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Union Seminary
We've had many questions about yesterday's chapel, conducted as part of ' class, "Extractivism: A Ritual/Liturgical Response." In worship, our community confessed the harm we've done to plants, speaking directly in repentance. This is a beautiful ritual. /1
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Union Seminary Sep 18
Replying to @UnionSeminary
We are in the throes of a climate emergency, a crisis created by humanity's arrogance, our disregard for Creation. Far too often, we see the natural world only as resources to be extracted for our use, not divinely created in their own right—worthy of honor, thanks and care. /2
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Union Seminary Sep 18
Replying to @UnionSeminary
We need to unlearn habits of sin and death. And part of that work must be building new bridges to the natural world. And that means creating new spiritual and intellectual frameworks by which we understand and relate to the plants and animals with whom we share the planet. /3
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Union Seminary Sep 18
Replying to @UnionSeminary
Churches have a huge role to play in this endeavor. Theologies that encourage humans to dominate and master the Earth have played a deplorable role in degrading God's creation. We must birth new theology, new liturgy to heal and sow, replacing ones that reap and destroy. /4
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Union Seminary Sep 18
Replying to @UnionSeminary
When Robin Wall Kimmerer spoke at Union last year, she concluded her lecture by tasking us—and all faith communities—to develop new liturgies by which to mourn, grieve, heal and change in response to our climate emergency. We couldn't be prouder to participate in this work. /5
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Union Seminary Sep 18
Replying to @UnionSeminary
And here's the thing: At first, this work will seem weird. It won't feel normal. It won't look like how we're used to worship looking and sounding. And that's exactly the point. We don't just need new wine, we need new wineskins. /6
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Union Seminary Sep 18
Replying to @UnionSeminary
But it's also important to note that this isn't, really, that radical a break from tradition. Many faiths and denoms have liturgy through which we express and atone for the harm we've caused. No one would have blinked if our chapel featured students apologizing to each other. /7
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Union Seminary Sep 18
Replying to @UnionSeminary
What's different (and the source of so much derision) is that we're treating plants as fully created beings, divine Creation in its own right—not just something to be consumed. Because plants aren't capable of verbal response, does that mean we shouldn't engage with them? /8
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Union Seminary Sep 18
Replying to @UnionSeminary
So, if you're poking fun, we'd ask only that you also spend a couple moments asking: Do I treat plants and animals as divinely created beings? What harm do I cause without thinking? How can I enter into new relationship with the natural world? /9
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🌳🍁ThinkOnTheseThings🌿💧 Sep 18
The original Tweet is that you are praying to the plants and acting their forgiveness. We confess to God about the way we fail to be good stewards of His creation. This is a very important distinction.
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🌳🍁ThinkOnTheseThings🌿💧 Sep 18
To nurture greater relationship/ responsibility between people & plants, have students raise and care for a garden or flower. Have them water it, get rid of pests, weed, fertilize, and remove to prepare for new seasons. Appreciate, admire, be thankful. Never worship the created.
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