Disciples of Jesus in Our Watersheds

Churchly theologies of “Creation Care” have gained remarkable traction among a wide and ecumenical spectrum of North American churches over the last two decades–yet they are still often too abstract and/or unfocused.  We cannot stand against the prevailing industrial system of robbery (of the poor and of the earth) if we have no place to stand.   Wendell Berry rightly points out that “global thinking” is often merely a euphemism for abstract anxieties or passions that are useless for engaged efforts to save actual landscapes.  “The question that must be addressed,” he contends, “is not how to care for the planet, but how to care for each of the planet’s millions of human and natural neighborhoods, each of its millions of small pieces and parcels of land, each one of which is in some precious way different from all the others.”  We are thus persuaded that the best way to orient the church’s work and witness is through bioregionally-grounded planning and action which focuses on the actual watersheds (defined here) we inhabit.  Because this orientation is still foreign to our Christian communities, our task is to nurture watershed  consciousness and engagement in our faith traditions.

Read more about the watershed moment of ecological crisis, and the watershed as rabbi.