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The Oklahoma Conference of Churches
environmental committee
has partnered with the Whole Creation Community
and each day there are devotional posts
on the WCC’s fb page.
This week I have the privilegeof writing them.
Click on this link
to enjoy all the posts.

And, to celebrate Earth
during Earth Day weekend,
check out the resources offered
for worship services
at the Oklahoma Conference of Churches website.

1990 Pale_Blue_Dot NASA“The Pale Blue Dot,”
as Carl Sagan called our planet home as seen on the right side
of this photograph, in a vertical streak, middle of the image,
taken in 1990 from Voyager-I.

 

There’s no use talking about Earth Day until we begin to think like Earth{people.} Not as Americans and Russians, not as blacks and whites, not as Jews and Arabs, but as fellow travelers on a tiny planet in an infinite universe. All that we can muster of kindness, of compassion, of patience, of thoughtfulness, is necessary if this tiny planet of ours is not to go down to destruction. Until we have a leadership willing to make the enormous changes—psychological, military, and bureaucratic—to end the existing world system, a system of hatred, of anarchy, of murder, of war and pollution, there is no use talking about buying more wastebaskets or spending a couple of hundred million dollars on the Missouri River.

 If we do not challenge these fundamental causes of peril, we will be conned by the establishment while basic decisions are being made over which we have very little control, though they endanger everything on which our future and the world’s depend.

—I.F. Stone
Speech at National Mall
First Earth Day, 22 April 1970

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On April 22, 1970,
the first U.S. Earth Day,
20 million people rallied
across the country
in support of a healthy planet.
Founded by Gaylord Nelson,
a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin,
following a massive oil spill
in Santa Barbara, California in 1969,
Earth Day’s massive public display
of concern
resulted in the creation
of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
the passage of the Clean Air Act,
the Clean Water Act
and the Endangered Species Act.
Twenty years later,
on Earth Day 1990,
the celebration went global,
with 200 million people rallying
in 141 countries around their concern
for the environment all around the planet.

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We’re still rallying for Earth—
at two events this week.
On Earth Day,
Wednesday, April 22,
we’ll join the Earth Walk around the campus
of Oklahoma City University.
We’ll carry the Earth flag
and the Turtle Rock Farm banner
on the community walk. It begins
at 6 p.m., at the United Methodist
Conference Ministry Center,
NW 24th and McKinley
(southeast corner of the OCU campus.)
Bring the children, leashed pets,
the whole family.
Carry banners, pictures of places
you love on the planet
to celebrate our amazing home.

Then, on Saturday, come out to Turtle Rock Farm,
for the fifth annual Green Connections Earth Day festival.
We’ll continue the celebration—
and learn some things about living
sustainably, so that all life
may be sustained.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Check for the details on our fb page.

 

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Celebrating Earth at Turtle Rock Farm.
Our April 2015 Newsletter.

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Because Green Connections’ Earth Day Festival
is on Saturday, April 19,
you have another opportunity—
on the official Earth Day,
Tuesday, April 22—
to plan to attend
an Earth Day Rally
for Climate Change Action.
Sponsored by our friends
at The Peace House,
Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign,
Citizens Climate Lobby,
and Peace Education Institute,
it’s at the Oklahoma State Capitol’s South Plaza,
5:30 to 7 p.m.

Earth Day week
is a fitting time to consider
what actions, changes
in your life you will take
this year
to help create a sustainable life
for all.
Here’s a list to consider,
provided by Nathaniel Batchelder,
director of the Peace House
in Oklahoma City:

