Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Still In

Still In

We Americans who love the ocean (from sea to shining sea) have a choice. 

We can accept the decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accords (with its bare minimum efforts to improve ocean health; less CO2 means less ocean acidification, and less rise in temperature and sea level.)

Or we can say, with many US local governments, states like California, Oregon, Washington, New York, hundreds of universities, businesses and faith communities, representing more than 130 million Americans, “WE’RE STILL IN. We pledge to reduce our own energy use and change our lifestyles, for the sake of the ocean, even if our federal government won’t.”

Go to or and make your choice.  Sign up and make the pledge.  If you are part of a US faith community, look at all the other groups who have already said, “We’re Still In.”  A good conversation to be had at a council meeting, in a sermon, in prayer – are we in?

At this week’s UN Climate meetings in Germany the “We’re Still In” folks are very active, as is a broadly diverse international group of faith leaders with another great pledge you can make, which reads in part:

“…..We represent the world’s family of spiritualities, faiths and religions who share a profound gratitude for our precious planet.
“Earth is a blessing.  She supports life and is the basis of all our economies.  She conveys beauty and evokes our recognition of something greater than ourselves.  She is our temple, our mosque, our sanctuary, our cathedral.  Our home……
“…..As religious and spiritual leaders, we are committing to make changes in our own lives, and to support the members of our communities in doing the same.  Together, we come to you with an invitation to embark on a journey towards compassionate simplicity for the sake of the climate, the human family, and the community of life.  
“For many of us, changes in three areas make the greatest impact: dramatically reducing emissions from our home energy use, adopting a plant-based diet and reducing food waste, and minimizing automobile and air travel…
“…. We wish to be clear that we understand that systemic change is required to solve this crisis.  We will continue to advocate for the policies that are so urgently needed…. And we know that our spiritualities and traditions offer wisdom about finding happiness in a purposeful life, family and friendships, not in an overabundance of things…..”

I wrote last week that I hope these weekly Blue Theology posts have more hope than despair.  Folks like “We’re Still In” and these interfaith activists inspire me and make me grateful.  Since many groups designate November a “gratitude month” I’ll suggest an action each week that can help us say “Thank You Ocean.”   This week:  Make your Pledge – We’re Still In!

When my denomination, the United Church of Christ, published ads that read “Never place a period where God has placed a comma, God is Still Speaking” it was so threatening that Pat Robertson and other conservatives declared, “Never place a comma where God has placed a period, God has spoken.” 

I’m a comma person, I’m with the “Still” side, the Still Speaking and Still Acting Side, I’m Still In.

So is this harbor seal, still in the water, still in our hearts, still in.

Our Pacific Grove Blue Theology Mission Station this past weekend helped 35 church youth and their 12 fabulous adult advisors learn about ocean stewardship, climate change and how we can act for justice for all creation.  We’re booking more groups (youth, intergenerational and clergy renewal) for 2018.

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