Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Ocean July 4

Ocean July 4

Does the one world ocean care about Independence Day?  The ocean is already free and there is no one nation that rules it.

But our ocean mother suffers the colonization of many nations - plastics, overfishing, oil spills, climate chaos all enslave her.  She is 75% of the planet surface, and 90% of all habitable space.  The ocean desperately needs a Declaration of Independence.  Let me be free!!

Writing these weekly ocean devotions is fun and challenging.  What simple message should I share this week?  Do folks read every week – can I refer to last week?  Is it better to give info, or inspiration, write of challenge or danger or hope? 

So here are two ideas for our Independence Day week:

1)    Consider how you spend this holiday weekend and its impact on the ocean.  Save Our Shores, a fabulous Central Coast environmental org, does a two day holiday weekend project.  On the 4th hundreds of SOS volunteers visit local beaches preaching “Pollution Prevention is Patriotic.”  On the 5th they do “Star Spangled Clean Up” on those many Monterey Bay beaches.
“Last year a team of volunteers on the 4th handed out 1,611 trash and recycling bags at six high-traffic beaches in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. In just four hours, the group spoke to 3,000 beachgoers about the impact of pollution on marine life and visitors, as well as offered tips for a litter-free holiday. This outreach effort proved critical in stemming the tide of trash on our coastline during the weekend.  With the help of 182 volunteers, they prevented 2,097 pounds of debris from entering the water.”

2)    Here at the Blue Theology Mission Station on Monterey Bay our season has begun of church youth groups visiting our church and learning about how God is in favor of ocean conservation.  This week we have a fabulous group from an American Baptist church in Austin, Texas.  Before we do our pilgrimage walk to the Aquarium for a spiritual tour I try to remind them of the importance of “sanctuary,” Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, state reserves and preserves, safely managed ocean areas.  We gather and pray in our 125 year old sanctuary and I ask these groups to describe their own sanctuary.  What does the word sanctuary mean to you?  I am trying to get to the idea of places that are “safe, special, set apart”.

A member of this youth group said, “A sanctuary is a place where you know folks will try to help you.” 

Let’s try this “Independence Day,” also called by some “Interdependence Day,” to limit our harmful impact on our mother ocean, and to remember how important our sanctuaries are -  safe, special, set apart, and places where you will meet people reaching out to help you and other living beings.
_________ for info on youth service trips and adult ocean pilgrimages here on Monterey Bay.  I post these ocean devotionals every Wednesday here and at  Come and Sea!

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