Where in the world have we been for the past month?!

Posted February 1st, 2016 in Blog, Featured, New Creation News 3 Comments »

Well, not far. We’re still active, busy, doing many things, just not posting here lately, because…

Because we’re doing some major rethinking about our work priorities. And there is much more to come on this whole topic in the next few weeks. But just to give you an idea…

We want to better integrate the program priorities of our little non-profit and its mission with the realities of injustice, racism, poverty, and the reasons for the culture’s almost complete political dysfunction, the breakdown of our social and cultural institutions. Those of you who have followed us for some time are aware that we have been writing about and struggling with this for some time. The ecological crisis we face has been boiled down in the mainstream culture to a struggle to slow down global warming and climate change. This is not the problem. It is evidence of the problem, and if we choose this narrow path, we are going to make bad decisions – like attempting to geo-engineer the atmosphere.

To make this shift, we have been embedding ourselves more deeply in the inner city reality of Milwaukee and making connections with some of the grassroots groups in the Upper Midwest that are engaged in the radical work of meaningful new creation, in other words, standing on the ground of their deep connections with home, with local eco-communities, especially those under severe threat, and from there creating significant expressions of how we are going to “change the world.”

Examples are becoming legion! From Milwaukee’s Alice’s Garden and Walnut Way, to work in NW Indiana in the shadows of the BP refinery and the mess left in the wake of the steel industry and other industries that have made the area one big toxic waste zone, to the work to stop frac sand mining in Wisconsin’s western counties, or to impede Enbridge plans to expand and construct new oil pipelines across our states, to water issues, and more.

We want to use our space here, and our work out in the community, to bring more of this to light, to see that the Earth is responding mightily and loudly now in the face of the damage of our industrial cultures through these grassroots efforts, this “rising up from below.”

And then, to do what we aspire to do, we want to develop a new website. We will continue to use this blog platform until that is ready to be launched sometime later this year.

Later today I will be offering a keynote address at Marquette University to help launch their annual Mission Week. The title of the talk is, “What do we mean when we call the Earth ‘sacred?'” Many do, and few appreciate how radical a statement that is. To say, as cultures have for millennia predating most western religions, that the Earth is sacred is an indictment of our industrial growth economy. This realization is spreading all across the world now, from indigenous cultures, from within many of those western traditions, and from various iterations of “earth spiritualities” coming to birth around the world. This is a great source of hope.

So please stay tuned. Sign up for email updates. And check out our Facebook page and “like” us there to receive posts in your news feed.

I apologize for the long silence. We are breaking it now.

Excerpt from the talk I will give today:

The point I want to make today is this: if we believe that the Earth is sacred, then we have to live as if that is true. And we have to treat it accordingly. We must live within it as if the creation out of which we were born is itself manifestation of the deeper mystery that we call God, or the Great Spirit, or any number of names humans have given to that mystery down through the ages. There are few things in the human experience more common to us than this sense that at the heart of creation is mystery, what we call the divine.

In this age of ecological crisis coming about because of how humans have shaped their economies and cultures, we are faced with a profound and deeply religious and ethical question – what have we done with this place of divine revelation? How have we entered into and walked around in this sanctuary, this sacred place?

When we take in fully the content of what it means to call the Earth sacred, what we do next becomes remarkably clear.

~ Margaret Swedish

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3 Responses

  1. Joan Krebs

    Go to it, Margaret. Although I didn’t see it above I know for sure you’re attuned to Leonardo Boff and Francis of Rome when they advocate for both the social justice approach and an ecological approach in order to respond to BOTH “the cry of the poor AND the cry of the earth.” .

  2. Ellie

    Thank you for the update :-) Sounds like some wonderful growth and changes are afoot — and thank for the quote from your talk. Beautiful.

  3. Margaret

    Joan – Boff has had a huge influence on my entire adult life. Thanks for bringing his name forward here. I know he was one of the Pope’s advisers on the encyclical. It showed, yes?

    And thanks, Ellie. Yes good changes, methinks.