Sermons for Lent 2019: #FortheBeautyoftheEarth

For the beauty of each hour, of the day and of the night, hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon, and stars and light, Lord of all to thee we raise, this our grateful hymn of praise.
— Folliot S. Pierpoint, 1864
Lupine along San Simeon Creek, 2019

Lupine along San Simeon Creek, 2019

Sermon Notes and Resources for Further Reflection

There are so many places I would encourage you to seek out as you reflect on our place in a hurting a creation. The following collection points you to people, organizations, and poetry that directly influenced this series. I will be adding to it as the Lenten season comes to a close.

  • Pastor Russ Gordon was with us at the first Lenten Soup Supper. This book influenced both of us in our thinking on the gravity of this moment in history. Elizabethe Kolbert won the Pulitzer in 2015 for this work. This books helps answer the questions we have about other periods in history when life was drastically altered on Earth. We saw some of that in the charts Dr. Tringe presented. Kolbert’s book describes it in depth — The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.

  • Dr. Susannah Tringe visited us to answer our questions on climate change. If you’d like her slides and don’t yet have a copy, please contact me. She recommended this website when asked, “How do we know who to believe on climate change?” What We Know

  • Dr. Katherine Hayhoe is an evangelial Christian and reknowned climate scientist. She has a beautiful website and engaging TEDTalk. Watch it and check out her work HERE.

  • Thank you to our middle schoolers for delving into the realm of meditation. They supported their endeavor using Better yet, download the app on your phone! Learning to slow down, observe your thoughts, and notice the world are all skills for living in better balance as God intended us to live. It’s not just about healing our minds; it’s about healing our relationship to time, to Sabbath. And restoring this balance is necessary to ending the crisis in creation.

  • Paula Wansa wrote a beautiful poem articulating her feelings of urgency around climate change and her committment to a better, more sustainable world. Gerald Iversen published it on his site: Simple Living Works. It’s also in our Bethel April Newsletter.

  • Youth Sunday also featured this cutest ever book: Mrs. Noah’s Vegetable Ark.

  • “Losing Earth” is easily the best reporting I’ve read on the political history of climate change. If you want to understand just how close we got in the 1980s, this is a must read. Heartbreaking, realistic, leaning toward hopeful? I don’t know, but worth the time. (If the screen appears to stick on a photo, just keep scanning down. It will move eventually.) If we understand where we went wrong, then we have a better chance of moving climate change from a political issue to a moral imperative.

  • Featured poems to begin worship on Sundays have included: Egrets by Mary Oliver, i thank you God for most this amazing by ee cummings, The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry which you can hear him read on this site, and May all the Earth be Clothes in Light by George Hitchcock.

  • Guests during Lent included Jane Affanso representing our SW CA synod and Lutherans Restoring Creation, Rev. Susan Hendershot of Interfaith Power and Light, and Rev. Peter Sawtell of Eco-Justice Ministries.

  • Other articles of interest

    • On the connnection between climate change and the border crisis: New York Times piece by Kirk Semple

    • On new technology that could address our worry about the current dangers of solar power storage. And remember when you read about the that phones and computers were once huge too. This is a huge new step: New Thermal Battery from Forbes

    • A beautiful magazine on nature, culture, and place — stories of beauty, heartbreak, and hope. Totally worth it. Subscription is high because there’s no advertisements: Orion Magazine.

    • Netflix has a new series by David Attenborough on the Earth. He’s one of our favorites — check out the feature in the Washington Post by Brady Dennis.

    • Thought provoking and well done perspective on beef and the Central Coast from Anthony Stornetta in the SLO Tribune