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We will be using this page to provide information and links to resources for our community to use in their response to the Climate Crisis. Our first installment is in response to the Covid-19 crisis we are currently facing. In addition, please see guidelines from the CDC at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and updates from the Vermont Department of Health.
Faith and Care for Earth in Times of COVID-19 March 2020
As we all face such uncertain times, including social distancing, isolation – self-imposed and otherwise - we at VTIPL want to reach out to our treasured community to share some words of inspiration, and links to meaningful activities and information with which you may wish to engage. We encourage you to worship in your homes, in nature, to connect with friends and loved ones virtually, and to reach out to those who may be especially vulnerable during times of disconnection. A phone call for reassurance can make a world of difference in helping people feel less isolated.
From VTIPL Board Member Pastor Nancy of Ascension Lutheran Church:
"How we respond to the virus, with strength, compassion, scientific knowledge, and deeply grounded in our faith tradition, will strengthen us as we encounter disruptions due to climate change. I offer this meditation." https://www.lutheranworld.org/content/resource-intercessory-prayer-midst-spread-covid-19.
As a GreenFaith Fellow, Pastor Nancy appreciates how GreenFaith works internationally through interreligious leaders to address climate change and other environmental problems. This includes a new daily opportunity to connect virtually, which is also posted on the VTIPL Facebook page. Green Faith writes, “We may be physically apart. Overwhelmed and frightened by the daily news. But we are coming together in care and resilience for some spiritual respite. Will you join us for a daily call that we are hosting? We are people of faith and spirit from around the world. Join us every day this week from Monday through Friday at 4 pm Eastern time. This is to connect with each other for 30 minutes of reflection, mutual aid, and solace, together with religious leaders from different traditions, and with readings of poetry and prayer. www.Facebook.com/greenfaith
The Deep Adaptation Agenda – a Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy, by Professor Jem Bendell, offers timely insights and suggestions for how we as a human community can not only consider the climate crisis, but also move through this current moment of upheaval and transition to a new way forward. Its essence includes 4R’s that seem particularly relevant right now:
-Resilience – How do we keep what we really want to keep?
-Relinquishment – What do we need to let go of in order to not make matters worse?
-Restoration – What can we bring back to help us with the difficulties?
-Reconciliation - What could I make peace with to lessen suffering?
Of course, we encourage everyone to stay safe by continuing to follow CDC guidelines and those issued by Vermont Health Department guidelines, to be alert for notifications issued by our state and local governments.
Finally, this prayer/poem by Kitty O’Meara offers a note of optimism for the Earth and ourselves during these difficult times:
And the people stayed home.
And read books, and listened, and
rested, and exercised, and made art,
and played games, and learned new
ways of being, and were still. And
listened more deeply. Some
meditated, some prayed, some
danced. Some met their shadows.
And the people began
to think differently.
And the people healed.
And, in the absence of people living
in ignorant, dangerous, mindless,
and heartless ways,
the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed,
and the people joined together again,
they grieved their losses, and made
new choices, and dreamed new
images, and created new ways to live
and heal the earth fully,
as they had been healed.
We wish you all well. Stay safe and full of compassion for yourselves, your loved ones and the Earth.