Theological Community, EcoTheology, The Church, The World, The Blogosphere

Why EcoEcclesia is also OccupyTheology

September 17, 2015 By: Theoblogical Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, OWS, People's Climate, Theoblogical

I just created a post type in WordPress for EcoEcclesia.  EcoEcclesia , however,  is also OccupyTheology,  since I contend that it requires an action of “Occupying” the theologies, economies,  and spaces of the status quo to ensure that a fundamental questioning must take place.  The status quo which brought about the call to “Occupy” is no longer tenable,  and that key assumptions about our “system” have been found not only wanting,  but destructive and dangerous.  In the case of EcoEcclesia,  many if not most or even all of the same structures are behind the problem.  The oligarchy is also culpable here.  The constant push to consolidate power and exert increasingly widespread pressures to maintain this power and to expand it are causing huge ruptures in the fabric of justice,  which in this case is a rupture in the ecosystems that sustain us, including our economies of money.   I specify “Economy of money” because Ecology is the root econnomy.  An economy of money that ignores the cost of ecosystem damage is not even an accurate economy in terms of accounting.  Any economy that ignores real costs is asking for the an eventual accounting to be brought to the table.

So,  just as the economic recession made visible some fundamental problems of our economy,  and precipitated the Occupy Wall Street movement,  so also has the ecological crisis (aka “The Climate Crisis”)  precipitated it’s own “Occupy Movement”,  most often referred to as a “People’s Climate Movement”,  which has brought to light many other , often older movements that bear witness to the abuse we have been heaping upon the earth’s systems that have supported human civilization.  And so it seems that this is the granddaddy of Occupy Movements.

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New WordPress Post Type: EcoEcclesia

September 17, 2015 By: Theoblogical Category: Uncategorized

In keeping with my conviction that EcoEcclesia calls for a re-orienting of Christian theology into a “Creation Crisis”mode,  I have created a new “Post Type” in my WordPress blog entitled “EcoEcclesia”.  I will go back , at some point and add that post type to the scores of “OccupyTheology” types I have assigned to the vast majority of the posts I have made since September 2014,  when this re-orientation first struck me  (some may be tempted to call it an “obsession”.  We’ll see how this goes.

Raise our UMC voices!

September 14, 2015 By: Theoblogical Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, OWS, People's Climate, Theoblogical

I commented briefly under this article, posted to the United Methodist News Service Facebook  page,  and linked to this blog post for a longer reflection and call to action. So here is the longer version:

This is SO good to see, one level. On another level,  I have been deeply concerned about the silence of the churches, most of all, our United Methodist Church – with just a few exceptions; far too few – in its communications to the world, regarding the Climate Crisis. I hope this can herald the beginning of MUCH MUCH more prioritized coverage. I am still a little concerned that it took a New York Times article to appear before a United Methodist news story appears about UM Church planters emphasizing the deep crisis we face. I would expect much more emphasis and focus on these matters from a church whose bishops penned “God’s Renewed Creation” (and there is now a Missionary position – Pat Watkins as “missionary for the Care of God’s Creation”,  working at the Board of Global Ministries under the sponsorship of that Council of Bishops in an effort to bring to the fore the implications of that message for our life, theology, and ministry as United Methodists and as Christians). There are also many other efforts,  such as  and various conferences that have highlighted themselves with this as mission.  

That there is such an effort underway is an occasion for great hope and encouragement. But we need to pull our church’s resources together around this kind of effort to more fully integrate our very identity as a church around such a crisis as we face with what we are doing to the ecosystem that is God’s Good Creation.

We might also make note that there will be a gathering of faith leaders, including many from UMC churches and organizations that identify as United Methodist, in Washington DC on September 24th (during the week when the Pope is visiting the U.S., to express inter-denominational support for his call to action on climate change and creation care). I attended a prior conference earlier this summer , put on by the Center for Process Studies and it’s founders at Claremont School of Theology, a UMC seminary, called “Seizing An Alternative: Toward An Ecological Civilization”. Disappointingly, there was scant, if any coverage via UMC media. This has to change if we are to play any sort of Christian church leadership role in joining with faith leaders worldwide on what is certainly a crisis that demands attention by a people who claim to be a loving people who love God and seek the Kingdom of God.


