Last week I had an amazing experience with my wife Cathy. We were in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, and got ourselves into a late afternoon/early evening beaver hike at a local Audubon wildlife sanctuary in the area. The tour guide assured us that over the last several weeks, beavers have been spotted during these tours. We hoped the streak would continue! It did! Not only did we see three beavers, out in the open, swimming around, we inferred a fourth beaver was present, rustling their winter food cache at one end of the pond. What’s more, two of the beavers, quite hefty fellows, disappeared into the woods, and we could hear them returning to the pond, dragging a large branch, full of green leaves, behind them. That branch, of course, was from a tree that these industrious creatures had cut down!
While watching those beavers work, not 40 yards from us, was truly a blessing, what is happening on Sunday, October 23rd, in Camden promises blessings beyond counting. That day, at Sacred Heart Church, in Camden, NJ, on the corner of S. Broadway & Ferry Ave., a man of God will be visiting us, to remind us of our blessings, but also of our responsibilities. Rabbi Arthur Waskow, of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia, is going to spend time with us at the 8th annual Thomas Berry Lecture. The talk begins at 2PM, though people will begin gathering to meet new friends around 1:30PM. You should come, and you should come early. You don’t want to not get a seat!
Rabbi will challenge us to act, to realize that reading about climate change, listening to others talk about climate change, sharing Facebook posts about the damage wreaked by climate change, is no longer sufficient to respond to the enormity of the threat posed to Earth by the lifestyle of a relatively recent addition to Creation’s amazingly beautiful, complex and mysterious web of life.
Come, come with your friends, come with your faith community, with the group of activists that inspire you. Tickets are still available at the door, though seats will quickly fill up.
This is only the beginning of this call to action. Rabbi will invite us to commit, publicly, in front of the gathered community, to do something, anything, in response to climate change. A Facebook page will be created so that after Sunday we can stay in touch with the efforts that all of us are pursuing. Around Earth Day 2017 we will return to this little corner of Camden, to share our efforts, our accomplishments, our frustrations, some food and drink, and lots of stories and laughter. We will bless Earth as a community of God’s people, all of us, one earth, one family, together!
As amazing as those beavers were last week, I know that what begins on Sunday will be pregnant with hope, with possibilities of concerted action by people of faith. Will you be one of those people? I sure intend to be.
President Emeritus, CFET