revtc

Trying to think about life and how God makes it full

Retreat on the East Coast

101_59691.JPGFor the past 3 days I’ve been staying at Tollesbury, doing the spiritual input for the combined Retreat of 3 Christian Outdoor Centres: Fellowship Afloat Charitable Trust (FACT), Christian Youth Enterprises (CYE), and St. George’s House (SGH). The 3 Centres try to get together twice per year for mutual learning, encouragement, and relationship building. There are real synergies that develop where groups doing similar things in different contexts get together in intentional ways. They’re all such good people too, friendly, open to new learning, passionate about the outdoors and the Creator of the natural playgrounds that are also their places of work.

Naturally, there was also sailing to be done (my foot handled that very well, I’m pleased to say), along with 5-a-side football competition (won by FACT), quiz, and the usual FACT abundance of good food. The weather

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was fabulous, and the photos are taken on Thursday morning as I sat on the deck of one of the accommodation boats enjoying coffee and sunshine while the tide came in – bliss!

Below, I’ve put the note I did for the 3 sessions I ran:

  1. Contemplative worship, centred around Ps 40:1-3, and helped with Johnny Cash and U2.
  2. Group Discussion questions prior to the input session.
  3. Input session on Liminality and Communitas, based on Luke 8:22-25.

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March 9, 2007 Posted by | communitas, contemplative, culture, Environment, god, jesus, liminality, mission, religion, wisdom | Leave a comment

The Children’s Voice: Address to the Plenary Session, Earth Summit, Rio Centro, Brazil 1992

I remember reading this back when it first came out. I was living in New Zealand at the time. It’s a fantastic speech from a passionate girl (as she was then); she continues to be passionate and outspoken about environmental issues, as Wikipedia shows. This was the speech that moved me to become interested in the way we live, globally. When you read this, try reading it as a prayer – God knows, the world needs actions to come from words such as these. HT to Earth Mama for the post.

Hello, I’m Severn Suzuki speaking for E.C.O., the Environmental Children’s Organisatin. We are a group of twelve and thirteen year olds from Canada trying to make a difference: Vanessa Suttie, Morgan Geisler and me. We raised all the money ourselves to come six thousand miles to tell you adults you must change your ways. Coming here today, I have no hidden agandas, I am fighting for my future.

Losing my future is not like losing an election or a few points on the stock market. I am here to speak for all generations to come. I am here to speak for countless animals dying across this planet because they have nowhere left to go. We cannot afford to be not heard.

I am afraid to go out in the sun because of the holes in the ozone. I am afraid to breathe the air because I don’t know what chemicals are in it.

I used to go fishing in Vancouver with my Dad until just a few years ago we found the fish full of cancers. And now we hear about animals and plants going extinct everyday – vanishing forever.

In my life, I have dreamt of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles and rainforests full of birds and butterflies, but now I wonder if they will ever exist for my children to see.

Did you have to worry about these little things when you were my age?

All this is happening before our eyes and yet we act as if we have all the time we want and all the solutions.

I’m only a child and I don’t have all the solutions, but I want you to realise, neither do you!

You don’t know how to fix the holes in our ozone layer.
You don’t know how to bring salmon back up a dead stream.
You don’t know how to bring an animal now extinct.
And you can’t bring back forests that once grew where there is now desert.
If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it.

Here, you may be delegates of your government, business people, organisers, reporters or politicians – but really you are mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles – and all of you are somebody’s child.

I’m only a child, yet I know we are all part of a family, five billion strong; in fact, 30 million species strong and we all share the same air, water and soil – borders and governements will never change that.

I’m only a child, yet I know we are all in this together and should act as one single world towards saving our planet. In my anger, I am not blind, and in my fear, I am not afraid to tell the world how I feel.

In my country, we make so much waste; we buy and throw away, buy and throw away, and yet northern countries will not share with the needy. Even when we have more than enough, we are afraid to lose some of our wealth, afraid to share.

In Canada, we live the priveleged life, with plenty of food, water and shelter – we have watches, bicycles, computers and television sets.

Two days ago here in Brazil, we were shocked when we spent some time with children living on the streets.

And this is what one child told us: “I wish I was rich and if I were, I would give all the street children food, clothes, medicine, shelter, love and affection.”

If a child on the street who has nothing is willing to share, why are we who have everything still so greedy?

I can’t stop thinking that these children are my age; that it makes a tremendous difference where you are born; that I could be one of those children living in the favellas of Rio; I could be a child starving in Somalia, a victim of war in the Middle East or a beggar in India.

I’m only a child, yet I know if all the money spent on war was spent on ending poverty and finding environemental answers, what a wonderful place the earth would be!

At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us how to behave in the world. You teach us:

not to fight with others;
to work things out;
to respect others;
to clean up our mess;
not to hurt other creatures;
to share – not be greedy.

Then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do?

Do not forget- why you’re attending these conferences, who you’re doing this for – we are your own children.

You are deciding what kind of world we will grow up in. Parents should be able to comfort their children by saying “Everything’s going to be all right.We’re doing the best we can. It’s not the end of the world.”

But I don’t think you can say that to us anymore. Are we even on your list of priorities? My father always says “You are what you do, not what you say.”

Well, what you do makes me cry at night. You grown-ups say you love us. I challenge you, please make your actions reflect your words.

February 26, 2007 Posted by | culture, Environment, wisdom | 1 Comment

Green Apple love wanted versus sloppy Valentine cards

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Last year, Greenpeace started a campaign to try to move Apple toward producing computers in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way.

(From the Greenpeace e-newsletter) News on the green grapevine reaches us that Steve Jobs met this week with a Social Responsibility Fund Investor to discuss Apple’s environment record. Details remain secret, but the very fact that our main man Steve sat down to a meeting shows that YOUR messages for a greener Apple are getting through.

There’s nothing public yet from Apple so you need to keep up the pressure.

But Dutch Apple Spokesperson Juriaan Bosman may also have been dropping a hint when he said:

“We are sticking to our strategy, but we don’t rule out that at some moment our strategy will synchronise with what Greenpeace wants”
(Bright Magazine, Feb/March 2007)

Will Steve make some minor improvements just to try and keep up with HP and Dell, or amaze us and make Apple the green leader? That all depends on how much desire for a greener Apple YOU spread.
So spread the love!

Love isn’t just for Valentines Day. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it as we present you with our somewhat tardy Valentine’s Day E-Card. Send it to all those Apple Lovers in your address book and spread the love: no matter what day it is.

February 14, 2007 Posted by | blogging, culture, Environment | Leave a comment