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JONAH ECO-Spirituality Forum Details

JONAH Forum: “Ecology and Spirituality” – JONAH’s Eco Spirituality Work Group has been studying and sharing Laudato Si, Pope Frances’s encyclical on the environment and human ecology, for the past two years. They are seeking to understand, put into practice and share the lessons outlined in this great work. Join us as the Eco Spirituality Work Group explains their 2-year journey, share their insights, and discusses ways we all can become better stewards of our planet.

Dean Simpson the leader of the upcoming Forum defines Eco-(Ecological) Spirituality this way: What is the church’s role in promoting ecological spirituality? The church takes up many tasks, but the one task it takes up which is unique to it is that of proclaiming the Gospel. The question the church faces in every generation is always the same: what is the language that “the Word of the Lord” must speak in order to communicate with “authority” to the current generation in our current context?

Gospel proclamation that effectively addresses present ecological crises (climate change, human suffering and species extinction, deforestation, bio-system collapse, etc.) is missing in many of our faith communities. “Ecology” tends to be conceived in terms of “fixing environmental problems” (urgently important in many cases!) when what is needed is a transformation of the way human beings relate to the natural world. Thomas Berry writes that the “great work” of the present era is moving humans away from a destructive, exploitative relation with our planet to a mutually beneficial one; from seeing Earth as a “collection of objects” to a “community of subjects.” This is a practical challenge, but also an intellectual and spiritual one. The church’s teaching and preaching will have an enormous impact on this great work – for good or ill. (To this point it has been largely for ill.)

We must learn how to “mind our tongues” and speak a language of redemption that includes the entire natural order from mineral to human life. This is what we mean by “ecological spirituality.”

If you’re interested in expanding your knowledge and experience along with sharing your thoughts with others in line with Dean’s thoughts and the spirit of ‘Laudato Si’ please attend the forum.  Also share with others who you think might be interested. Knowledge of Laudato Si not necessary to attend.

Date: Monday, September 25

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Location: First Congregational UCC, 310 Broadway Street, Eau Claire, WI 54703

Contact: Paul Savides, 715-875-4203, psavides@wwt.net