Including Environmental Actions in Our Spiritual Practices Makes Our Actions Stronger
The climate emergency isn’t coming, it’s now … and it’s been with us for some time. We have a deadline. 2030, the year that hundreds of international scientists have agreed is the deadline for actions to keep Earth from heating over 1.5° above pre-industrial levels. Beyond that, Earth will force our lives to change far beyond anything we want. And the changes will be beyond our control. Some congregations, faith organizations, and faith-based campuses are hurrying to develop actions that help save life on our planet. Others aren’t.
Why make environmental activism a spiritual matter? Because God is in both! And both are strengthened when we catch on to their integral relationship. Eco-spirituality and eco-theology are rapidly connecting the language of faith and spirit to science and the natural world. And that’s the focus of our conversation in this episode of the Simpler OneEarth Living Podcast. After you’ve listened, share it with others. And share your thoughts via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our guest for this episode, Neddy Astudillo, understands the scope of what is needed. As an eco-minister and eco-theologian, Neddy directs Green Faith in Florida and in Latin America. Here’s how Green Faith frames their work:
Religious and spiritual communities everywhere generate a moral awakening to the sacredness of Earth and the dignity of all people. Together, we are building resilient, caring communities and economies that meet everyone’s needs and protect the planet. The era of conquest, extraction, and exploitation has given way to cooperation and community.
The good life is one of connectedness—with each other and all of nature. It is a world of flourishing life that replaces despair with joy, scarcity with shared abundance, and privilege with justly distributed power.
Now click here and listen to our interview with Neddy.
Using Cooperatives—Great Discussion in San Diego Jubilee Circle
First, do we know the types and names of the cooperatives in our region? A web search may well surprise us. Followup question: How many coops do we use?
A core element of living the OneEarth Jubilee Covenant is to use cooperatives. Cooperatives were a primary topic when the San Diego/U.S. Jubilee Circle met in a Jubilee conversation recently. It became apparent that all of us have plenty to learn about cooperatives. We can share just a bit with you.
Cooperatives are not a marginal phenomenon!
The Wikipedia entry “Cooperative” gives us the history, purpose, power, and proven community impacts of cooperatives. The International Cooperatives Alliance (https://www.ica.coop/en) is loaded with information, new events, and inspiration. Example:
- More than 12% of humanity is part of any of the 3 million cooperatives in the world!
- The largest 300 cooperatives and mutuals report a total turnover of 2,146 billion USD, according to the World Cooperative Monitor (2020).
- Cooperatives contribute to sustainable economic growth and stable, quality employment, providing jobs or work opportunities to 280 million people across the globe, in other words, 10% of the world’s employed population.
By using cooperatives, we show significant independence from the corporation-driven economy which tilts democracies toward autocracies. Wealth is amassed. Government laws are written and passed by political contributions and lobbying. Ghastly inequality results that do far more harm to societies and nature than good. Cooperatives do not pay CEOs millions while resisting worker benefits and better compensation. Nor do they need to maximize profits to satisfy shareholders.
Cooperatives are part of the OneEarth Jubilee Covenant
The OneEarth Jubilee Covenant says simply: “In a global economy shaped by transnational corporations, I will shape my life around cooperatives and local businesses as much as possible.” Let us know you are doing this. We can strengthen one another by sharing our experiences. July 3 is International Cooperatives Day. Let’s strengthen the cooperative movement. The best way we evolve as communities and people is through cooperation, much less through competition than many would have us believe.
An important cooperative step: Identify all of the cooperatives in your region and use as many as you can.
Working in Jubilee Ways in Mexico During Pandemic Months
(Note: These statistics are approximate.)
San Cristobal Jubilee Circle (from Lindsey Mercer-Robledo)
- Training 25 church leaders.
- Providing vocational training for 25 women and 100 young adults.
- Training women in human rights 35.
- Providing emergency food during the pandemic to 80 families.
- Training 250 adults and children in economic and environmental sustainability.
San Mateo Jubilee Circle (from Angelica Juarez Jimenez)
- 35 children benefited from the early childhood education program, Educar es Amar (To Educate Is to Love).
- 20 women in the Artesanas Shalom continued to benefit from their work as artisans and sales through their cooperative business.
- 45 women of different ages were able to participate in different conferences given by lawyer Mariana Velez Juarez in the area of Culture of Peace (Human Rights).
- 100 people received information about the problem of water scarcity through events held via Zoom.
- 250 families benefited from food distributions due to the pandemic.
- Approximately 50 medical consultations were given each month in person or remotely by Angelica Juarez Jimenez, physician.
- Through the Facebook page of Centro Cultural we continue to give health and prevention advice; also through Radio Sinai we reach hundreds of people (we cannot quantify) with health information.
One More Thing to Note
Everything you’ve read in this newsletter happens even though we have fewer than 100 annual donors to Jubilee. If you’ve never donated, please do. Perhaps you can share a tithe of the stimulus check you received. Thank you for considering action on this final note.