Ched Myers appears on RePlacing Church Podcast
Ben Katt of the RePlacing Church Podcast recently interviewed Ched Myers on the topic of watershed discipleship. They discussed the definition of a watershed, the importance of care for one’s watershed as an act of Christian faithfulness, Myers’ own work in the Ventura River Watershed north of Los Angeles, CA, and other topics related to the social-ecological history of the United States. He invites us to “reimagine the landscape in terms of the real.” If you’re looking for a resource that accessibly explains watershed discipleship to interested friends and church members, suggest they give this a listen.
You may be interested in some of the other sessions on the RePlacing Church Podcast while you’re there.
The Eco-Stewards Program will focus its June gathering on watershed discipleship. This gathering for young adults (ages 20-30) in Richmond, VA will explore the James River Watershed through meeting farmers, conservationists, faith leaders, and scholars, reading from Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith & Practice, visiting a power plant, space to be in nature, and telling stories connecting faith and the environment.
With the theme, “Water is Life: Journeying Toward Justice Along the James River,” the June 5-10, 2017 gathering will center around what we have learned from the non-violent, fierce love displayed at Standing Rock to show that water is sacred. Our lives depend on it, and our morality and faith demand we must steward it well if we are to love our neighbors. In the light of climate change and racial injustice, communities along the James River in and around Richmond, VA are actively living out this love both up and downstream in the spirit of revolutionary eco-justice. The program leaders invite you to join the journey, and to find inspiration, faith, and creative visions as stewards of water and neighbor.
Application Deadline: May 1, 2017
Cost: $375 (need-based scholarships available)
More info: https://ecostewardsprogram.wordpress.com/2017-program/
In 2017 Cherice Bock is undertaking a project which will include assisting us to revamp this website. She has recently had a review of Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith & Practice published by Sojourners (in the April 2017 issue). Her full review of Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith & Practice is available here: https://chericebock.com/2017/03/09/book-review-published-watershed-discipleship/
Amongst many other things, Cherice Bock, lives in Oregon where she teaches at George Fox University and its seminary, and serves as the community garden coordinator. Cherice edits the environmental studies journal Whole Terrain, and is a regional editor for Christ & Cascadia, an online journal exploring theology and culture in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia.
Available now is the new anthology publication: Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice, EDITED BY Ched Myers, Cascade Books (Fall 2016).
The much anticipated “Watershed Anthology” is now available. With over a dozen contributes, this anthology introduces and explores “watershed discipleship” as a critical, contextual, and constructive approach to ecological theology and practice.
More details here, or purchase your own copy today here.
CONTRIBUTORS: Introduction and Afterword by Ched Myers; Poetry by Rose Berger, Foreword by Denis Nadeau. Chapters by: Sasha Adkins, Jay Beck, Tevyn East, Erinn Fahey, Katarina Friesen, Matt Humphrey, Vickie Machado, Jonathan McRay, Sarah Nolan, Reyna Ortega, Dave Pritchett, Erynn Smith, Sarah Thompson, Lydia Wylie-Kellermann.
Interesting recent posts from the Coming Into the Watershed Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/watersheddiscipleship/):
Mike Little posted about Potawatomi and Indigenous peoples are taking the lead in addressing climate change: http://www.potawatomi.org/news/top-stories/1855-potawatomi-and-indigenous-peoples-take-the-lead-in-addressing-climate-change
Bill Wylie-Kellermann let us know about Ryan Camero who is working with Restore the Delta, a grassroots group committed to restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta:
Here is a great example of neighborhood based organizing around ecojustice and watershed work posted by Dave Pritchett – “Eastwick in the Middle: Organizing for Environmental Justice” by Media Mobilizing Project TV:
Audio from all the talks at the recent Fall 2016 Bartimaeus Institute: Identity, Theology and Place: Reinhabiting the Mississippi Watershed in Minneapolis, MN are available on the Church of All Nations website: http://www.cando.org/2015-conference-recordings/
Rev. Stuart Taylor is a longtime friend; he collaborated with me on “Say to This Mountain: Mark’s Story of Discipleship” (Orbis, 1994). A year and a half ago he participated in a week long workshop I led in Asheville, NC, not far from where he is based as a Presbyterian minister. He really drank the Kool Aid on watershed discipleship, and has since done magnificent organizing in and about his watershed. See the website below. Exemplary stuff! – Ched
This post first appeared on Churchwork and was titled A great Earth Day sermon. Earth Day sermons are hard. I didn’t preach one this year, even though I was preaching on a Sunday close to Earth Day and care for the earth is close to my heart. It’s just tough to find the words that inspire reflection and action without inducing guilt. But I was absolutely delighted to read the sermon that was preached at St. Martin of Tours Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan on April 26th. Michael Stifler, a lay member of the congregation with years of experience in watershed management, was invited by the rector, the Rev. Mary Perrin, to preach that Sunday. His words are a perfect example of faith-based bioregional thinking – the kind of deep-rooted religion that I described in a recent (surprisingly viral!) post. I was honored when he agreed to allow me to share this sermon with you. Before I do, I have to give a shout-out to Ched Myers, whose work inspires both me and Michael. Ched was kind enough to connect us to one another last summer after we discovered him separately. When I read Michael’s words, I was inspired. Without downplaying the seriousness of our ecological situation, he offers faithful and practical ways to think and act for good. Most important, he roots our thinking and acting in the context of the great story of God’s work of redemption and reminds us of the infinite mysteries of the created order. By doing so, he helps us move closer to fulfilling our role in creation. Thank you, Michael Stifler, for the time and care you give to this work. Thank you, Mary Perrin, for recognizing the gifts Michael has to offer for this ministry. And most of all thank you, Lord God, for the inspiration you offer those who seek to conserve your great Creation.
April 26, 2015 Earth Day Sermon by Michael Stifler
Almighty God, you made the universe with all its marvelous order, its atoms, worlds, galaxies and the infinite complexity of living creatures: Grant that, as we probe the mysteries of your creation, we may come to know you more truly, and more surely fulfill our role in your eternal purpose. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, page 827)
I would like us to open with an antiphonal reading of Psalm 65, which can be found on page 672 of the Book of Common Prayer. We will start with verse 5 and read through verse 14.
Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness, O God of our salvation, * O Hope of all the ends of the earth and of the seas that are far away. Continue reading
This post was first published on Churchwork under the title I said what our diocese most needed. Then I realized: nobody knew what I meant.
This Saturday, Episcopalians from greater Grand Rapids, Michigan, gathered with our bishop and staff at St. Mark’s, Grand Rapids for a Bishop’s Town Hall. This is the latest iteration of an annual event begun by our previous bishop. In times past it featured teaching from the bishop in the morning and workshops for vestry education in the afternoon. In those days it was billed as an educational event for new vestry members.
But this year, our new-ish bishop changed it up. He decided to use the morning portion to lead us in prayerful discernment. After a brief introduction and review of his work with us thus far, he invited us into a time of silent prayer for God’s vision and dream for our diocese. (He warned us ahead of time that the silence would be long enough that we might become uncomfortable.) When the silence was done, he led us through a series of questions for common reflection. Every comment was recorded.
We talked; our bishop listened. (Have I mentioned how grateful I am for my bishop?)
I honestly don’t remember all the questions he asked. But I do remember one, because when I responded, it seemed like nobody understood what I was saying.
Check out BCM’s March 2015 webinar – Ched and Sarah Thompson spoke with Na’Taki Osborne Jelks about WAWA: The West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, and organizing around issues of environmental racism and “watershed discipleship.”