Tuesday, April 11, 2017

4/17 CCC: Earth Month Rogation Readings

Friday, March 10, 2017

3/17 CCC: Climate Caretakers: Biblical, Scientific, Business

March 2017 Creation Corner Column

Climate Caretakers: Biblical, Scientific, Business

"The Good News is a 'lamp shining in a dark place.'"

John Elwood, of Climate Caretakers, combines biblical, scientific, and business approaches in his monthly Evangelical blog, www.BelovedPlanet.com , now in its 7th year.  It reflects his "hearing the gospel's call to care for an injured planet" as an elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.

Covering such themes of faith, science, and justice, his resources list includes 24 on-line, 42 books and 5 videos.

Tracking CO2, now at over 400 ppm, is Earth's CO2 home page, https://www.co2.earth.
The https://www.desmogblog.com  is about the global warming misinformation campaign, and tries to clear the public relations pollution that clouds climate science.

Other recommended sites include Climate Progress, Skeptical Science, the U.S. Drought Monitor, EcoWatch, 350.org, etc.

Following Elwood's "Action" suggestions, one finds www.theRE100.org.  It notes what corporations do to reduce carbon emissions by pledging to use 100% renewable energy resources.  The private sector uses 1/2 of the world's electric consumption, and some of the most influential companies' pledges come from Walmart, P&G, Nike, Nestle, Microsoft, GM, Google, FB, Johnson & Johnson, Starbucks, etc.

www.TheRE100.org is brought to us by www.TheClimateGroup.org.   It works with businesses, governments, NGOs, etc., and the Carbon Disclosure Project (https://www.cdp.net/en) that motivates companies and cities to disclose their environmental impact, thus helping to drive sustainable economics.

Both of these are members on the www.wemeanbusinesscoalition.org, urging 100s of investors and businesses to create a low carbon revolution.

One Coalition member, The B Team, goes beyond Plan A ("business as usual") to Plan B, for transparency and anti-corruption.  "B" corporations are conscientious, not just for sustainability and minimizing harm, but also for maximizing their positive impact.  Thus, people using business as a force for good. 

There is a news-stand magazine, "B", www.bthechange.com and BestForTheWorld  http://bftw.bthechange.com/ web sites.

Another Coalition member, www.ceres.org, works with advocates, investors and companies to integrate environmental and social considerations into business decision-making, the goal being sustainable prosperity.

"All of my creation is an effort to weave a web of connection with the world.  I am always weaving it because it was once broken."  Anais Nin 
This blog, seen at www.LutheransRestoringCreation.org began in March 2011, 6 years ago.  It originates with the newsletter of the Williamsport PA based United Churches of Lycoming County (UCLC) (www.uclc.org), where it began in 1997.  

The UCLC is a 70-year old ecumenical body partnering with 180 congregations, engaged in ministries such as the Shepherd of the Street, Food Pantry, Campus Ministry, Fuel Bank, Devotion Line, newspaper sermons, broadcasting,  institutional worship services (825+), social concerns advocacy, monthly print and on-line newsletter, interfaith outreach dialogue network, community ministeriums cooperative services, etc.

Its director is Baptist minister Rev. Gwen N. Bernstine.  The late Lutheran pastor Rev. Dr. Alton Motter (d. Aug. 5, 2003 at age 95), author of Ecumenism 101: A Handbook about the Ecumenical Movement, and other titles, was her predecessor.

This column blogger, Michael Ochs, may be reached at billtownmike@yahoo.com

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

2/17 Creation Corner: News You Can Use

Creation Corner Column for February 2017:  News You Can Use

"Let Justice Flow Like Streams...of sparkling water, pure, enabling growth, refreshing life, abundant, cleansing, sure."  first verse, Hymn 763 in "With One Voice: A Lutheran Resource for Worship" hymnal.

Headlines of "Global Warming In Overdrive" prompt concerned readers to respond.

A recent global evangelical God-centered effort committed to care for the climate through regular prayers and action, with an emphasis on glorifying God and loving our neighbors is www.climatecaretakers.org .

An international grass-roots environmental group that trains and supports volunteers to build relationships with elected representatives in order to influence climate policy is the ten-year-old www.citizensclimatelobby.org .  Also see www.citizensclimateeducation.org .

Another online action center is the www.momscleanairforce.org ,fighting pollution and climate change (it's for dads too!)  It is supported by the 50-year-old Environmental Defense Fund.

For whatever part of God's creation you hold dear, and wish to protect and defend, if you cannot be an "activist" there are many opportunities for you to be a "clicktivist" (signing petitions online), and/or being a "checktivist" (sending financial support for that cause).

As Earth Day April 22, 2017 approaches consider the materials your denomination has for caring for creation at its website (Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, etc.).  Look for the ecological ministries at www.creationjustice.org.

Consider the resources at the Earth Day Network and its 2017 campaign theme of "Environmental and Climate Literacy" (March for science, green schools and cities, endangered species, reforestation, communities of faith for the environment, etc.).

European Christian churches are organized as the European Christian Environmental Network ( www.ecen.org ).

Following Earth Day is the Stewardship Week in late April.  The 2017 theme is "Healthy Soils Are Full of Life".  Materials are from the National Association for Conservation Districts (www.nacdnet.org) .

And be mindful that the annual Arbor Day celebration is the last Friday in April.

From the archives:  1992: The Garden of God: Selections from the Bible's Teaching About the Creation.  Glenn Paauw, assisted by Cal DeWitt and John Stek.  International Bible Society.

Inspiring Quote:  "Hope and optimism are different.  Hope has to do not with thinking everything's going to be O.K., but seeing that it's not and then you move anyway".  Anna Deavere Smith, Time magazine, Nov. 7, 2016, p. 64.


Friday, January 6, 2017

1/'17 Creation Corner Col: New Year Reflections

January 2017 Creation Corner Column

Reflections upon a New Year

"...a glad new year to all the earth."  (concluding line of "From Heaven Above", Hymn 51, Lutheran Book of Worship)

Scripture in bold print; secular quotes in regular font.

Job 12: 7-8 "...ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth,and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you."  Come forth into the light of things, let Nature be your teacher.  William Wordsworth
Psalm 104:24  "How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all: the earth is full of your wisdom."  Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.  John Muir

Psalm 138:8  "Oh Lord, do not abandon the works of your hands."  The greatest threat to our future is apathy.  Protest sign slogan

Psalm 90:12  "Teach us to number our days so that we may apply our hearts to wisdom."  We repeatedly lose touch with what we intend our lives to stand for.  Barry Lopez

Isaiah 24:5-6a  "The earth is defiled by its people, they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes, and broken the covenant.  Therefore a curse consumes the earth."  You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.  William Wilberforce

2 Chronicles 7:14  "If my people...turn from their wicked ways...I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."  In a dark time, the eye begins to see.  Opening of a poem by Theodore Roethke

Genesis 2:15  "And God put (us) in the garden of Eden to keep and serve it."  Its a phenomenal planet.  I wanted to give something back.  A Conservancy contributor

Hebrews 3:13 "Support one another daily."  What a country chooses to save is what a country says about itself.  Mollie Beattie