Friday, February 26, 2010

Lenten Action!

by Beth Anderson, Outreach Associate

While we most often think of Lent as a time for giving things up, this season also asks us to recommit to our most valued practices -- to DO something.

May I suggest one simple, yet powerful, Lenten action?

Sign on to the statement about environmental health developed by the National Council of Churches, Earth Ministry, and other ecumenical organizations around the country! Its official title is:
Christian Principles for a Healthy Body and Spirit.

The Principles call for environmental health policies that will...
  1. Protect Creation
  2. Enable Healthy Bodies and Healthy Selves
  3. Seek Justice for Vulnerable Populations
  4. Promote Sustainability
Join with people of faith all over the United States and pledge your support of these Principles!

Blessings on your Lenten journey...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

by Clare Brauer-Rieke

Today is Ash Wednesday. In the Christian liturgical calendar, this day marks the beginning of Lent. The Lenten season mirrors Jesus' forty days in the desert, and accordingly we adhere ourselves to disciplines we hope will deepen our faith and bring clarity to our lives.

And it all begins on this day.

Many Christians approach Lent with a sense of somberness. The nature of the Ash Wednesday service certainly sets that tone -- our religious leaders mark our foreheads in the sign of the cross with ashes and oil and we are reminded of our mortality and called to repent: "From dust you were made, and to dust you will return." But as one who dwells in the synthesized world of faith and the environment, those words --which set off the whole season of Lent-- evoke for me now reflections on life rather than death.

Ash Wednesday humbles us. As we enter Lent to engage ourselves spiritually in service and discipline, we are to be reminded of what our nature really is. We were made from the earth and we will return to the earth. We are made in the image of God, but of simple clay. The biological life of this planet sustains our life, and when we die, our lives enter that cycle to sustain the lives of other biological creatures. Lent offers a possibility of reconnecting us with our own humanity; it is an opportunity for us to re-examine our thoughts and actions and the ways in which they bring us nearer to or separate us from unity with God and the rest of creation.

If you are interested in centering yourself in disciplines of care for the Earth and increased attention to climate change, I invite you to visit our web page: Resources for a Carbon-Free Lent. It is our hope that these resources aid clergy and lay leaders alike to observe Lent in positive and creation-honoring ways.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Send a message: No BPA in sports bottles!

by Beth Anderson, Outreach Associate

Some people are asking, "If BPA is dangerous in baby bottles, what about BPA in my kids' sports water bottles?"

The answer is simple -- to protect the health of our children, we need to take BPA out of water bottles, too!

Kids use sports bottles at school, on family camping trips, at soccer practice and wherever they live, learn, pray, and play.

Send a message to your elected officials TODAY!

Help ban BPA in baby bottles, sports water bottles, and food containers designed for children.