- March 23 (Bellevue, WA): First UMC Bellevue's 4th Annual Earth Friendly Gardening Seminar and Plant Exchange
- March 23 (Seattle, WA): Queen Anne UMC's The Well - Joel Salitan on Sustainable Farming
- April 10 (Seattle, WA): Queen Anne UMC's The Well - Mike Wallace on Climate Change: Myths, Facts, & Us
- April 19 (Seattle, WA): Faith, Hope, and 20 Years: Earth Ministry's Anniversary Celebration
- April 26 (Beaverton, OR): EcoFaith Recovery's Ecology of Grace & Justice series - "Organizing the Biocommons: Where do we go from here?"
- April 28 (Seattle, WA): Queen Anne UMC's The Well - Bill McKibben on Coal, Climate Change, and the PNW
- May 8 (Seattle, WA): Queen Anne UMC's The Well - Charles Montgomery on Urban Design and Happiness
- May 15 (Seattle, WA): Queen Anne UMC's The Well - Norman Wirzba on Food, Faith, & Creation
- May 28 (Seattle, WA): Queen Anne UMC's The Well - Robert Paarlberg on the Politics of Food, Food Policy, Nutrition, and Feeding the World
|Queen Anne UMC's "The Well"
"At the Well, nationally and internationally respected leaders facilitate conversation, offer presentations, and lead those assembled in respectful, engaged, and deep discourse. Artists perform and dialogue with the audience. Scientists teach about new and exciting discoveries, and they disturb with challenging data. And still, the holy and sacred in our gatherings arise from those who show up with open ears, discerning hearts, probing minds, and compassionate tongues. Come, join the conversation!
Much of the following comes from Queen Anne UMC's "The Well" website. Our PNW UMC Creation-Care Ministries are pleased to support The Well's spring focus on "Food, Faith, & Planet" and we hope that you will be able to be part of as many of these exceptional conversations as possible. Thank you, Queen Anne UMC, for helping us to remember that: "a more just and compassionate society can be built through generous conversation in community over time."
"...Beginning this spring, The Well will focus on food, faith, and planet for several months. All major faiths include care for creation, concern for the poor, and commitment to community. We will explore this theme in diverse ways, including workshop teach-ins on things like the farm bill, international aid, and public health as well as climate change, local ecological and political concerns, and creation care. [For more information and to RSVP, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Upcoming conversations include:]
- March 23, Joel Salatin on Sustainable Farming. Farmer and activist Joel Salatin is featured in the documentaries Food, Inc. and Fresh, and in the book The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. He is a third-generation organic farmer in Virginia, whose farm -- Polyface Farms -- nourishes people in the Shenandoah Valley and offers education on food and healing the land.
- April 10, Mike Wallace on Climate Change: Myths, Facts, & Us. John "Mike" Wallace is a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, as well as the former director of the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean. Wallace is among the scientists from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who were awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with former Vice President Al Gore.
- April 28 at 8:30 p.m., Bill McKibben on Coal, Climate Change, and the Pacific Northwest. Environmental writer, activist, and founder of 350.org Bill McKibben will be at The Well to discuss coal, climate change, and the PNW. His group 350.org is so named to highlight the parts per million of carbon that scientists say is the maximum amount allowed for a health and well being. Currently, the parts per million of carbon is much higher and rising. Bill warns of warming oceans, melting ice caps, increased volatility in weather, and the effects this has on all people, especially people who are poor or living in "developing countries." Bill is leading a movement to divest from oil companies that is sweeping our nation's colleges and universities. He is one of the most important voices in our country today...on any subject.
- May 8, Charles Montgomery on Urban Design and Happiness. Urban experimentalist and journalist, Charles Montgomery writes extensively for Canadian Geographic (National Geographic in Canada). His travels have taken him all around the world and have excited in him a quest to discover what makes some cities "happy" and how they may be designed that way. His forthcoming book is Happy City, and that is also the topic of his talk at The Well.
- May 15, Norman Wirzba on Food, Faith, & Creation: Norman Wirzba is the Research Professor of Theology, Ecology, and Rural Life at Duke University. He is the author of The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age and "Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight." He is a colleague of Wendell Berry and his current projects focus on eating as a spiritual discipline, theological reflection as informed by place, and agrarianism as a viable and comprehensive cultural force.
- May 28, Robert Paarlberg on the Politics of Food, Food Policy, Nutrition, and Feeding the World. Robert Paarlberg is a Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College. Paarlberg's principal research interests are international agricultural and environmental policy. Often the target of criticism, Paalberg advocates for both environmentally sustainable farming and biotechnology.
|UMC Creation-Care News|