Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Sacredness of Earth

 Seeking the Sacred in Each Other

Dear wise and generous people of PEC,

After Pope Francis shared Laudato Si in 2015, our congregation’s Social Justice Team gathered together several denominations in St. Joseph, Missouri, meeting monthly to work toward improved social, economic and environmental justice in our community. Our group was based on the Pope’s words ‘integral ecology’ - the interconnectedness of everything. Our ecumenical eco-justice group continues to gather (virtually) and has been influential in our community.


John Philip Newell, a pastor in the Church of Scotland, which has Presbyterian roots, reminds us to seek the sacred in each other, in all beings, in Earth herself. Seeing the sacredness of Earth is vital to our under-standing of who we are and how we interact as God’s children. Newell states that we lost that sacred understanding due to the influence of Empire. Losing that connection has caused huge harm to Earth and continues to be a factor in the multiple social injustices of today.

Thoughts for 2021:

  • Thanks to our PC(USA) connected system, there is a group of PEC folk teaming up with Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP) folk who are appreciating an idea brought forward by Rev. Jed Koball, Mission Co-worker in Peru. You will hear more later, but for now, consider adding to your Creation Care donation list the Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice Fund, E865715, which is associated with the PHP. This has been recently activated as a fund which will eventually be used for Eco-Reparations!
  • Carey Gillam, is an investigative reporter and a major player on the global scene reporting the devastating effects of glyphosate. She is an author, speaker and activist....and now research director of U.S. Right to Know! Check out her work! (She is a member of Village Pres in Kansas City, as was her father, also a stalwart eco-justice seeker.)
  • Consider pulling together an ecumenical environment group based on Laudato Si!
  • Consider as key words/phrases - connectivity, integration, seeking the sacred, positivity and gratitude. Blending these with compassionate activism, prophetic witness, and seeking equity are key to helping heal Earth and each other.

Continued wisdom and strength to you, people of PEC.

Keep the Light of Christ shining brightly!

Diane Waddell,
Past PEC Moderator

Diane Waddell, RN, MSN, is a retired integrative nurse practitioner.  She enjoyed her years as past moderator of PEC and as a past member of the Advisory Committee of the Presbyterian Hunger Program. She currently moderates an ecumenical, a city and a presbytery eco-justice group. She and her daughters own the Center for Justice, Outreach and Yoga (JOY) in St. Joseph, MO and enjoy sharing that sacred space with the local community (during non-Covid times!)

Photo of Ghost Ranch taken by Diane Waddell in October 2019

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