Making New Creation

Posted February 12th, 2015 in Featured, New Creation News 3 Comments »

While we consider ways to reinvigorate this organization, I want to share what we are thinking about for program content in 2015-2016. If you’ve been reading our last couple of posts, you already have an idea.

First of all, what we do is a lot more than this glorified blog. We write, yes, here and on our Facebook page, as a way to connect with a community around the country and beyond. But a lot of our work involves being with, or engaging a wide variety of groups offering workshops, presentations with lots of visuals to reveal aspects of our ecological realities that the mainstream culture does not show us (or even want to show us), and facilitated conversation and exchanges about those realities. At times, we have had opportunities to lead 1-2 day retreats, delving more deeply into our relationships within Nature and within the cosmos that just keeps getting bigger and bigger and more mysterious and magnificent with every new discovery.March lecture series crude

This is incredibly rewarding work because of what emerges from it – inspiration and motivation to get to work on the ecological challenges facing us now, a greater comfort level talking about those challenges, friendships and expanded community connections, a release of creativity as we seek new ways of life that translate into new creation as the old one crumbles underneath the foundations of industrial societies. We are able to do a little dreaming together, to begin to see the world that is possible if we relinquish the old one and venture out along a path into the unknown.

We also spend our time connecting with other community groups and organizations moving in similar directions, the ones determined to not accept this “given” world (given by global corporations and the governments that enable them), but to create new paradigms, new frameworks of meaning, new ways of being on this planet together as we move into this intense period of transition from one way of life to another.

We seek to create a “space” where ecological justice, social justice, and the path of peace in our world come together. For a long time, those paths were separated, even alienated from each other. Now we know that there is no ecological healing without social justice, and social justice cannot come to a world that is being ecologically destroyed, and that neither social justice nor ecological healing can come to a world that still sees war and political violence as a way to redress grievances or to try to hold onto political and economic power.

And so we want this “space” that we call the Center for New Creation (virtual now, perhaps a real physical one in the near future) to be one place where these three themes come together, feed on each other, open up for us a way of seeing our world and the interconnectedness of all things, all energies, all dynamics within which we exist.

When we see the world this way (which is also ecologically correct), we begin to see how much difference we actually can make by what we do, what we decide, how we choose to live our lives – because everything we do or don’t do affects everything else within the dynamism of the whole.

The only one we know...

The whole…

Our last two blog posts indicate something of the direction in which we are going. When we speak of the “ecology of fossil fuels,” we speak of the dynamic interconnections of an industry that feeds our world with energy for just about everything we do by extracting ancient organic matter and gases in ways that we can burn for fuel. A lot of us tend not to think of it this way, but it is in reality a deep, intimate, personal relationship that we have with our planet, one that is depleting it of its most essential life-giving resources, using up water and land, polluting the air, contaminating rivers and wetlands, and contributing enormous amounts of global warming gases into our atmosphere.

That is absolutely one form of our ecological relatedness within Gaia, a manifestation of what has become a profoundly dysfunctional, even pathological relationship. Even as we arrive at the knowledge that we are destroying the very basis of our future survival, we are hooked, addicted, and don’t know how to stop ourselves.

When we reflect on the “ecology of racism,” we focus on another form of what is actually an “anti-ecology” with profound ecological consequences. Life thrives on biodiversity. Indeed, it requires it. Evolution on this planet tends always in that direction, unless something comes along to begin an extinction event. But when that plays itself out, life again begins to grow abundance and resilience by way of diversity.

blmThere is a field called biocultural diversity that describes how essential this is within the human community and that community’s relationship with the other sentient and non-sentient beings. We thrive in diversity. Forcing separation requires an enormous amount of energy trying to create something utterly untrue – that we can create around ourselves monocultures of race, lifestyles, and belief systems, and think that kind of culture can survive. Those excluded from the exclusivity of the dominant cultures suffer injustice and discrimination in many forms. The energy required to hold such a system in place, to defend it, and then the resentment that builds, the hurt and anger – all of this makes what is now a crowded world where races and cultures spill into one another ecologically and socially impossible.

We think this needs to be talked about – a lot. We think this requires some deep reflective thinking and discussion, because we are living right now in a profoundly unsustainable reality. We feel it all around us as our culture frays around the edges and decays from within. We feel it as climate changes, as our city streets grow restive, as political violence spreads across parts of our world emergent from old empires, as too many people cling to various forms of fundamentalisms as a way to cling to certainty in an increasingly chaotic and uncertain world.

These tensions are becoming increasingly intolerable.

So, new creation. Because – there is a way through this!

A lot of the tensions are caused by fear, by a deep feeling of vulnerability, and by how much we are still strangers to one another – wrapping our old sense of identity around us in an effort to feel safe, whether that is racial, ethnic, religious (or not religious), political, or class identities. It is amazing what can happen when we relinquish those identities in the face of their growing unsustainability and give in to the change that is moving us in a new direction – one of inclusivity, mutuality and solidarity as we come to realize that we are all in this together, and the only way we will get through is – together.

New Creation

New Creation

Nurturing one another, as the soil, seed, rain, and sun – making life happen, all the elements with something essential to contribute.

As you create programs in your own communities, we hope you will think of us and this project. We would love to work with you, to be invited into your “places” where we can do some of this work together. That is also one of the ways we sustain this project.

And then, of course, donations are much needed. So if you, your churches, your groups, might be able to contribute right now, that would be enormously helpful.

We look forward to sharing more of this journey with you. If you have not yet done so, you can sign up to receive updates and blog posts via email. We also invite you to visit our Center for New Creation Facebook page, to add us to your “likes,” and to be part of the conversation.

In ecological hope…

Margaret Swedish
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3 Responses

  1. Gerald Iversen

    Greetings,
    I believe in your cause and want to support it.
    I pledge an annual donation to you WHEN/IF you are registered with the Thrivent Financial Choice Dollars program.
    Thrivent is the largest fraternal organization in the U.S. It exists for the benefit of its members, not shareholders. It allows members to distribute part of its profits based on how much a member has invested. We have our retirement funds with Thrivent.
    Thrivent was formerly only for Lutherans and distributed profits only to Lutheran organizations and congregations. It is a merger of Aid Association for Lutherans and Lutheran Brotherhood. It has the top financial rating.
    NOW Thrivent serves all Christians and accepts applications from all 501-c-3’s that are not “divisive.”
    For more information visit https://www.thrivent.com/thriventchoice/index.html or contact your local Thrivent agent or chapter, or Thrivent HQ in Appleton, WI, or Mpls, MN, at 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836 – when prompted, ask for “fraternal”).
    If you are accepted, you will need to notify your donors regularly that you are eligible for Thrivent Choice Dollars in simple ways, such as web site, newsletters, appeals, etc.
    I am a long-time member and volunteer. I am not an employee or agent.
    This program has allowed us to double our giving to non-profit organizations!
    Peace,
    Gerald Iversen

  2. Peter

    Great to learn more of your work, Margie. You are one to save this planet and us with it. You have been on the #l issue for our time until we regain sanity as a people can mobilize to pressure our elected leaders to get with it. We have to get action now.

  3. Margaret

    Hello Gerald,

    I had not heard of the Thrivent Choice program until now. It seems an organization needs to be nominated by a member of Thrivent. Does this comment mean you would be willing to do that?

    Just trying to understand the process. We may well want to follow up. Perhaps we should communicate by email, rather than the comment feature.

    Thank you for the message. Raising funds for a project like this is not, well, easy.

    margaret@ecologicalhope.org

    Margaret