Thursday, April 3, 2014

April '14 Creation Corner Column

 The Ten Commandments of Environmental Responsibility, by Rev. Dr. Alvin Pitcher (1913-1996).

1.  Thou shalt begin each day with thinking about, praying with and for the universe.  Use a globe as a symbol for the universe or find a picture of the heavens with galaxies.

2.   Remember that 40,000 kids under five die every day from hunger and hunger-related diseases.

3.  Thou shalt save energy.  Cut your energy use at least 20 percent during the next 12 months.
----walk, bicycle, carpool, reduce number of shopping trips
----replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent mostly
----buy a car that gets 50 miles per gallon

4.  Thou shalt recycle!

5.  Thou shalt listen to what God is saying to us through the scientists' descriptions of what is happening to the earth.

6.  Thou shalt choose to use less---less gasoline, less fuel for heat, less hot water, less meat, less food grown with chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides), less paper, give less material goods and more of self, buy fewer clothes, less purchased recreation, less traveling, less housing, less purchased entertainment, purchase fewer books, less purchased jewelry, less alcohol.

7.  Thou shalt be part of a group focused on caring for creation---a task force in your congregation, a group of students and faculty at your school, a group living on your block or in your apartment building.  This will include political activity.

8.  Thou shalt write people, especially your friends, send literature, subscribe to magazines for them and other people.

9.  Thou shalt expose yourself to the world of nature---to forest, mountains, rivers, lakes, marshes, to garbage dumps, feed lots, agricultural processes.

10.  Thou shalt be open to accepting the ecological crisis as a gift---as an opportunity for new experiences, new ways of being with and for each other.

Alvin Pitcher was a longtime civil rights activist in Chicago, and retired as a divinity professor from the University of Chicago.  In 1994 Pilgrim Press published his Listen to the Crying of the Earth:  Creating Creation Communities.  In 1965 he received the Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace Prize from the American Baptist Convention.