MLK, Jr’s Life and Words Challenge All To Pursue Justice – Racial, Economic, Environmental

Martin LUther King, Jr's quote suggests his vision that all the world and its occupants are interconnected.
Martin Luther King, Jr’s quote suggests his vision that all the world and its occupants are interconnected.

Last year, immediately after the 45th President’s inauguration January 20, 2017, people of faith in Madison, WI joined with multitudes around the country. They participated in prayer vigil events over the course of the first 100 Hours of the new presidency.  They implored God to guide the new administration to “Keep Good Faith On Our Climate Commitments.” Prayerful reflection and thoughtful exhortation aptly drew from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words, life and spirit. People gathered in the shadow of his birthday and holiday as well as on the near eve of Black History Month. As then, so again now, the words offered up by Rev. Nick Utphall drew from Rev. King to speak timely truth to power and encouragement to those laboring for justice – racial, environmental, and economic.  Despite disappointing progress and discouraging regress, God calls us to faithfully persevere NOW:

A lot depends on perspective in these days, and so depending on your perspective, you might find it either a fitting coincidence or grotesquely ironic that this week ending in inauguration began with the observance of Martin Luther King day.

Whether good or ill, I’ve been considering the Rev. King’s words and example amid this moment. There are, again, things both more and less helpful.

Less helpful to me feels that grand reassurance oft repeated by Rev. King, that the arc of the moral universe is long but that it bends toward justice. Overall, I have that hope Continue reading

Advent: Look Busy? Be Faithful! Prepare By Care

Traditional advent candles shed light on this season of reflection and anticipation.
Traditional advent candles shed light on this season of reflection and anticipation.

As Advent invites us to prepare for the arrival of Christ, it challenges us to care for creation and protect the climate.  In this article, first published in December’s Climate Caretaker’s Newsletter, I explore this challenge and suggest some responses.

The church secretary rushed into the pastor’s office and said, “This is incredible, Jesus is riding into the parking lot on a donkey. What should we do?” The pastor turned back to his keyboard, resumed typing and said, “Don’t just stand there, look busy.”

This joke comes to mind as I consider the work of Climate Caretakers and the opportunity of Advent. We have just begun these days of Advent on the journey to Christmas. It is a time, a season, for reflection and spiritual preparation. A time when, to one extent or another, churches invite their members to exercise their empathy and imagination. Advent opens up time and Continue reading

Hurricanes and Climate Change – Science, Faith and Humanity

Hurricane making landfall at Key West, courtesy of
Hurricane making landfall at Key West, courtesy of

Hurricanes regrettably link to climate change.  Although pouring gasoline on the fire might not cause an explosion, it still isn’t a good idea because it will make things worse.  Likewise fueling climate change by pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere might not cause any specific hurricane or extreme weather event, but it still isn’t a good idea because it will make things worse.

For a snapshot of the science linking hurricanes to climate change, view this 3 minute video from, How Climate Change Boosts Hurricanes Like Harvey .

For a snapshot of the faith and humanity stirred up by hurricanes in an age of climate change, see the words of our friend from Climate Caretakers, Lee Anne Johnson in Fort Myers, FL, who writes:

“There’s a terrible pit-of-the-stomach feeling that accompanies an approaching disaster. Before Irma, I had only experienced it second-hand, such as neighboring cities devastated by Continue reading

Guest Post – What’s In A Name?

Oregon Zoo Education Curator, Grant Spickelmier, sheds light on why God tasked humans with naming creation.

Original post from Green Jesus, shared with permission.

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When my son was two and half years old, he came to visit me at work. He was pretty excited because I am employed by one of the most kid-friendly workplaces in the world … the zoo!

After lunch, we walked through the tropics building to visit some of his favorite animals including the sun bears and the Komodo dragon. Next, we walked past a black and white animal with a stout body and a long nose. A woman standing nearby explained to her toddler, “Look honey, that’s an anteater.” My son tightened his grip on my hand and said “No!” He looked at the woman and corrected her loudly “No! That’s a tapir!” While slightly embarrassed, I felt a flash of pride sweep through me as I thought, “That’s my boy!” Continue reading

Support Our Friends Acting Next Week to Protect the Climate

Over the years we have shared some of the faith and science plus scripture and theology that energize Care of Creation’s response to God’s call. That call moves us to act in many ways to care for creation in general and protect the climate in particular. We act to express the gospel of the Kingdom, to express the love of God and neighbor, to extend justice to all. At this time, that call also moves us to invite those of you who share these concerns to act also.

Please direct your thoughts, prayers, and calls on behalf of efforts next week to protect the climate! Recognize that dozens of supportive phone calls before a Congressional office meeting on the climate crisis do get legislators’ attention. It does make a difference.

In particular call your members of Congress Fri., June 9 as part of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby Call-in. You can help protect the climate and care for creation even if you can’t join the over 1,000 CCL volunteers, including Care of Creation staffer Kermit Hovey, flooding Washington DC for the 8th Annual CCL Conference & Lobby Day, June 11-13. CCL, although a secular organization, is one we share many values with and happily endorse as a positive option to address climate change.

You can help in the comfort of your own home. And it’s easy! Go to All you do is supply your address and zip code. The site will supply the phone #s and talking points. You’ll be priming your Member(s) of Congress in advance of the CCL volunteers visit to their offices June 13. We CAN slow climate change. This simple task for you can result in BIG dividends for a livable world for neighbors next door, across the country, and around the world!

P.S. if you can be in D.C. over the next few days of the conference, walk-in registrations are possible ( ).

Can We Fix It: The Challenge of Climate Change, Earth Day Protests, Marches, and More

Can we fix it? Can we avert the climate chaos predicted by the evidence and analysis provided from scientists the world over? After all, climate change is really happening, really serious, really human caused, yet we can still, if we act boldly, really do something about it. Unfortunately, the current U.S. Administration blatantly rejects the growing understanding that unrelenting fossil fuel combustion and persistent greenhouse gas emission disrupts and destabilizes the climate we rely on for our livable common home.

Fortunately, growing numbers of people recognize both the problem and

Thousands gather for an early People's Climate March at the State Capitol in Madison, WI April 22, 2017 (Photo by Joe Brusky)
Thousands gather for an early People’s Climate March at the State Capitol in Madison, WI April 22, 2017. Most other marches are scheduled for April 29, 2017 (Photo by Joe Brusky)

the need for action. On Earth Day, April 22, 2017, thousands of those people from around the area took to the streets of Madison, WI. First, in a “March for Science”, one of hundreds of similar marches around the country and the globe. Second, in a “People’s Climate March”, an Continue reading

A Conversation about God, His Creation and Our Role in Creation