The Creation Care Alliance was part of the rich ecosystem of the Wild Goose Festival again this summer in Hot Springs. Our team hosted table conversations and workshops about climate change and creation care for faith communities, using our Guide for Cultivating Creation Care, as a basis for our work. We prayed with one another, played with one another and were moved by the profoundly deep connections among those teaching about spirituality, anti-racism, ecological healing, economic and social justice. Several times our team heard gratitude from participants for our presence and for more voices to be heard regarding the environment and faith. The Mountaintrue Outings Coordinator, Catie, provided amazing leadership for a robust volunteer team attending to the transportation needs of guests and musicians.
A Personal Reflection. On the last day, as I listened to Rev. Brian McClaren I was struck by the conversation about holding the tension between being prophetic and pastoral. His conversation with Christy Berghoef and John Pavlovitz elevated the tension of listening to friends and adversaries as well as shouting truth into the public sphere. The culmination of prophetic voices, hard rains, thick heat, beautiful music, stirring conversations emerged in me on the last day. In the midst of the conversation, there was an expression that there was a desire to not”be perceived as a jerk” in this work.
Brian seized on this. He said the difference between “being seen as a jerk” and “being a jerk” is vast. One side drives behaviour that is worried about how others perceive your actions and the other is allowing your behaviour to be driven by your moral compass, your community, spiritual tradition and God.
If we base our action on climate, pollution or injustice on how we are perceived by other people, we are more vulnerable to a diminished spirit and may allow brokenness to persist in our communities. We will be playing small to play nice. The Creation Care Alliance seeks to enable a wide variety of faith communities to come together around a common cause to care for our neighbors, rivers, mountains, air, and climate.
We seek to be bridge builders in a wall building culture. And yet on the bridge looking in either and both directions we are called to be compassionate, speak truth to power and to lean toward the common good, the deepest love. The flight of the Goose will continue to send ripples in my heart.