Environment

Changing the Backyard

My two boys have an alley for a backyard. Luke (9) and Jack (5) are thoroughly urban kids, but I watched them, these past two weeks, fall in love with a natural world far different from their own in a magical place called Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island.

I came here a lot as a younger man. It was the home of lawyer-theologian William Stringfellow, one of my theological and political mentors, and it still has a little cottage on the back of the property that is used by [...]

D#@*$% Environmentalists!

A friend of mine recalls a dinner-table conversation one day when she was a schoolgirl. Her dad had come home unusually frustrated from his job as a city planner. "D#@*$% environmentalists!" he said over dinner. "Dad, I thought you were an environmentalist," she said. "Why are you so upset?"

"All day long," he answered, "environmentalists come to me with problems and complaints, and business people come to me with ideas and projects. Why can't the environmentalists be proactive [...]

Sacred Materialism

As a convert to Orthodox Christianity, I have come to appreciate the strong connection in our tradition between spirituality and creation. Many of our great feasts, minor celebrations, and daily prayers involve joining prayer, blessing, and the material world. Unlike Western Christians who remember the three kings on Jan. 6, 13 days after Christmas we celebrate Theophany, the feast of the baptism of Christ in the Jordan. Part of this feast includes blessing water in our churches or [...]

Carrying The Torch

In January, I was nominated to be one of the Torchbearers for the Olympic Torch Relay when it came to San Francisco. The theme for the relay in San Francisco was sustainability and caring for our Mother Earth. Part of the nomination process included writing an essay about how I have been involved in caring [...]

A Better Answer to High Fuel Prices

Recently, both President Bush and an oil company spokesperson, speaking to the rising gas prices, pushed for building more refineries and upping the production of oil here in the States. No mention of exorbitant oil company profits. No mention of our need to drastically reduce use of cars and gasoline, to change lifestyles. No mention of the working poor who are stuck without public transportation to jobs remote from their inner-city or inner-ring suburban homes.


Reducing dependence [...]

Green Greed

Environmental consciousness seems to be gaining momentum with increasing numbers of "eco-friendly" products out there from organic bath towels to hybrid cars. But are we really being more environmentally conscious when we buy these products? Are we actually thinking twice about the ecological consequences, or are we just switching from "brand x" to "brand organic"? A recent Washington Post article,

Good News for Southern Baptists

As the nation's second largest denomination (after the Roman Catholic Church), Southern Baptists have been given much, so their potential to do good is considerable - as is the danger of missing opportunities to do good. Sadly, until now, constituents and leaders of the 16-million-member Convention have tended to lag behind other large Christian communities when it comes to addressing the issue of environmental stewardship in general and climate change in particular. But that may be [...]

A New Baptist Unity for Social Justice

At last week's New Baptist Unity Conference in Atlanta, an estimated 20,000 Baptists spanning the moderate to progressive spectrum gathered for three days of worship, fellowship, and training. Even though Southern Baptists were conspicuously missing, the conference united members of denominations from the American Baptist Convention, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, National Baptist Convention USA, and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, among others, to collectively represent over [...]

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