GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

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Environmental spirituality

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Church groups were once scorned by environmentalists as part of the problem; now they’re valued as allies. Born way back in 1992, Earth Ministry is a veteran in creation care.

Unlike some environmental groups, Earth Ministry doesn’t just rant about pollution and energy. It also looks at humans and the need to make a living. The group also helps people appreciate nature — via stream cleanups, hiking and kayaking trips, and a music festival called the Celebration of St. Francis. And its think pieces come from real thinkers, like Bill Moyers, Calvin DeWitt and Frederick Buechner.

Earth Ministry still seems centered on Washington State, its birthplace. But it has a lot of resources that anyone can use. There’s a handbook for “greening” a congregation. There’s a book on agriculture, called Food and Faith. There are teaching materials for kids, from Catholic, Presbyterian and Christian Reform groups.

Take a long, careful look at the “Pattern Map”: a sprawling organizational chart that interlinks the social, natural and economic realms into an ideal whole. It bristles with big ideas, like “ecosystem services” and “bioregional economies.” But each is explained and may even sound workable. See what you think.

Also click the online pdf of the quarterly Earth Letter. It’s nice-looking, but the posted sample is from winter 2006-7. (A cynic might suggest that it was chosen for its article from Barack Obama.) A subscription comes with a $35 membership fee.

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Written by Jim Davis

September 30, 2008 at 2:22 am

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