Towards a a collaborative bioregional mission strategy

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. Read more

Editorial Preface to the issue: Watershed Discipleship

This recent editorial by Dave Pritchett was published online at in August, 2014 in which he introduces the issue of Watershed Discipleship and the work of Ched Myers around this issue.

Would you risk being baptized in your local river or pond? This issue of Missio Dei Journal addresses this need for transformation by integrating ecological and theological concerns under the framework of “Watershed Discipleship.” Missio Dei: A Journal of Missional Theology and Praxis 5, no. 2 (August 2014)

Click here to read this free article online.

Reinhabiting the River of Life (Rev 22:1–2): Rehydration, Redemption, and Watershed Discipleship

This recent article by Ched Myers was published online at in August, 2014:

Water lies at the center of our Christian sign of baptism and our current ecological crises and, thus, deserves deeper theological treatment.

This paper explores visions of “redemption as rehydration” in the prophetic literature, then it traces resonant themes into the Apocalypse’s “river of the water of life” (Rev 22:1). It next explores how water provides a “metaphorical map of God” and why hydrologic systems should be a key characteristic of how humans dwell in creation.

The paper concludes with a call to watershed-based discipleship as a faithful response to Christian mission amidst our looming environmental catastrophes.

Click here to read this free article online.

A Watershed Moment

In a recent article for Sojourners Magazine, Ched Myers discusses how Watershed Discipleship invites Christian to “re-inhabit” that corner of creation in which we reside.

A Watershed Moment, Sojourners, May. 2014 5pp

In the face of ecocide, the choice before us is stark: discipleship or denial.

Our history is increasingly hostage to a deep and broad ecological crisis. Stalking us for centuries, it is now upon us in the interlocking catastrophes of climate destruction, habitat degradation, species extinction, and resource exhaustion. Some call it “peak everything”.

Download and read the full article from here.

Modern Tools, Ancient Values: Year-Round Farming at Taos Pueblo

by Todd Wynward

Think the local food movement is a fad for elite yuppies and homesteading hipsters?  Think again. Meet the Red Willow Growers Cooperative: Taos Pueblo food producers who use cutting-edge technologies to promote place-based values that have sustained their culture for a thousand years.

The Red Willow Farmer’s Market is a high-desert haven, providing abundant food year-round at 7,100’ above sea level. Located next to two substantial greenhouses and an educational building at Taos Pueblo, the market is open Wednesdays year-round and offers grass-fed beef, seasonal produce, eggs, fresh breads and pastries, fruits in season, jams, jellies, and soaps. From their rangeland nearby, the Taos Pueblo War Chief’s Office provides local buffalo, which is USDA certified, 100% grass-fed, and sustainably produced. During summer the farmer’s market is both indoor and outdoor, with a dozen vendor tables and an outdoor grill; in the off-season the market moves inside and is more limited.

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Region As Rabbi?

Ched Myers writes that the phrase “watershed discipleship” holds an intentional double meaning: both acting as a disciple during this watershed moment in history, as well as acting as a disciple within and on behalf of a specific watershed, as “citizen inhabitants of specific places.” Those are both certainly true. Yet I’d like to delve into a third meaning: acting as a disciple of one’s watershed.

Be a disciple of one’s watershed? You mean, like, consider your surroundings your Teacher?  Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.  So did Jesus. “Consider the lilies of the field,” the Master taught his disciples (Matthew 6:25). In other words, Jesus was saying Pay attention to the nature at your fingertips. Model your life after it. Study the divine creation that thrives in your watershed, and follow the pattern. Read more

Watershed Discipleship–A Way Through?

A Path Through Our Paralysis?

In early July 2013, Todd Wynward sat down with author and activist Ched Myers to discuss the concept of watershed discipleship and dream about building an allianceamong faith-based groups engaged in localized, bioregional living.  Below are Todd’s reflections.

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I have to agree with Ched Myers’ stark analysis of the current human condition:  modern society lies drugged in an “ecocidal slumber.”  We’re fully aware our actions are causing the corrosion of earth’s basic life-sustaining systems, and we know we have choices, yet we lay paralyzed, trapped by our compulsive habits and oh-so comfortable lifestyles.

Ched holds up a strange hope to our post-modern progressive paralysis: the Bible. He asserts that “the prophetic traditions indigenous to both testaments may alone be capable of rousing us” from our addictive malaise. Read more