The Rector's Blog
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September 20, 2018, 4:03 PM

Creation Season Continues!


Joan Chittister

Try saying this silently to everyone and everything you see for thirty days: “I wish you happiness now and whatever will bring happiness to you in the future.” If we said it to the sky, we would have to stop polluting; if we said it when we see ponds and lakes and streams, we would have to stop using them as garbage dumps and sewers; if we said it to small children, we would have to stop abusing them;…if we said it to people, we would have to stop stoking the fires of enmity around us. Beauty and human warmth would take root in us like a clear, hot June day. We would change.

Source: In a High Spiritual Season

There are two Sundays left in “Creation Season.”  I’d like to know what you think of what we’ve been doing, in the liturgy and in the classes Between the Services, if you’ve been participating in those.  What have you learned?  Where are you being challenged to learn more?  Have your perspectives been widened or changed in any way?  What have you liked? What’s been uncomfortable?

For me, it feels rather strange to expand the preaching as much beyond the texts presented as I have done or am doing; but I’ve also been pleasantly surprised to find that there always seems to be a solid link to at least one of the lessons, that allows the conversation to still be scripturally based.  (I do prefer to preach on scripture!)  It’s rather exciting to see the Word of God speaking to the non-human parts of Creation, when it is so easy to stay human-centered.

Paul Santmire, whom I’ve referenced already twice in sermons, spent quite a bit of time talking about the tendency of the church in our own day to be anthropocentric.  In the extreme version, we might hear someone saying God has a plan for me, or Jesus is my personal savior – not that this is bad, but that if that is all we consider God to be doing, then we might not be able to hear other voices, and not only non-human voices, but human ones as well. 

Therefore we may need to be encouraged to go beyond what God is doing in my life to what God is doing in the life of my parish, to the life of the Episcopal Church, to the life of the “Church Universal,” and even on into the rest of Creation.

In our survey of Christian views of Creation, we have moved from Augustine’s Joyful Partner to Acquinas’ Rational Analyst, and have had hints of a modern day Utilitarian.  This Sunday and next we’ll move on through re-claiming the “value of nature” to reclaiming the one-ness of all created things (ourselves included).

This Sunday Between the Services the topic is “Environmental Stewardship.”  What does it mean for us to have “dominion” or to “rule over” Creation?  Does it mean we can do whatever we want?  Or does it mean we should treat the world the way we would like God to treat us? 

And if it’s the latter, what does that ask of us? 

Blessings to all!                            Evelyn+


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