Indigenous Justice & Christian Faith: Land, Law, Language | February 18–22, 2019

[Artwork: Wowasake kin slolyapo wowahwala he e: Know the Power of Peace, Diptych icon of Black Elk by Robert Two Bulls, artist-in-residence at this year’s Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute.]

This year’s Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute will consider the topic, “Indigenous Justice & Christian Faith: Land, Law, Language.” Held February 18–22, 2019 at Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries (BCM) in Oak View, CA (unceded Chumash Territory, Ventura River Watershed). Regular registration is open through January 27, and late registration will be available through February 3 (with a 10% extra fee). Read more

Reflections on “Blessing the Waters of Life” conference

A beautiful, relatively smoke-free week in early fall greeted Presbyterians and others from across the country as they gathered at Menucha Retreat & Conference Center on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge the last week of September. After an unauthorized firecracker sparked the Eagle Creek fire in early September about 20 miles east of the retreat center, and a fire season with an unusually high number of days filled with smoke hanging over the gorge and Willamette Valley, I didn’t take the view for granted. The multifaceted issues relating to the fires brought home the need for the Presbyterians for Earth Care conference being held there, with the focus, “Blessing the Waters of Life: Justice & Healing for Our Watersheds.” Oregon Public Broadcasting reported on issues such as air quality, evacuation of local communities, the local economy, transportation disruptions, conservation and forest management best practices conversations, disruptions to education, threat of landslides after the fire and rain, difficulties for fish and fisher-people, threats to the drinking water source for Portland, and concern over tribal fishing areas and the health of the fish population tribes rely on as an important food and cultural resource. This one fire is an apt metaphor for the way that humanity is interacting with creation in harmful and avoidable ways, with multiple dimensions of consequences, and it is again feeling pertinent and relevant as so many are under forced evacuation around Los Angeles, CA right now due to the Thomas Fire and other fires in Ventura County. Read more