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Sustainability

Everything we touch is skin on the face of God


Green Mindfulness

Every thing we touch is skin on the face of God.”

Fr Eugene Stockton

Limiting your toilet flushes and turning off lights as a spiritual discipline? Composting and mulching to strengthen your prayer life?  Avoiding disposables, recycling, growing veges and trying not to use your car to deepen your spiritual life? You have to be kidding!

Not so says Fr Eugene Stockton, Wellspring Member, green mindfulness hermit.

“All great mystical traditions concur in the need for self -denial at the outset and in the course of one’s prayer journey… Jesus makes self -denial the price of discipleship!  … It is obvious that one who is centred on self is incapable of self transcendence and the flight to oneness with the Totally Other,” says Father Eugene. “I propose that self denial consists in keeping the ego in the right place-not making it the centre of things…not taking yourself too seriously.”

 In the past this asceticism or self discipline has come to involve denying the body any comforts, fasting, going without sleep and “any deeds embraced by the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, a program of mortification.”

 But the necessary self- denial, says Father Eugene, can focus on a “program of life enhancing deeds rather than the negative and artificial ones of the past”, a program of vivification, a green mindfulness, with” a gentle sense of fun,” where “one watches ones’ impact on both persons and things. It is an attitude that cares even to small matters. Care is simply love that follows through. Care for people or nature shows in the way one handles them or speaks to them.

Every thing we touch is skin on the face of God.

Any action can be a caress-no need for overkill let’s not take ourselves too seriously! “

See Fr. Eugene Stockton’s Wonder a Way to God p 63-67 &115-118

Turning the litter tide Cleaning up Australia a can at a time

Every year 11.2 billion cans and bottles become landfill or litter. Wellspring’s Lisa Wriley is doing something about it.

I do have a strong sense that I am called to take care of God’s earth and that I am a part of it.” says Lisa, Her day job is at the Total Environment Centre  which has been fighting to protect Australia’s air, water and green spaces for over 40 years. Bringing back the “ cash for containers scheme” has been her passion over the last six years.

Wellspringers can email or write to NSW Premier GPO Box 5341, Sydney NSW 2001and simply let him know that you or your Wellspring group or your church support #cashforcontainers .  They can also officially endorse the campaign at: www.boomerangalliance.org.au/orgsupport.

For the full story read March 2016 Pipeline.

Cash for Containers

Meditation and the environment seminar

Meditation and the Environmemnt - Ecology, Economy and Meditation "Healing ourselves, healing the earth" is being held by the Australian Christian Meditation Community in April 2016. The theme for the weekend seminar is "How can a contemplative spirituality make a difference in responding to the environmental challenges we face?" Members of the Wellspring Sustainabilty Group will be attending and invite other Wellspring members with interests in meditation and the environment to join them.

More information can be obtained at www.christianmeditationaustralia.org

The last lap before Paris - multi-faith action on Climate Change

Most churches have become involved in relationships with other faiths, and the outcomes of these dialogues tell a very positive story, which is ignored by the secular media. It is always easier to dwell on the negatives, and to build up prejudices and develop fear of the unknown. It is hard work to create a climate of acceptance, and focus on our shared vision for a world of peace and harmony. This is being achieved very successfully at present through the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC).

Because the Paris Climate Conference begins at the end of this month the latest ARRCC e-newsletter has this focus. Please follow this link to view it in your browser. You may be able to join one of the Peoples’ Climate Marches planned for the weekend prior to the Conference in Paris.

Finally, follow this link Newsletter from the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia. Sister Elizabeth Delaney took up this role early this year and from the newsletter you can get a taste of the work she has been doing in recent months. As the first Catholic Church person in the position she has been giving inspirational leadership in a time of great ecumenical change.

With prayers for the breaking down of barriers in our divided world.

Doug Hewitt

David Sloane Letter on Climate Change

David Sloane (Day 15) had this letter published in Crosslight (No 233 June 2013).

I READ with incredulity the argument by Philip Clark (May) against the carbon tax, renewable energy, and the part C02 plays in global warming. Where do people get this stuff? The usual suspects are trotted out. So-called evidence against human driven climate change is cherry picked to fit convenient unproven assumptions. Half-truths and misconceptions abound.

We know the fossil fuel industry is a master of such rhetoric. For example, the old furphy about C02 in the atmosphere being armless is plainly incorrect. Even in small quantities it is a very effective trapper of heat. It also triggers feedbacks which enables the air to soak up more water and water vapour is a greenhouse agent in its own right. So changing the C02 by even a small amount can affect the temperature of the entire atmosphere.

As for saying extreme weather events decline in warm periods makes me wonder what planet Philip is referring to! Global warming is a moral issue because it is seriously affecting poorer populations right now. Of all people, Christians should be at the forefront of the move to renewable energy as quickly as possible and warning of the effects of runaway material consumption.

Our concern for justice for the poor and our stewardship of the planet make us advocates of a more just, fairer, and cleaner way of living. The scientific community as a whole is warning us that our fixation with economic growth in a finite world of limited resources is driving the planet to an ecological precipice. As the recent crossing of the 400 parts per million of C02 has shown, humanity has not the time to play silly word games and political football with such an urgent issue. The time for action, like a market based mechanism to curb pollution, is now.

David Sloane, Corowa, NSW 2646

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