Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Young Pregnant Travelers

Young Pregnant Travelers
‘Tis the season when young pregnant mothers must leave home to give birth. 

Mary and Joseph have a long dangerous trip south, walking from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Will they find a warm place and will they arrive safe before the baby comes?  Can Mary and the baby survive the birth and then the journey home, with a forced detour to Egypt?  What dangers lurk on these long roads?

Pregnant California grey whales also head south this time of year, likewise in search of a warm safe birth place. Another dangerous long pregnant trip, swimming day and night, eating very little, from Alaska to Mexico, a tiring journey, past hungry orcas and entangling old fishing nets.  They left their Bering Sea summer feeding grounds in September, and this past week we saw the first ones passing Monterey Bay and off Pt. Lobos. Will they get to the warm safe lagoons of Baja before their babies come?  In the days of commercial whaling, the ships, like robbers on a Galilean road, waited for the pregnant moms’ predictable arrival and the lagoons turned red with blood.  Might those days return?  And will the whales make it safe back north in the spring past the nets and orcas?

Pregnancy and birth are a dangerous journey even if you stay home.  Many of us mothers recall the scary unknowns of pregnancy, the middle of the night labor.  Mercifully most of our stories don’t approach the forced marches of Mary and Joseph or the 12,000 mile round trip of the grey whales.

Elizabeth Hambrick-Stowe wrote a great book called Expecting, about pregnancy and faith.  She says, “We Christians are a pregnant people.” We experience God at work in us, calling us to bring new life to the world.  In this season of travel and new birth I hope we all arrive warm and safe, delivering new hope to the world. 

May we, like the baby in Mary’s womb, and this grey whale, leap for joy.
These weekly Blue Theology postings celebrate spirituality and the sea. At our church in Pacific Grove, CA we host Blue Theology youth mission trips and adult retreats on ocean spirituality and stewardship.  I post these "Tide-ings" Wednesdays here and on Facebook.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Parade

Thanksgiving Day Parade

This is where I’ll watch the parade on Thanksgiving Day.   Not the Macy’s Parade in NYC, but along my main street – Highway One in Big Sur.  

I’ll stand on these cliffs near my home and see (or imagine) a magnificent parade of marine plants and animals.

H – Holdfast, Hydromedusa
A – Anemone, Avocet
P – Plover, Pisaster
P – Puffin, Pelican, Phytoplankton
Y – Yarrow, Yellowtail, Yellowlegs (Greater and Lesser)

T – Tern, Turbot, Tuna
H – Halibut, Hydrocoral
A – Anchovy, Abyss, Algae
N – Nudibranch, Notochords, Nematocysts
K – Kelp, Kildeer, Krill
S – Salmon, Sunfish, Sea Star, Sculpin, Senorita, Shrimp, Salp
G – Great White Shark, Gastropod
I – Invertebrates, Isopod
V – Vertebrates, Velella Velella, Vulture
I – Ichthyologist, Intertidal
N – Naturalist, Neurotoxins
G – Garibaldi, Gull, Gill

We here at the Blue Theology Mission Station join with our pelagic cousins to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

So much to be thankful for.  (Check out <>)
_________  Come visit us in Pacific Grove, on your own or in a group, to join in watching the parade!   I post these Wednesday ocean devotionals here and at  Thanks Steve Lonhardt from <> for the great photo.  An amazing free library of ocean photos, thanks to NOAA.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Ocean Advocacy

Ocean Advocacy

I’m up early for Day Two of an intense “Ocean and Coastal Advocacy Training,” offered by the impressive Healthy Oceans Coalition.  I was invited along with 20 other ocean advocates and we are meeting at Seascape in Aptos – classy – thanks Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Yesterday we did a “deep dive” into three issues: “West Coast and the Proposed Offshore Oil and Gas Five-Year Plan,” “National Marine Sanctuaries,” and “Federal Fisheries and Conservation Management,”  all in the context of our current administration.  Then we were trained by a communications/change guy on how to meet with a policy maker and make your “ask” in 3 minutes.

I am making some new cool friends representing diff orgs and issues – plastics, cruise ships, desalination, marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, climate change, etc.  Save Our Shores, Heal the Bay, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Surfrider, Ocean Conservancy, etc.

Nice surprise – a Mennonite pastor/scientist from Southern Cal working on plastic pollution.  New colleague.

Sweet youth from “Heirs To Our Ocean” (H2O) whom I also met last year in DC at the Ocean March.

New hashtags: #ThirtyByThirty – protect and set aside 30% of ocean (and land) by 2030 – UN goal.  And #KeepOceanFishy – work for sustainable fisheries.

More reports to come, great info for Blue Theology work.  Today we will work on writing press releases and using social media for advocacy. 

Now to watch some impeachment hearings before we gather…..
______________________ for info on our youth service trips and adult pilgrimages along Monterey Bay.  You will learn more about these issues and have blessed retreat by the sea.  I post these ocean devotionals every Wednesday here and on Facebook.Come and Sea!