I must say that the level of concern I have has been a relatively recent turning point for me. I have to confess a long-standing form of denial , over the past 30 years or so, of what is happening to the ecosystems of our world. Certainly, in the last 8 or 9 years, since the very public “An Inconvenient Truth” and the sharp outspokenness of several leading Climate Scientists, I have read and “believed” what they were telling us, but still managed to avoid letting the reality in. Something in me really preferred to avoid thinking about the very real dangers in which we have been complicit as Chrsitians, especially in a country like the U.S. who have been “energetic” to say the least, in our use of limited resources, and in our unjust “implementations” of those “riches”. I put those words in quotes because we are increasingly being made aware of the destructive qualities and by-products of a fossil fuel-oriented econmomy. Instead of “riches”, we might more fittingly see these as “weapons of mass destruction”, and instead of “implementations”  (a neutral term), as extractions and pollutants. So what I find I have to do now is to lend my voice to the rapidly growing movement and awareness to help lead us into a required new way of life. This new life requires of us a denunciation of a way of life that many will continue to proclaim as our “greatness”, “power”, and even “birthright”, but seen in the light of “God’s Good Creation”, a deeply ingrained sin of immense and destructive power that is unpredented in human history.

Facing the real ultimate challenge

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

Another Facebook comment I wrote under a UMNS link (here)  on Facebook has prompted a longer reflection that seems fitting as a blog post.  It addresses the frustration I feel with the “theological obfuscation” in which  Christians are habitually engaging.

“To become a church that makes disciples of Jesus Christ equipped to transform lives, communities , and the world” is hard to argue but painfully vague when left at that. The problem there is, there are a host of “options” and approaches to how that plays out; what it looks like; what the “specifics” of how that manifests in the activity of the church’s people. Yes, “learning and loving together” is obviously important, but it really comes down to what we are willing to do in the task of responding to the world and living as a “light in the darkness” (to use yet another “fill in the blank” kind of “Great Commission” call to action). We are still left with actually responding as a body to what needs to be done. For me, I find it hard to avoid facing what really threatens our quality of life as does NOTHING else: the growing Climate Crisis. It exists and grows as a result of our unwillingness to see the effects it is having around the world and on the world’s ecosystem, and the growing dangers and hazards that are being visited upon a wide range of human communities around the world (and for many of us in the U.S., something which we are largely ignoring because it SEEMS that nothing really life-altering is happening). But the scientists are saying otherwise, and the long-feared consequences are arriving faster than they first thought. And so the church will need to be bringing to bear their considerable resources for calling forth a movement (and many of them) for growing a crisis-to-action consciousness and pointing to a more just and sustainable way of living. Never before has such a stark message against consumerism and it’s destructive ways been laid before us. This is the great call to getting about the great calling to transform our lives. The necessity of finding sustainable ways of living will bring us face to face with justice issues that affect us all.

Using “Biblical ” language to proclaim purpose which purports to be of “higher calling” than some particular, specific problem or problems.  This was used during the Civil Rights movements to tell the black communities that they ought to be concerned with “bringing souls to Christ” , RATHER than getting involved in these “petty social problems” like a Bus Boycott.  And they say these things now about any problem with which they’d really rather not be bothered.  And this Climate Crisis is the king of those “pesky problems”, because it is directly challenging our notion of how we should live.  Our very lifestyle is “at stake”.  What we have come to expect; a certain “level of living” is literally unsustainable.  And our economics keeps telling us that everything is dependent on GROWTH.  What we have come to define as growth is now under scrutiny from the eco-realities resulting from this economics.   We can no longer sustain an economics that ignores ecological costs.

Looking for a new, functional, attractive but supported theme for WordPress

September 08, 2015 By: Theoblogical Category: Theoblogical, Wordpress

Prosumer seems to have been abandoned (probably for quite some time).  I need to stay current.  I have a few customizations,  especially WP Social Login, that I’ll have to move some code that is manually inserted into some theme pages.  But I want my Social plugins to be extensible,  so that I am no longer so dependent upon that custom code,  so that it stays with me when I change or upgrade the theme.  Any suggestions?