Tuesday, November 20, 2012

PEC's Advent Update is Here!

Download the entire Advent 2012 PEC Update here!

Dear Fellow Healers of Creation,

As it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’” (Luke 3:4-6)
Hope is often the theme in the lighting of the first Advent candle, and it sets a tone of anticipation through the season. In this text for the first Sunday in Advent we hear words of anticipation as John the Baptist quotes from the prophet Isaiah.  We who seek the Christ also seek reassurance that our work in Earth caring will make the rough ways smoother and the crooked straighter.
The need for hope continues as seekers of Creation-healing, not only during Advent, but each day of Earth's journey around the sun.  A PEC journey of hope was ignited in 2011, when Dr. Bill Brown at our Highlands Conference reminded us that ‘Hope finds us’.  Uplifted, we have followed the path of seeking hopefulness in our recent Updates as well as in our collaboration with Patrick David Heery, editor of Unbound, An Interactive Journal of Christian Social Witness in the November/December issue. (We are very excited about our collaboration and invite you to follow this e-journal.) 

In September, I visited the Kansas prairie, a very grounding experience, to take the opportunity to hear speakers at the Land Institute’s Prairie Festival.  This year speakers included Wendell Berry, P. Sainath, and David Orr (presenting on “Down to the Wire: Discussing Climate Collapse.”) PEC's theme of hope resounded from the prairie.  "Pessimism is not what we need," Orr said, "nor is optimism. Neither will get us ‘anywhere.’" Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson agreed.  “It is hope that will carry us down these days of climate destabilization,” Orr said.
There was still something needed.  It all came together during a sermon when my pastor mentioned a quote (amazingly enough) from Wendell Berry, “It gets darker and darker, and then Jesus was born.”  She mentioned the radical hope that this quote had engendered for a woman in the midst of her own darkness. Yes!!!…radical John the Baptist, radical Christ (indeed) and now, what we need is radical hope...for Earth’s healing.  Amen.
In this Update, we recognize Earth Care Congregations (ECCs) and highlight the four areas of action in the program: worship, education, facilities, and outreach (including community involvement and public policy). We have asked representative ECCs to blend these earth-caring actions with the Advent message.  We honor as well all 97 current ECCs, as well as PEC member churches and the many groups and individuals who have continued to work steadfastly toward environmental and related social justice goals.

The peace and passion of Christ be with you.
 Yours in radical hope
 Diane Waddell
 Moderator, Presbyterians for Earth Care

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