The day after the change
to Daylight Savings Time,
we gathered as Earth rolled up
and sun disappeared,
outside the Jim Thorpe building,
which houses the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
In less than a month—December 1—
the Commission will hold a hearing
about OG&E’s request to charge tariffs
for individuals and businesses
that use solar panels to create energy.
During an Interfaith Prayer Vigil
sponsored by the Oklahoma Interfaith Power and Light,
the Oklahoma United Methodist Environmental Coalition
and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House,
people from several faith communities
joined in prayer, readings and song.
Bob Waldrop, of the Catholic Worker House, with Pope Francis
Mark Davies, co-chair of the Oklahoma Environmental Coalition
leads readings and introduces interfaith prayers
Imam Imad Enchasi prays from the Muslium tradition
Here’s the prayer Pat lead:
May we be in an attitude of reflection.
Out of nothing,
creation came forth and created a world of galaxies
in which a collision of hydrogen and helium
spawned the fiery cauldrons that are stars—
stars that burn over 100 billion degrees
as they blaze out in supernova explosion s
with the brilliance of a hundred billion stars
and from which the nuclei of all the elements of the universe
In the supernova explosion
that birthed the star that we call Sun
and the small planets
that rotate around her,
came life on planet Earth.
This is a world
in which a star a million times larger than Earth
burns so much of its self,
that there is life on our planet home, 93 million miles away.
Sun’s warmth and light give everything that breathes on Earth
the possibility for its next breath.
In silence, may we stand in awe of this stupendous, magnificent, wondrous miracle that is life.
In silence may we stand in gratitude for life on Earth, life with each other and with all creation, powered by the sun.
May we be in an attitude of lament.
we are blind
to the miracles of creation,
to the cries of injustice.
May our eyes open,
to see the beauty of the world.
May our ears open
to hear the cry of the earth.
May our hearts open
to care for all living things.
May we be lifted
from despair to hope,
from apathy to action,
from indifference to compassion.
May the Impetus for Life
lift us and heal us,
for love’s sake.[i]
May we be in an attitude of contemplation.
Can a butterfly in China
affect the trajectory of a tornado
in North America?
Will aerosol sprayed in London
mean skin cancer in Australia?
Or a road trip across Oklahoma
add to hurricanes in the Caribbean?
We know each nation’s carbon
will affect all someday.
The details may elude us
but all our actions matter
in this great web of life.
For this complex living planet
does not know divided nations.
The lovely blue marble that is Earth
simply needs co-operation
to house human populations.[ii]
Wondrous, Mysterious Impetus for Life…
we hold in our hearts and minds
planet Earth and all that compromises
the flourishing of life.
We pray for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
Grant them insight to perceive that Earth is at risk.
Grant them the vision to see the implications of burning fossil fuel.
Grant them compassion for all life that suffers due to climate change.
Grant them the wisdom to take those actions that will reduce carbon emissions.
Grant them courage and empower them to create an environment in Oklahoma where the free and priceless energy of the sun can provide the carbon-free power needed for all to thrive.
We pray for ourselves.
Grant us hearts that love creation in all its aspects.
Grant us courage to acknowledge our failure to care.
Grant us compassion for all who suffer due to climate change
and the courage and will to bring about a better and fairer world.[iii]
[i] Fiona van Wissen, in A Heart for Creation, edited by Chris Polhill. P. 87
[ii] Adapted from Polhill, p. 149 (by Chris Polhill)
[iii] Adapted from Polhill, p. 151 (by John Polhill)
To write a letter to the editor
and to send an email letter to
the Corporation Commission,
click on the Oklahoma Sierra Club’s