Spiritual leaders’ valuable vision

The Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will be in Seattle this week for a national Episcopal conference, “Healing Our Planet Earth: Singing a New Song of Hope.” Joel Connelly provides readers of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer with this background. It is positive and yet closes with a tough question:

[Jefferts] Schori is, in a sense, returning home with her Seattle trip. She was raised in Lake City, converted from Catholicism to the Episcopal Church with her family and was an oceanographer before receiving a call to the priesthood. She has climbed 9,415-foot Mount Stuart.

She is here for the kind of event that represents renewal to many in her flock, while others see invasive secular issues capturing the church.

It’s a national conference titled “Healing Our Planet Earth: Singing a New Song of Hope.”

Schori is not hesitant to embrace science, even linking it to revelation.

“As an oceanographer, I practiced a discipline that understands that no life form can be studied in isolation from its surroundings: As a Christian, I continue to practice a discipline that understands that God created all beings to live in relationship with each other and the rest of creation,” she said in a written statement.

“Science has revealed to us unequivocally that climate change and global warming are real, and caused in significant party by human activity.

“These changes are a threat not only to the goodness of God’s creation but to all of humanity.”

The conference will hear from the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, a seminary dean and former Alaska bishop who heralds “The Genesis Covenant.”

The covenant is an interfaith effort that calls on religious communities to make a “public commitment” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 50 percent in the next 10 years.

Not even our solemn, secular greens — the Sightline Institute and Cascade Chapter of the Sierra Club — dare talk of such an ambitious goal.

Here’s the problem: How do you make a bigger impact when fewer people are in the pews?

Read it all here.

Check out the conference website here. The Presiding Bishop will speak Friday and Saturday.

Past Posts