Posts Tagged "ecotheology"

Ecotheology Retreat #2 – God as Wholeness

Posted by on Jun 20, 2020 in | 0 comments

Ecotheology Retreat #2 – God as Wholeness

God as Wholeness: “All Creation Groans” Wholeness and healing as a way to approach the Earth Linking God as One/Whole and Creation as part of that unity Weeding and applying compost as way of making wholeness possible. Possibly working on the new house eco-build Suggested donation – $75 (includes lunch) Retreat registrationName Email Do you have any dietary restrictions?  VerificationPlease enter any two digits *Example: 12This box is for spam protection - please leave it...

Read More

God in Deep Time – Online Eco-Theology retreat

Posted by on Apr 22, 2020 in | 0 comments

God in Deep Time – Online Eco-Theology retreat

Does being in grip of a world-wide viral infection require us to take a deeper look at the impacts humans have on Earth? Does it matter in the whole scope of the universe that we cause suffering and devastation on this one planet? How does our understanding of God as eternal and changeless help us to weather this situation? How can this time of great suffering and immobility renew or strengthen our relationship with God? When we find ourselves unable to gather, we also affirm more strongly the need to grapple with these and other issues related to the health of Earth. “God in Deep Time” is the first of three Eco-theology retreats offered at The Hermitage this year. The second retreat, “God as Wholeness: Earth Healing” is scheduled for June 20, 2020 and “God as Presence: Reading the Signs of the Times” is scheduled for October 31. The Eco-theology retreat, “God in Deep Time,” originally scheduled for Holy Saturday (April 11), has been recast as an online retreat. This guided retreat includes recorded video sessions by Naomi Wenger and Margie Pfeil, selected readings, and suggested questions for reflection. On May 16, beginning at 10:00 am, registered retreatants will be invited to a live video conversation with Margie, Naomi, and the other retreat participants. This conversation will conclude the retreat experience. Elements of the Retreat Video presentations by Naomi Wenger and Margie Pfeil Selected readings Questions for reflection Suggestions for action Group video conference on May 16, 2020 at 10:00 am (EDT) Register and participate in this retreat anytime between Wednesday, April 22 (Earth Day) and Saturday, May 16. On May 16, registered retreatants will be invited to a live video conversation with Margie and Naomi.  After you are registered, you will be given a link to the retreat materials. Use these materials to participate in the retreat by May 16. A link to the video conference and instructions for participation will be sent out prior to May 16 to all registered retreatants. Consider making a donation of $45 to help us offset our costs. God in Deep time retreat registrationName Email Any comments or questions.  VerificationPlease enter any two digits *Example: 12This box is for spam protection - please leave it blank:  ...

Read More

Lament on Holy Saturday 2020 – by Naomi R. Wenger

Posted by on Apr 10, 2020 in News | 1 comment

Lament on Holy Saturday 2020 – by Naomi R. Wenger

(This essay is the second of two that together present some of the information that was to have been part of a day-long retreat on Holy Saturday, 2020, entitled “God in Deep Time: Showing Mercy to the Thousandth Generation.” This retreat was cancelled due to the Corona virus pandemic and related shelter-in-place order. It has since been recast as an online retreat experience. Both of these essays are available on the Hermitage Community Blog. This essay essay includes a confession and lament for Earth and the first,“Have you not heard? God in Deep Time,” provides some background on “deep time.”) INTRODUCTION This year, when we have suspended our normal daily operations for a pandemic that is affecting millions world-wide and ending in death for thousands, we gather in absentia to mourn for Earth. While it seems like we have more immediate concerns, the viral pandemic we are facing is part of a continual roll-out of disasters due to human mishandling of our planetary island. While the arguments are too complex to spell out here (see here for more information), ecologically, the planet is poised on a knife-edge. It does not take much imagination to take us into a downward spiral of disasters that end with much life on our planet wiped out. We are already aware of the massive extinctions of animal and plant species on Earth. We know about the immense challenges to the world-wide freshwater supply. We grieve with the continued burning of forests, both from natural and human-greed causes. We are concerned about the bleaching of coral reefs, the diminishing catch in the world’s fisheries, salinization of soils, and the effect of removal mining, fracking and oil extraction on the quality of all life on Earth. And yet, we still live our lives in comfortable bubbles. Perhaps the biggest symbol of “bubble living” is the buying of drinking water in plastic bottles that end up in our bloodstreams as microplastic residue and play havoc with our health. And that plastic which is so convenient for everything from shopping bags to house siding, is toxic waste of a greater magnitude than all the nuclear waste from our power plants. And where is God in all of this? Today, on this day when nothing happens in the Christian church year – the day between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection – we wait to see if Christ’s death counts for anything. We wait with hope but without knowledge. We wait in darkness, hopefully the kind of darkness that makes us long for more of God. We wait. And we grieve. We wait. And we beat our fists against our chests – ah me! – how can we change our lives to endure this catastrophe? And, we must change our lives. There is no endurance without change. Just as the early disciples found that the Resurrection made all the difference in the world and they left their nets and places of business to spread the Good News, so we must leave our safety nets and find the good news that is ours to spread. And that may just cost us our lives. Here, at The Hermitage, we have focused our attention on the issues of sustainable energy because of the gas and oil pipelines that cross this land. We are directly implicated in that industry, both unwillingly and willingly. But a healthy future of Earth depends on the sustainable production and consumption of energy, food, water, and air—all necessary supports to life. If we continue to pursue the same kind of life we are all used to living, then the...

