Tags Mary Lou Miller says: AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Bernadette Demientieff, Alaska Native Gwich’in from Fort Yukon, Alaska, offers an emotional witness to the destruction of sacred lands and waters of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge during the third and final TEConversation, Care of Creation, on July 10, at the 79th General Convention, Austin, Texas. Photo: Sharon Tillman/Episcopal News Service[Episcopal News Service – Austin, Texas] When Native Alaskan Bernadette Demientieff took the stage in front of a joint session of the 79th General Convention assembled for the final TEConversation on July 10, she didn’t so much give a presentation, as scheduled. Instead, she testified in a trembling voice to the destruction of the Gwich’in way of life.“We are not asking for jobs, not asking for schools. We are asking for the respect to live as we always have and keep our identity as Gwich’in,” Demientieff said.The Gwich’in people’s existence has for centuries depended on the Porcupine caribou, whose calving ground lies within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain. To the Gwich’in, the refuge is sacred; to energy companies the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, particularly its 1.5-million acre coastal plain, is a potential oil and natural gas bonanza. This conflict has fueled for more than 30 years a contentious debate over whether this coastal plain should be opened to oil drilling or kept as unspoiled habitat.In December 2017, the Trump administration and congressional Republicans opened the refuge to oil exploration. Earlier this year in April, it took its first step toward allowing drilling.Even in times of food shortage and starvation, the Gwich’in haven’t gone into the coastal plain, which they consider “the sacred place where life begins,” said Demientieff, who after high school drifted away from her Gwich’in identity only to recover it later in life and use her voice to speak for future generations and the animals that cannot speak for themselves.A highlight of General Convention, the TEConversations were part of the three joint sessions of General Convention, each focused on one of its three priorities: racial reconciliation, evangelism and care of creation.Each 90-minute session included three speakers, videos and music and ended with deeper, small-group discussions. The speakers represented international leaders, well-known Episcopalians and rising voices in the church.Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba, speaks to his people’s challenges to survive climate change in sub-Saharan Africa during the Care of Creation TEConversation on July 10 at the 79th General Convention, Austin, Texas. Photo: Sharon Tillman/Episcopal News ServiceBishops and deputies also heard from Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Cecil Makgoba, who reminded them that in Genesis 2:15, “God takes a woman and a man and he puts them in trust … to see that creation is not exploited but that it flourishes.”Unfortunately, that’s not what has happened, and the poor and the marginalized, especially those living in Latin America, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, are paying the highest price.In today’s world, where water is scarce or taken for granted as something that flows from the tap and is sold as a commodity, “900 million people do not have access to the lifesaving 20 liters of water a day because the needs of the poorest of the poor are not taken into consideration,” he said.Water is mentioned 722 times in the Bible, said Makgoba. “The issue of water justice and climate care is real. We don’t have time to be quibbling about the science. We don’t need to be quibbling about the details. We need praxis.”The final speaker, the Rev. Stephanie McDyre Johnson, talked about growing up in the Hudson River Valley, where in the 1970s rivers were catching fire and fish were dying.As a fourth-grader, she went on folk singer and environmental activist Pete Seeger’s Clearwater Sloop, and her teacher said not to put her hands in the water because it was too polluted and too dirty.That was before the federal government passed laws, including the Clean Water Act, to protect human health and the environment.The Rev. Stephanie McDyre Johnson blends her passion for the environment with her ministry as a priest to serve as the co-chair of the Episcopal Church’s Advisory Council on the Care of Creation. Johnson speaks at the third and final TEConversation, Care of Creation, July 10, at the 79th General Convention, Austin, Texas. Photo: Sharon Tillman/Episcopal News ServiceYears later, Johnson took her own family to the region’s annual Clearwater Festival, and fish had returned to the Hudson River.“This is the symbol of hope that I need,” she said. “The symbol of resurrection that God calls us to.”Johnson spent 20 years as an environmental consultant. Following seminary, she eventually combined her love of the environment with theology. She is rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Riverside, Connecticut, and co-chair of the Episcopal Church’s Advisory Council on the Care of Creation, which distributed $300,000 in small grants over 18 months for innovative environmental programs across the Episcopal Church.The environmental laws enacted in the 1970s reversed a lot the damage caused by industry; however, today those laws are under attack. During this General Convention, the church is considering legislation to strengthen its stance on creation care and environmental stewardship.— Lynette Wilson is a reporter and managing editor of Episcopal News Service. Rev. Dr. James Hargis says: Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York July 13, 2018 at 6:00 pm When government policy threatens the well-being of the Gwich’in, or inaction on climate change threatens the health and welfare of people around the world, those are not just “political” problems. Jesus tells us to love God with our whole being, and likewise to love our neighbor as ourselves. In this time when our actions affect people all over the world, our love of God and our neighbor must extend to the entirety of God’s Creation. And that requires the Church, and each of us, to speak out against injustice or policies which create needless harm. General Convention, Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL By Lynette WilsonPosted Jul 10, 2018 Press Release Service Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Pittsburgh, PA Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books John Brewster says: Rector Smithfield, NC Advocacy Peace & Justice, Scott Glidden says: Rector Knoxville, TN Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Dana Sawyer says: Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Submit a Job Listing Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab July 13, 2018 at 2:47 pm I agree with Dr Hargis, and as we love the Lord our actions become more aware of our need to love His creation. The EC is far too political in many areas…Trump bashing homosexual agendaetc which divert from the real reason the church exists. Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET July 11, 2018 at 8:49 pm Creation care isn’t limited to political action. As I understand it, creation care has to do with our individual actions, as well as our family and parish actions — as well as our local, state, and federal actions. I welcome the church’s guidance and inspiration for new possibilities. Comments are closed. Featured Jobs & Calls Catherine Morgan says: July 11, 2018 at 4:12 pm Surely we must take part in the care of creation. I have been appalled at the sight of oceans devastated by plastic garbage. I try to recycle as much as I can. It is easy to use cloth bags for shopping, perhaps we could begin by banning plastic bags. There must surely be a way to preserve the Arctic. However, reading about Mt Everest and the garbage dumped there,it is obvious that for some, the whole earth can be used as a dumping ground. Rector Tampa, FL Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Hopkinsville, KY Wanda Arcos says: July 11, 2018 at 8:14 am Taking care of the earth and the lands and waters within it is part of God’s call to us. Through our human frailty, sadly that trust has now become “political.” Shouldn’t we praise actions of responsible leaders who passed the Clean Air Act which resulted in the clean up of polluted waters and air throughout the country? Surely there can also be a God driven solution to the Arctic that does not result in despoiling it. We need to listen to those who are working to honor God’s trust in us. TEConversation calls on Episcopalians to care for creation Gwich’in woman gives heart-wrenching testimony Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Curate Diocese of Nebraska In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector Bath, NC July 11, 2018 at 7:44 am If the”business” of the Episcopal Church is to ignore the world around us and to simply kneel in prayer, we are turning our backs on the One we pledge to follow. Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Submit a Press Release Environment & Climate Change, Rector Martinsville, VA Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Washington, DC This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Albany, NY General Convention 2018 Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector Collierville, TN Rector Shreveport, LA Associate Rector Columbus, GA July 10, 2018 at 9:49 pm The real wealth of the Nation lies in the resources of the earth — soil, water, forests, minerals, and wildlife. To utilize them for present needs while insuring their preservation for future generations requires a delicately balanced and continuing program, based on the most extensive research. Their administration is not properly, and cannot be, a matter of politics.By long tradition, the agencies responsible for these resources have been directed by men of professional stature and experience, who have understood, respected, and been guided by the findings of their scientists.[…]For many years public-spirited citizens throughout the country have been working for the conservation of the natural resources, realizing their vital importance to the Nation. Apparently their hard-won progress is to be wiped out, as a politically minded Administration returns us to the dark ages of unrestrained exploitation and destruction.It is one of the ironies of our time that, while concentrating on the defense of our country against enemies from without, we should be so heedless of those who would destroy it from within.Rachel Carson1953 Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC July 10, 2018 at 10:51 pm What has this to do with the business of the Episcopal Church? I understand and sympathize with these people, but the Church is not the venue for political action. Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI cynthia seddon says: Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Andrew Poland says: Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI cynthia seddon says: July 11, 2018 at 5:32 pm It is through political action that we can best answer our call to be caretakers of our world for it is through political action, in the greatest part, that our physical world is being attacked. The Episcopal Church uses political action to further our support of other justice issues. How is this issue different? Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Director of Music Morristown, NJ July 11, 2018 at 9:17 pm As a part Native American, we must revere our earth; but we must also wisely use the resources with which we’ve been blessed. The key is balance and harmony. This ill-advised political action won’t make any difference. TEC needs to focus on Jesus, not on political caprice, like bashing Trump! Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector Belleville, IL Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Comments (10) Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Submit an Event Listing Featured Events
Joshua Lott/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — Pastors and community leaders in Chicago gathered on Tuesday to galvanize city residents to come together after 12 people were killed and 54 others were injured in shootings over the weekend.Darius Randall, a local pastor, talked about the “carnage” and “evil plaguing our society.”“We have to come together as a society. We have to come together as a church,” Randall said.Pastor James Brooks said that he was out of town over the weekend but when he heard about the shootings “it broke my heart.”“We can’t stand it anymore … we must save our children,” Brooks said. “Now is not the time to point fingers… it’s the time to say ‘What can we do?’”Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie Johnson have also called on the community to help solve the yet-unsolved shootings from this weekend and to take action to prevent further violence.Dr. Faran Bokhari, the chairman of the trauma team at Stroger Hospital where a number of the weekend’s victims were taken, spoke about the need for “some sensible gun laws.”“The number is not that important … what’s more important is why this is happening and how do we stop it?” Bokhari said.He noted how Illinois has very “strict” gun laws but “it doesn’t help if our neighboring states don’t agree with us.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.