Creation Crisis Preaching

This event is created and sponsored by our friends at the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of Pennsylvania (LAMPa).

Join the LAMPa Creation Justice Team for a conference call with
the Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade
September 30, 
12 noon – 1:00 PM


 Dr. Schade is pastor of United in Christ Lutheran Church in Lewisburg, PA and Adjunct Instructor in Philosophy at Lebanon Valley College. On this call Dr. Schade will share the themes and challenges raised in her new book “Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology and the Pulpit“, about preaching that names and acts on the integrity of God’s creation. She works with the premise that all of Creation, including humankind, needs to hear the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection in this age in which humanity is “crucifying” Creation.


Listen to a stunning SoundCloud excerpt created by Peterson Toscano from his interview with Rev. Schade on Climate Stew.  Are you a pastor in a hurry?  Jump ahead to 1:50

Order the book!
(PA IPL folks can look for Cricket Hunter’s review in the first pages of the book, alongside Bill McKibben’s.)


After Pope Week: Religous leaders standing shoulder-to-shoulder.

The Jewish Sabbath is on Saturday.  The Christian Sabbath is on Sunday.  Except for Seventh Day Adventists. Buddhists do not have a particular Sabbath Day.  We fast at different times, in different ways, for different reasons.  We have different beliefs about who leads, and how.

We could spend a lot of time of focusing on the differences in our faiths, but we are all Seekers.  We all turn to the wisdom and scripture of our faith traditions for hope, for solace, and for instruction.  We are all called to care for creation, to care for the most vulnerable people, and to work for justice.  Pope Francis released his encyclical, Laudato Si, in June.  In the anticipation of that event, in the build to his visit last week to the United States, and (in the climate change world) in the build to the international talks in Paris this December, many, many religious bodies and religious leaders have released statements from their traditions. (Jump to links)

These teachings are not new to Catholicism, nor are they new to other faith traditions. Recent statements from religious bodies are statements amplifying  Laudato Si : In Care of our Common Home with deep teachings and specific language from their own traditions.  It is time to offer all the wisdom we have, from all sectors, as we seek to find new and just ways to live in our Common Home.  Religious leaders recognize that. Continue reading After Pope Week: Religous leaders standing shoulder-to-shoulder.

Reading “Laudato si”

Generously reposted from Points of Inflection, by PA IPL board member John Roe.  Follow the list of links to more of his reflections.
I’ve been reading the Papal Encyclical on the environment – or rather, as Pope Francis calls it, “on care for our common home”.  I have never tried to read a papal letter before so I did not know what to expect.  It’s certainly a lengthy document – and wide-ranging!  Perhaps a quick tour through the table of contents will be a place to start.

The Pope begins with the most wide-ranging appeal, set in the context of his predecessors, of the Patriarch of the Eastern Church, of Saint Francis, and of the whole human family in its “common home”:

I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.

Continue reading Reading “Laudato si”

Near and far: moving from empathy to neighborly action.

Stone Church of the Brethren welcomed 2015 PA IPL cyclist Eric Sauder as a guest preacher on Sunday.  He loved meeting the wonderful Stone Church congregation and has shared his sermon and benediction with us.

Every morning after waking up, I make my way to the kitchen, put on water for coffee, get the newspaper, turn on the radio, and scroll through the latest news updates on my phone. The multiple news sources may seem excessive, but, any good engineer knows how important it is to have redundant systems. The next 15 minutes are a deluge of crises reaching from our community to every corner of the world. It’s really overwhelming. With new disasters every morning, it seems that the list of hurting people is always growing.

This struggle is nothing new. Certainly there’s been a robust news industry in all of our lifetimes, but it does seem that with every new “advance” in media platforms this messaging invades a bit further into our personal space. At least the town crier stayed in the street and the newspaper on our doorstep—the phones are in our pockets. Now, thanks to Facebook’s video autoplay feature, I don’t even choose whether or not my morning breakfast routine contains footage of a white police officer gunning down an unarmed black man.

I believe it’s important that we can see and hold the challenges of the world, because for the first time in human history we’re witnessing how our actions have very real global impact. Continue reading Near and far: moving from empathy to neighborly action.

Sermon: The Divine is in the Details

On the day of the 2014 Annual Conference, host congregation Summit Presbyterian Church welcomed visitors to their morning services.  Pastor Cheryl Pyrch has kindly shared her sermon from that day.  Presbyterian churches join many other Christian denominations in the Revised Common Lectionary, a 3-year cycle of prescribed set of readings.image-1-f255b6fa

The Divine is in the Details, Leviticus 19: 1-18

Since today we’re hosting the Annual Conference of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, “Climate Justice: Faith in Action,” I’d like to make an observation about climate change. A personal observation, not a scientific fact or a frightening statistic:   climate change has taken a lot of the fun out of shopping. And eating. And traveling. We used to just shop for stuff that we liked and bought as much as we could afford, maybe more: from cars to shoes to blenders to laptops and cell phones and hamburgers and books and TVs and houses and coffee. Or, we went bargain hunting, which has its own thrill: from buy more save more sales to 10 for 10 dollars at Acme. But now when I pick up Continue reading Sermon: The Divine is in the Details

St. Francis and the “universal house”

 This post by board member (and past president) Sylvia Neely first appeared on the Creation Corner page of  the Episcopal Church in Central Pennsylvania’s website.1913244_10106188579394174_2017794221_o

Some years ago, I was a member of a group at my church that got together to discuss environmental issues.  We read and discussed a book that somebody had recommended that I truly disliked.  Environmental questions were presented as cultural questions that required us to rethink the way we lived and that especially extolled eastern and Native American spiritual values.  I kept protesting to the group that we surely had strong Christian traditions that would help guide us to a better way of living in God’s creation.  Several years later, another group at the same church read a book that exemplified what I was looking for.

CareForCreationcoverThe book is entitled Care for Creation:  A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth.  Two of the authors are steeped in Franciscan learning.  Ilia Delio, O.S.F., is a professor and author.  Keith Douglass Warner, O.F.M., teaches in an interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Institute.  The third author, Pamela Wood, is a retreat facilitator whose expertise provides a strong practical side to the book.  So the book, though challenging at times, balanced a strong understanding of science with a wonderful expression of Franciscan spirituality and the way to incorporate it into one’s life.

For me, one of the most important concepts discussed in the book was Continue reading St. Francis and the “universal house”