“Hope springs eternal,” we say, and Earth Day certainly demonstrates that truth. Earth Day was founded in hope in 1970; as you will read below, we are still hopeful. The question is, should we be? In the face of all of our challenges, where should we look for real hope? These are my Earth Day #44 thoughts (see some earlier year’s thoughts here and here:
Madison Wisconsin, can arguably claim to be the historical center of the modern US environmental movement. This small city has direct connections to many of the movement’s pioneers: John Muir (Yellowstone National Park), Aldo Leopold (“Sand County Almanac” and many other works), Sigurd Olsen (The US/Canadian Boundary Waters), Gaylord Nelson (founder of the first Earth Day), and Cal DeWitt (Au Sable Institute). Perhaps because of these historical connections, the current voices of the environmental movement can often be heard in this city, and what these voices are saying – and not saying – is worth noting. Continue reading
Every year I try to write an Easter-themed devotional. (See some previous posts here.) Here are this year’s thoughts on the occasion of Holy Week. This will be emailed to our newsletter list in a few days, but as many on this blog and on our Facebook pages don’t get the newsletter, here’s your copy early. Enjoy – and let me know what you think in the comments.
It is the start of Holy Week. We Christians of whatever label take time this week to remember and celebrate events that are at the heart of our faith: A coronation march into an ancient city. A sham trial. A barbaric execution. An unexpected finale with earthquakes, empty tombs, and wild rumors. And finally, a dead man come to life. Euphoria, despair, confusion, victory – all in one short week. Continue reading
A couple of months ago, the Madison WI utility folks showed up on my street, dug some holes, brought in several shiny new poles, and next thing we knew, we had a half a dozen new streetlights – including one right outside my bedroom window. These aren’t just any streetlights – they are the latest LED technology, and easily bright enough to read by, while consuming only a fraction of the energy of the older ones. It appears these brilliant additions use less electricity than one old-fashioned 100 watt bulb, but make those older sodium lights look like bathroom nightlights. Signs of progress, yes? Maybe… Continue reading
Autism and asthma are two conditions that concern me personally; a number of close friends have children who are on the autism spectrum, and my daughter works as an autism therapist. She also suffers from asthma, as do millions of others in her generation and younger. Now it appears that there may be a deep connection between these conditions – one that we never would have suspected.
In the good old days, environmental problems were easy to spot, and relatively easy to manage. If a river was polluted or the air in a city was unbreatheable, we could identify the sources and clean them up. If an oil tanker leaked or an oil well blew up, the mess was horrendous, and remediation was expensive but it could be done. Two articles in this week’s Sunday New York Times show that this is no longer the case. No – there still plenty of these simple environmental challenges all around us. But we are learning that we are facing an entirely new class of problem: changes in our own bodies caused by unforeseen and unintended consequences. Continue reading
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Happy Easter! This is a wonderful weekend of celebration for the entire Christian church. We’re celebrating the heart of our faith, and reminding ourselves that this “religion” stands on a verifiable historical reality: Jesus rose from the dead! But Easter has particular meaning for those of us who are engaged in the ministry of caring for God’s creation. Here’s why.
It is more than 10 years since I had a memorable conversation while on a business trip to Whidbey Island, near Seattle. Being there over a weekend, I was visiting a local church for morning worship. I found myself being greeted by a friendly guy just inside the door. We got past the “I’m so and so…” and “isn’t this weather great?” and landed on “So, what brings you to our area?”
That is when it got interesting.
For many years, it has been our practice (my wife and I) to write a Christmas letter that includes one page of devotional thoughts about Christmas, and a second page of family news. This post is taken from this year’s letter -I hope you enjoy it, or at least find it helpful. Please note that you are more than welcome to sign up for our occasional newsletter - and then you can get the family news, too! When you get to the sign up form, click on News from Ed and Susanna, and any of the other newsletters you would like to subscribe to.
Here are my thoughts on Christmas, 2011:
Christmas. It is a great story that we never tire of: The manger scene, stars, angels, shepherds, wise men. Underneath the story is the best news any of us will ever hear: Immanuel – “God is with us”. In the words of John’s gospel, “the Word became flesh and lived among us…”
What we kind of lose track of, I think, is what it took to make this miracle happen. Bringing a baby into the world is not easy…