I write this from Kotzebue where I am preparing to depart for Pt. Hope and a gathering of the Arctic Coast Deanery. It will be wonderful to see our Arctic Coast family, to spend time together in worship and prayer, to celebrate our life together in Christ, and to encourage and share our ministries and witness to the Gospel.
We who are many are one body.
I am aware of how the “one body” lives together on this one earth–our eldest elder, God’s gift of creation, the provider of all our physical needs, and the setting for the Incarnation of God’s greatest gift of love in the person of Jesus Christ. We are of the earth and to the earth we shall return.
The earth is crying out to us. Let us seek ways to respect and care for our elder.
I left Fairbanks in a thick cloud of wildfire smoke. In some ways, it feels good to be on the Arctic Coast away from the smoke. Breathing is much easier. And perhaps that is one of the challenges to creation care and stewardship of the earth–our concern is limited by our local experience. It is easy to compartmentalize the problem. But as the body of Christ, we cannot retreat into local communities disconnected from the concerns of others. Nor can we take blind refuge in our neighborhoods disinterested in the health of the whole earth.
Please continue in prayer for the earth. Please find ways you can make meaningful changes to your lifestyle that will help to reduce your carbon footprint.
This past week I read a report on the effects climate change has had on the collapse of the salmon run in the Yukon River and on the overall health of the fish population; and on the collapse of the crab population in the Bering Sea. I also saw the dramatic footage and read about the flood on the Mendenhall River from the glacial outburst. Finally, was the news of the fire in Maui.
I received an email this week from my friend and colleague Bishop Bob Fitzpatrick of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawai’i. In his email, he described some of the devestation:
“The fire swept into old Lahaina town. Old buildings made out of wood went up fast. Some of the buildings from the days of whaling and when the town was the seat of the monarchy (early 1800’s) were quickly destroyed. It included our church, Holy Innocents, with roots back to a land grant from King Kamehameha V (and responsibility for the “foreigner’s cemetery”). The Sanctuary, vicarage, preschool and office are gone (as is the public elementary school next door).”
Please pray for our sisters and brothers in Hawai’i, and for the whole body of Christ throughout the world suffering from climate change, hunger, warfare, displacement, injustice, fear, and oppression.
We set our hope on Christ and the merciful might of God; but we also minister, we take action, we make changes, we get involved.