Read More

Have you not known? God in Deep Time – by Naomi R. Wenger

Posted by on Apr 10, 2020 in News | 1 comment

Have you not known? God in Deep Time – by Naomi R. Wenger

(This essay is the first of two that together present some of the information that was to have been part of a day-long retreat on Holy Saturday, 2020, entitled “God in Deep Time: Showing Mercy to the Thousandth Generation.” This retreat was cancelled due to the Corona virus pandemic and related shelter-in-place order. It has since been recast as an online retreat experience. Both of these essays are available on the Hermitage Community Blog. This essay provides some background on “deep time” and the second essay, “Lament on Holy Saturday 2020” includes a confession and lament for Earth.) INTRODUCTION As I was working on this essay, a children’s song kept going through my head. My God is so BIG, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do. My God is so BIG, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do .          The mountains are God’s the valleys are God’s           the stars are God’s handiwork, too. God is so BIG, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do. God in Deep Time We are going to focus on this “so BIG” God. If we understand the context of our lives in what scientists call “Deep Time,” we will begin to recognize that we no longer accept the Biblical writer’s, cosmology (what we sometimes refer to as “worldview,” though that term is too narrow when we talk about the universe). Rather, we all already have a cosmological consciousness that takes us outside what the Bible presents us. So, we will begin by looking at the conception of the universe that is presented in our Bibles. Then we will look at the cosmological picture of Deep Time. Finally, we will return to a text from Isaiah 40 to see if Deep Time can help us set our understanding of Isaiah’s words in our current context. The text from Isaiah is fruitful for reminding us that God is so much “bigger” than we usually picture God. THE THREE-TIER UNIVERSE God in Deep Time The Bible was written during a time when the earth was perceived as flat, bounded above by the heavens—where God dwells above among the sun, moon and stars—and below by the underworld— the place of the dead. This three-tier universe, limited on each side by the distances that humans had traveled by land, form the boundaries of what was known as “the ends of the earth,” in the mind of the Ancient Near Eastern writer. But, early in the second century after the birth of Christ, Ptolemy proved that Earth and the heavens were spherical and in motion. In the 14th and 15th centuries, Copernicus took up the idea again and proved mathematically, that Earth rotated around the Sun and not the other way around, as was assumed by the daily experience of seeing the “sun rise and set.” Declared heretical by the Church, which had finally been convinced of the “round earth” only after the great sea explorers of the 15th century ran into unexpected continents while trying to sail to China from Portugal, traveling westward. In another hundred years Galileo and Tyco Brahe assisted by Johannes Kepler reasserted Copernicus’ calculations and improved on them by actually observing the movement of the “heavenly bodies” through their newly improved telescopes. Then the Church finally, but reluctantly, capitulated by making space for scientific observation and inquiry but still holding fast to the worldview of the Scripture in its doctrines. This created a rupture between religion and science that has continued hemorrhaging to this day. Unfortunately for us, those old ideas...

Read More