Greetings from the very hot southern half of New Jersey!
Each year CFET hosts the Thomas Berry Lecture. It is our way of honoring one of the inspirations of our work and of providing people in this region of the country an opportunity to gather to hear the wisdom of leaders in the movement to wake us to the growing environmental challenges. It is also, to be honest, a way for us to raise some much needed financial support for the “bit” of work we do in the Waterfront South neighborhood of Camden, NJ.
We have had some prodigious speakers including Mary Evelyn Tucker of Yale University, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Judy Wicks of the Philadelphia Sustainable Business Network, and the irrepressible Tom Chapin and friends who inspired us with song. Each year board members, and especially Cathy Nevins, thought long and hard about whom to invite. Sometimes these invites have to go out well in advance, 18 months in advance, to secure a person. We were coming down to the wire this year, still not sure what to do. At the end of June Cathy and I were driving back to New Jersey from New England, talking about whom to invite. She’d been considering a particular person for a while now, but had not reached out to him. I suggested she call him as we approached the George Washington Bridge. So she did, and who answered the phone but the subject of her query: Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia, PA!
Cathy told him of the Thomas Berry lecture, of the work of CFET and a possible date. He said he would come, on Sunday, October 23, 2016 for a 2PM talk, followed by a reception. The talk will be in Sacred Heart Church, with a reception to follow.
The board is ecstatic that this worked out so well. The rabbi is a world renowned writer and speaker, in the vanguard of what has come to be known as Eco-Judaism. He has been an activist longer than most of you reading this newsletter. He has been writing and speaking about nuclear disarmament and race relations since 1959, working in Congress as well as in the grass roots community. His Shalom Center radiates throughout the area and world, using technology to speak the truth about the forces that confront us in our relationships with each other and with the earth that so generously supports us. He will share his vision with us, challenging us to embrace the vision of our respective faiths, and put them into action with and for those who suffer mightily in the present dispensation of power and wealth. You can read more about his on his website.
This Thomas Berry Lecture will also be an invitation to all communities of faith in South Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area to commit themselves to some action on behalf of an earth under duress. The invitation will be extended on October 23, 2016 and then in April 2017 we will gather once again to share with each other, and to celebrate, what our various faith communities have done since October 23rd. It is time for us to move from being inspired by the lives of others, and their words, to do something to make the world we imagine more possible in our lives and the lives of those around us.
Tickets for this event will be available in the next several weeks. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the expenses of the event as well as the ongoing work of the Center for Environmental Transformation. If you have any questions or ideas about how to spread the word of this event, please contact Cathy Nevins by email or call her at 856-816-6373.
I hope you will mark your calendars. If you belong to a faith community, please alert the leadership there of this great inter-faith opportunity. If a friend or family member is involved in a faith community, please forward this email to them. We want as many communities of faith, and those of no faith, to be represented at this event.
God bless Rabbi Waskow and his work. God bless you, in the “bit” you do everyday to live your commitment to a more just and peaceful world.