October 2, 2016
In this Sunday’s Gospel, plants are metaphors to express the growth potential of faith: “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Luke 17) Of course the increase of faith is about our faith in God, but mustard seeds, mulberry trees, and the sea are somehow part of the world of faith. In fact, we could ask ourselves, what our faith, our life, even our urbanized lifestyle, would be without the plants, trees, animals, water… The awareness of the crucial place of nature and ecology in our lives continues to grow. Environmental Spirituality aims at creating a deepened awareness of the importance of our climate, our natural context, our human biotope.
This Sunday, October 2, Julia Johnson will introduce this concept of Environmental Spirituality, announcing a Bible Study and related movie series. She will speak during the 9am service, at the 10am Sunday Forum and during the 11am service.
On a related note, from the office of our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Water Is a Gift: Respect It, Protect It
The planned 1,172 mile Dakota Access Pipeline could transport up to 500,000 barrels of oil per day in dangerous proximity to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their precious water supply: the Missouri River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved construction of the pipeline along this route, and the Standing Rock Sioux argue that the Corps failed to complete a full environmental assessment of the project before commencing construction. In April 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux initiated a protest effort to protect their water rights and the sacred burial ground that the pipeline would traverse, and they later sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for failing to properly consult their tribe.
As the court case awaits resolution, the protests continue. Last weekend, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry traveled to North Dakota to stand with “protectors” at the Sacred Stone Camp, and he invites us to join him in solidarity with the Sioux through advocating to policymakers for responsible water stewardship and the indigenous rights of the Standing Rock Sioux.
You can stand with Presiding Bishop Curry and the Standing Rock Sioux by contacting your members of Congress and urging a complete environmental assessment of the pipeline that includes potential impacts of the project on the tribal reservation and honors obligations expressed in the treaty with the Standing Rock Tribe.