Pastor Gen - Thoughts from a Sabbatical #5
Dear Veradale Friends, Sunday, September 4, marks one week since arriving in Karlsruhe. It seems much longer. The days start at 8:15am with a press briefing, followed by morning prayer (I’m bringing home great music and prayer resources!), then there are business meetings or workshops or networking with a 1pm break for lunch (the food is a terrible disappointment) and a 8:45 pm supper. Reflections On September 28, 29, and 30, the Indigenous People from around the world gathered to create a statement to the World Council of Churches about the theme of reconciliation and unity. High on the list of concerns is the planet. Indigenous People of the Christian Faith need the World Council of Churches to lift up the indigenous insights and generations of connection with the Earth. Further, there is much to be done about telling the truth about the harm done by the church. “Telling the truth brings healing,” said one of the elders. The Green Industry has taken indigenous land without the permission. The production of “Green Economy” is not clean. As one of the Sapmi (pronounced Saw-Me) tribe of northern Norway put it, “We cannot save the planet and destroy the land.” Holding Green Corporations to standards of care for the land would be essential while also holding governments accountable for where they designate land for the production of the Green Economy. September 1 has been celebrated as the Day of Creation in the Orthodox Christian Calendar for hundreds of years. The season of creation is now a practice of the World Council of Churches and goes from September 1 through October 4. Other concerns that have received attention from those gathered include the war in Ukraine, the occupation of Palestine, the need to listen to the people in the places of distress, the concern for the climate refugees already fleeing parts of Africa because of famine, the rise in global hunger and the acknowledgment that this is only the beginning. As one of the delegates put it, the question now is how we will collaborate with the people in politics and in corporations because even if all the churches were of one voice, it would not be enough. One of the presenters on human rights violations against the women of Palestine said “We need people in power to be brought to their senses not brought to their knees,” I wonder, if powerful people do come to their senses they just might be moved to their knees in prayer. The situation is that desperate. There is so much more to tell you!
Until next time, Pastor Gen