Out of our eight years of experience in working on the climate crisis, we are taking a new direction to heal the Earth from the ravages of global scorching.
In June, we called together a gathering of scientists and more than a dozen religious leaders from a wide variety of communities to explore this question:
How can scientists and religious folk work together toward the goal of not just barely surviving the climate crisis but actually healing, renewing, and restoring for our children and grandchildren the life-giving climate that nourished our parents and grandparents –-- in a context of far more justice than many of our forebears experienced?
We developed a multidimensional strategy: Some of us from that meeting have already begun approaching large denominations to adopt statements and plan actions toward achieving that vision. Some of us have already created liturgies, prayer services, and sermonic materials to do that. And some are planning local gatherings like the national one we organized, to address the vision in a specific region.
We have already started to develop Earth-oriented liturgies and sermons and ceremonies for life-cycle events like baptisms and bar/ bat mitzvah times, for festivals like Holy Week, Passover, and Eid al Fitr, and for the weekly celebrations of Jumat, Shabbat, or the Sabbath.
These moments could immerse congregants in the need for deep and persistent commitment to act to heal the Earth from the climate crisis, and offer them specific effective opportunities to do that..
And our meeting crystallized a time flow for effective action: This coming Spring, Palm Sunday falls on March 25. The first night of Passover is March 30. The 50th anniversary of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King is April 4.
Our goal is to make this profoundly spiritual moment a time for profound reexamination of America’s values, America’s soul.
Exactly one year before he was killed, Dr. King pointed out the deadly triplets afflicting America; racism, militarism, and extreme materialism.
All three still haunt us . All three are intertwined in the climate crisis:
- The extreme materialistic greed of some corporations insists on burning the world for the sake of profits;
- The extreme stress of climate disasters –- floods, plagues, famines –-- sparks the fires of war and drowns us in the flood of desperate refugees;
- Racial and ethnic “outsiders” and the poor suffer first and worst from climate disasters.
Can we make this focus-time next Spring into a Time of Atonement, At-One-Ment, Healing Action to begin the Transformation and Healing of America?
Your gift has helped us get started. We ask you to take the next steps:
On the next page, we suggest several ways of taking action where you live, and we offer our help for you to do this. . We can send you toolkits for such local actions. We can arrange visits from the staff and Board of The Shalom Center to inspire and assist your community.
Please check what most attracts you on the page that follows, fill out your name and address, and send the page back to us in the enclosed envelope.
Without a Vision, the People Perish. AND --- without a Plan, the People Perish.
Shalom, salaam, peace, Earth!
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
TO; Rabbi Arthur Waskow
The Shalom Center
6711 Lincoln Dr.,
Philadelphia PA 19119
Dear Reb Arthur,
Please send me information on:
___ Arranging a visit from you or a member of The Shalom Center ‘s Board to
connect with our community.
___ Holding a monthly prayer service to involve our congregation in a covenant
to work toward renewing and restoring a healthy climate to our planet. .
___ Holding a a monthly vigil at a key local lawmaker’s office, or a fossil-fuel-burning facility. or at the local branch of a national bank that is investing in fossil fuels
___ Lifting an intergenerational ceremony like bar/bat mitzvah or baptism to connect the generations in healing God’s Creation and human communities from the danger of disaster.
___ Organizing a congregational or neighborhood solar-energy co-op.
___ Calling together a local MLK50 Committee to plan actions on April 4.
___ I am enclosing a Transformational Gift of $ ____ to help The Shalom Center move ahead with these efforts. [All gifts make a difference. Please consider one that ranges from $180 to $1800.] Checks can be made out to The Shalom Center and earmarked “Transformation!” Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
___ I am delighted to enclose a Transformational Gift of $ ___ to strengthen The Shalom Center ‘s healing work, but at this time I cannot take on any local-organizing commitments.
Thanks for your inspiring prophetic vision and your outreach!