Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Blue Blessings

Blue Blessings

Did you know we had Blue Theology swag?  Here are some teens from Catholic parishes in Castroville and Watsonville whom we are hosting this week at the Blue Theology Mission Station.

We’re watching the Aquarium’s summer deck show, “Turning the Tide” about this area’s multicultural history of fishing and eventual conservation; Native Americans in tule boats, Japanese abalone divers, Chinese squid fisherman with lanterns, Sicilian sardine fishermen – all reenacted in the Great Tide Pool.   Informative and inspiring.

Every youth or adult who takes part in our program goes home with a beautiful Blue Theology bag, water bottle, notebook and non-plastic pen all emblazoned with our whale tale logo.  Branding.

So much fun to see 25 kids and adults walking around the Aquarium with their bags proclaiming they are pilgrims more than tourists, blue theologians.

Our great local Bishop Garcia had come to a ministers association meeting and shared his concerns about the many kids and teens living in migrant agricultural worker camps on the Central Coast.  We said:  How about Blue Theology days of learning and serving God through ocean stewardship?  After some very creative fundraising and remarkable sharing of ideas and faiths, we came to this week, where each day kids come on a school bus from different parishes.  Monday was Greenfield in South County.  After a morning at the Aquarium, the youth spend a couple hours doing citizen science, counting sand crabs at Asilomar Beach for a big study on climate change.

Since they are teens, we’ve got lots of food – pancake breakfast when they arrive, yummy lunch packed in those cool bags, big BBQ at church at the end of the day.  Throughout the day we stop for prayer along the bay, silent meditation under the fish roundabout in the Aquarium (other visitors stop and notice!) and at the end of the day the Diocese staff leads worship based on Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change.

In my installation last week as Minister for Blue Theology I said our ministry is one of bridging, advocating and guiding.  We are doing all three with this group; sharing Christian ministry across old divisions, guiding the youth, some of whom have limited experience of the sea, into ocean stewardship, and hearing the powerful advocacy words of their Pope.

Many blue blessings this week.

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