COVID-19, shutdown, and the leaders we need

As we shelter in place, let us consider what COVID-19 is revealing about our world, and let us consider which voices we will follow out of the enclosure. (Listen.)

When Jesus begins to talk about shepherding, most of us begin to doze off. Maybe it’s the deadening effect of a hundred Sunday School lessons, or those awful cutesy pictures of Jesus and little lambkins; maybe, it’s the sheep. Whatever it is, wake up! Because in this story of sheep, sheep rustlers, shepherds and gates, Jesus isn’t talking about farming. Nor is he talking about himself as a shepherd; that doesn’t happen until later. Instead, he’s talking about leaders—teachers, preachers, politicians, kings—and his words point to the leaders we need in this time of shutdown and beyond. Continue reading “COVID-19, shutdown, and the leaders we need”

Healing: Being reconciled with all creation

As Western consumer capitalists, it is difficult for us to feel intimately connected with each other, let alone the wider creation. Ancient schools of philosophy have taught us to think of ourselves as separate beings distinct from the created order; and dominant agricultural and economic models distance us from the rest of the natural world. Thus our industries tend towards extracting, reducing and damaging, rather than sustaining and improving, the atmosphere, the biosphere and the hydrosphere. Continue reading “Healing: Being reconciled with all creation”

Prayer of confession for white settler churches

Garry Deverell is a trawloolway man and Anglican priest from trouwerner (Tasmania, Australia). He has written a prayer of confession for use in white settler churches in the face of ecological catastrophe. This week, as country burns, people, wildlife and ecosystems are killed, and we all choke on the smoke haze, let us pray this prayer and dwell on it deeply; and may the Holy Spirit work through it to heal and transform our hearts, our economics, our lives, and the land. Continue reading “Prayer of confession for white settler churches”

Peace and plenty for everyone

Isaiah’s vision of a new creation promises peace and plenty for everyone: Indigenous, colonial settler, migrant — and koalas. (Listen.)

This reflection was prepared for a local people in a local area. However, its themes are pertinent to every locality in Australia, particularly, this week, those regions on fire because of colonial land clearing and extractive industries which release carbon, heat up the atmosphere and trigger catastrophic fires; and those regions affected by police racism and violence, including Yuendemu, where people are mourning the death of Kumanjayi Walker and protesting continued injustice. Continue reading “Peace and plenty for everyone”

Crushed by capitalism? Consider the ravens

Weighed down by capitalism’s incessant demands? Consider the ravens and discover a renewed way of life. (Listen.)

Once upon a time, there was a village. The people in the village had a life that was simple, and good. They hunted; they tended their fish traps; they grew yams. They wove baskets, and stitched and decorated fur cloaks. They walked to the coast and feasted on shellfish; they walked to the grassy plains, lit controlled fires, and waited for the big game to come hopping in. Most people worked about four hours a day; beyond that, they hung out. They kicked a footy around; they considered the ravens and other creatures; they told stories; they pondered the landscape; they traded songs with visitors from other villages and other towns. Continue reading “Crushed by capitalism? Consider the ravens”

The beauty and life in green slime

The climate crisis terrifies me. It is a hard fear to deal with because it is both overwhelming but rationally based. Sometimes I veer towards the cliff edge of full blown anxiety-paralysis about it. But then, sooner or sometimes a bit later, deep down in my diaphragm faith kicks in and corrects my steering. I am still overcome but also back on course and somehow able to feel light and joy along with the terror. Continue reading “The beauty and life in green slime”

Midwife to the Sea

At a time of catastrophic climate change and oceanic collapse, the Book of Job offers a vision of hope. (Listen.)

Today is Ocean Sunday: and if the preaching helps are any guide, then I should be telling you to care for the sea. But I think that would be a waste of breath. Some of us here have protested and spread the word against drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight. Some of us have written to politicians, objecting to the Adani coal mine and the catastrophic effect it will have on the Great Barrier Reef. Some of us have created stunning pieces of art which highlight the prevalence of plastics on our beaches and in our oceans, and which challenge us to change. Some of us have spent hours on hands and knees, picking up nurdles from Shelly Beach; most of us come home from any beach trip with other people’s plastic in our pockets; and many of us are planning to be at the local climate rally on 20 September. So no, you don’t need me to tell you to care for the oceans. Continue reading “Midwife to the Sea”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