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upcoming UMComm 75th anniversary: Will they help the church to tell the Climate Story and to participate in the New Economy?

July 25, 2015 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, People's Climate, Theoblogical

Saw this article on the UMC.org website this week,  and ,  as I am apparently programmed to do,  reflected upon it in the context of “A Church in a time of Climate Crisis”,  or “A Planet in Peril” (as I once heard Phillip Clayton say).  There was no place for me to make comments below this article which was published at the UMComm website,  so I “Shared” the post on my Facebook timeline with the following lead-in:

Let’s hope that the Communications agency of the United Methodist Church considers it a calling to begin to help the church awaken to the urgency of the Climate Crisis, which will, in the NEXT 75 years, become more and more obvious, intense, and destructive of cities, communities, economies, and all of life. Talk about a “Pro-Life” issue. And it’s not just something “75 years in the future that we can push to the side and say, “we’ll deal with that later”. What is happening NOW and into the next 75 years is largely already caused by what we’ve ALREADY done. What we must do now is to change course, and seek to DECREASE the amount of dire effects we will experience. I think this is an issue that is arguably the most far-reaching ethical issue humanity has ever faced. It is past time for the church to begin acting like it.

A new conceiving of “Mission” for our crisis situation

July 15, 2015 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, Theoblogical

I tweeted these three tweets out to my 3 Twitter accounts yesterday,  and again just a few minutes ago.

Our churches should be generating ministries of “Eco-Mission”
Let us not allow this to become a point of great O-mission
Rather, it should be considered an integral part of “The Great Commission” as we seek to be a church in the Anthopocene

This is an enormous issue for theology today,  in a time where churches aligning with the values of Empire and Oligarchy have adopted an ideology of strident opposition to economic and ecological change.   Ecological change requires a radical re configuring of our economic and social awareness.  And theological legacies have been built which fail to take in to account the ecological limitations,  which was inconceivable to a pre-scientific mind which perceived the earth as infinitely unlimited.  The cosmology was severely restricted to literally what we could then perceive with the senses.  That is no longer the case.

Top (10 or 13) Things To Do As An Ecological Steward

July 13, 2015 By: Theoblogical Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, People's Climate, Theoblogical

A Twitter acquaintance (Ryan; met him via some post comments on UMC.org), asked me via Twitter yesterday:  “Can you give me a list of top 10 things to do to live as an ecological steward?” .  I responded with a followup , clarifying question:  “as individuals, collectives, or all of the above?”.   And  also : “regardless of your reply, that is a great subject for a blog post. Thanks! might do 10 of each ( individual,collective)”.   and then “that has opened up such an awesome theological exploration for me. Thanks again. I will attribute the question to you.”

And then I offered up a “preview”:  “this may take a day or two….but major will be getting off fossil fuels ASAP, with attention to how urgently (fast)” followed by “that’s a collective one, but it syncs with an individual one: to work on the church level to raise awareness in that collective”

I would say that is my number one.  As one working in the Web communications business since 1994,  and doing it almost exclusively from within the church,  this is my natural concern:  that the church awaken to its call to be a “City on a Hill”; to be a foretaste of Kingdom-of-God living.  The conference I attended at Pomona College Claremont , CA ,  organized by the Center for Process Studies (and John Cobb)  ,  “Seizing An Alternative: Toward An Ecological Civilization” sounded like a call to me.  That “Ecological Civilization” is all about a wholistic approach in all disciplines,  with a keen focus on ecology and economics as they pertain to “The Common Good”.

So,  I think I will do two lists,  and these lists overlap at points,  as I anticipated in my initial response tweets, listed above.

So far,  I have a total of 13,  but I want to end up with 10 of each.

Collective
1.  getting off fossil fuels ASAP

2. include the ecological costs in our accounting and economics

3. develop programs to promote and incentivize individuals/families to implement solar for electricity

4. Ramp up dramatically the move to ZERO emissions autos (electric, not “hybrid”)

5. Collaborate with the world efforts to seriously address the problem of global economy being so dominated by oil interests.

6.Get the churches involved in lobbying government to recognize the neccessity of immediate re-orientation efforts

7. More to add as I think of them

 

Individuals/Families

1. Be present in your church and share your concerns about the Ecological (and increasingly, Economic)  crisis we face.

2. Get moving to find programs (or be active in efforts to get them going) to promote solar for homes and businesses (syncs up with number 3 collective)

3. Economize on trips, errands, water usage (especially hot water that uses both water and electricity) , heating and air, and local food over big chain, big brand (which cuts down on emissions created in transporting food, and on demand for high-carbon “Big Agro” production)

4. Waste less food and water

5. Move to much -lower emissions means of transport in personal transport (public transport where feasible), especially in choice of vehicles (Electric is preferrable over hybrid, which still creates emissions, only 50% less,  which is good,  but don’t stop there.

6. Find active organizing, lobbying group such as “Citizen’s Climate Lobby” to hook up with people collaborating on ways to help the collective.

7. Stay educated on Climate issues,  and avoid the “Denier” memes propogated by conservative media,  and the “jury’s still out” debates that pit the science vs the “Denier-groups” which are largely funded by fossil fuel interests.  Staying educated will also help you to add new items to this list.  Hopefully, some day,  and very soon,  you will be able to find “Eco-mission” with people in your congregation.

8. More to add as I think of them

 

My online friend Ryan is at @ColtsFan254 on Twitter.  Ryan is much more conservative theologically and politically than I am,  but he has engaged me on 2-3 occasions via Twitter,  and as I have told him,  he has been a help and a very civil debater on these topics.

 

Wes Jackson speech (Sunday AM plenary at @PandoPopulus conference)

July 12, 2015 By: Theoblogical Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, People's Climate, Theoblogical

Video from PandoPopulus, ( Click here to begin at 24:50 is when Wes Jackson begins speaking)

“An evangelism of ecology” Let’s do it.

July 10, 2015 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, People's Climate, Theoblogical

Yes!

Pope Francis devotes an entire chapter of the encyclical to the need for an “ecological conversion” among Christians, “whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”

An evangelism of ecology, I realize, is what I have been witnessing take shape during the past three days in Rome—in the talk of “spreading the good news of the encyclical,” of “taking the Church on the road,” of a “people’s pilgrimage” for the planet, in Miranda laying out plans to spread the encyclical in Brazil through radio ads, online videos, and pamphlets for use in parish study groups.

A millennia-old engine designed to proselytize and convert non-Christians is now preparing to direct its missionary zeal inward, challenging and changing foundational beliefs about humanity’s place in the world among the already faithful. In the closing session, Father McDonagh proposes “a three-year synod on the encyclical,” to educate Church members about this new theology of interconnection and “integral ecology.”

–Naomi Klein in “A Radical Vatican?”

This reads almost as a prayer , for me,  for the renewal of the Church,  and for a “conversion”;  an “evangelization” as Naomi calls it (and I agree).

She’s onto something there; something deeply challenging for theology,  and necessary for its advance (or some might say,  instead of “advance”,  to “turn it around” and halt it’s decline or its role as a corrupter of values necessary for survival and for justice.