Oh where, oh where did she go???
I know, long time, no post. We spent a week on vacation with no electricity, and another week consciously off-line at home. It's been good to get away, but now I have a lot of back-burner thoughts struggling for articulation.
Here's the main one: I've been spending lots of time in creation and some time reading Bill McKibben. Global warming has been on my family's mental map for a very, very long time, and it's both heartening and a bit dismaying that the situation has finally reached a point where more of the mainstream is aware of the issue.
But I'm still struggling with the point McKibben raised a month or two ago in the Christian Century: namely, where will the churches be with this? Denominational statements aren't enough, and while I appreciate the many and varied attempts to bring the environment into our words in worship, new liturgies aren't going to cut it either. Are we going to keep building churches on the assumption that everyone will drive themselves there? (a rather non-inclusive solution, when you consider the aging of the population). Are we going to pray for the planet while we expand our parking lots?
I've been in a lot of conversations about the future of the church. Most people of my liturgical ilk are ready to talk about worship, about generational change, about getting out of the pews and into the public square with our message about God's inclusive love. But meanwhile building churches further and further out in the 'burbs is conisdered successful or "forward thinking." We continue to market the faith as if it's another consumer product.
I think McKibben is right that the Christian ethics and a healthy planet have a mutual enemy: American individualism. Unless we start meeting it head-on, we will not get any traction with real change.
Of course, there's nothing like $3 gas to start waking people up. The question is, can the church be as powerful as the pocketbook?
Seriously, I want new ideas. Not prayers, not liturgies, not another statement. How can we change our energy burning ways?