– Ask a minister/priest/rabbi for a message on Harmony with Nature/Earth
– Write a brief  “Letter To the Editor”
– Contact a Congress Member and communicate:
“GlobalWarming is Real & Man-Made. Do Something!”
– Challenge a house-of-worship and/or school to adopt a “Green” practice
– Check out the website:  <350.org>
– Lead a discussion on Global Climate Change (Or ask us at Turtle Rock Farm to help with that.)
– Switch to LED light bulbs – more efficient than compact flourescent bulbs… and they last much longer.
– Plant trees, bushes, or ground-cover not needing to be mowed
– Plant a vegetable garden.  Conserves lots of energy.
– Consider Vegetarianism
Conserves lots of energy.   Contact Vegetarian Society of OK http://vegok.org/ for a presentation
– Recycle what you can. (Home recycling in OKC is less than 20%)
Conserves natural resources. Saves energy. Reduces pollution.
– Join SIERRA CLUB
Oklahoma Sierra Club http://oklahoma2.sierraclub.org/
Okla. City Sierra Club—http://oklahoma.sierraclub.org/cimarron/

 

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We also encourage
composting,
water conservation,
solar cooking,
spending time in nature,
giving children a chance to lead exploration
in nature.
Find a “Sit Spot”—
a place you can go to daily
to watch what’s happening
in the “neighborhood.”
Learn about your bioregion.
Take a hike or walk weekly,
observing the natural world.
Take a workshop at Turtle Rock Farm
or ask us to present a program or retreat
for your group.
Every day
is Earth Day.

 

I don’t think the birds know.
Grackles,
Cowbirds,
Red-Winged Blackbirds,
Harris Sparrows,
White-Crowned Sparrows,
a Woodpecker,
two Bluejays
glean the corn and milo and sunflower seed
from the ground
where I scattered it
again
this morning.
A strong, unseasonably cold north wind
ruffles their feathers
as they peck.
They don’t know
of the Boston Marathon bombing.
They don’t know
about the anhydrous ammonia plant
explosion
in West, Texas.
They don’t know
about the heavy rains and flooding
in Chicago
or the tornadoes last night
in southwest Oklahoma.
The Barn Swallows
which have arrived
and are flying constantly
just above the water
in the Big Pond
catching bugs,
don’t know.
It is not their job
to know.
It is their job
to catch bugs,
produce baby birds.
Their job is critical—
part of a web of life
that affects every living one
in that web,
including humans.
It is our particular job
to know—
to notice them,
to not interfere with their job,
to celebrate all
life on this planet.
If we are noticing
all life
deeply enough—
deeply enough
to celebrate it—
perhaps we will understand
its broken systems.
If we are noticing
all life deeply enough
to celebrate it,
perhaps we will want to make the changes
needed
so that all can thrive.
On this 43rd celebration
of life on this planet,
on Earth Day,
may we look
deeply,
take delight,
dedicate ourselves to practices that promote a healthy planet,
and dance.
Not that the birds will know—
or will they?
Maybe some Earth Day
there will be enough food
for the birds.

(Join us at Turtle Rock Farm
for our Earth Day celebration
Saturday, 20 April, at 1 p.m.)

Elizabeth Leading Liturgy on Earth Day

The story we live out of
has everything to do with
how we live our lives.
Have you stopped to think
about our story?
We’re excited to offer a workshop
that helps us look at the large story
and how it impacts our lives
now
and in the future.
Our teacher, mentor and friend,
one of the wise women
deeply responsible for the mission
of Turtle Rock Farm,
is going to lead this workshop.
Studying the New Cosmology
(how the world and life came to be
and humans’ place in it)
at Phillips Theological Seminary
with Elizabeth Box Price
changed my life forever,
for the better,
setting me on the course
that led to the spirituality and sustainability
work here at our retreat center.
Respected as a theological educator,
Elizabeth is a great teacher
who is able to help us grasp profound
understanding
through experiential learning.
So this workshop
is a rare opportunity
to explore the scientific and theological underpinnings
of our species’ current work
to live as part of the great web of life.
Elizabeth received the prestigious $10,000
Course Programs Award from the Center for Theology
and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley.
Other grants have supported her engagement
in the conversation between science and religion
to help people of faith
explore natural science and ecology.
Time spent at Genesis Farm
and the Whidby Institute
has deepened Elizabeth’s own understanding
and developed her gifts
for helping us transform our ecological consciousness.
That is no simple task.
But Elizabeth is up to it
and we are grateful
to be able to offer a day with her
exploring our unfolding story.
Join us for a very special day.
To register for the workshop,
go to our website.