Monday, June 29, 2009

TEC's Theology of Creation

The Episcopal Church will entertain many resolutions at its General Convention July 8-17 in Anaheim, California. Resolution Do33 calls for a "Continuous Cycle of Strategic Planning - Total request for triennium: $219,000. The explanation states:

"We are at a watershed moment in The Episcopal Church and do not want to lose this moment. It is a time that we have the opportunity to become the truly multicultural church about which we dream and we seem poised as a denomination to effectively reach the 'spiritual but not religious' in new ways, but it will require nimbleness to adapt to our rapidly changing social context. We must be focused and intentional to do so."

Another resolution that caught my attention is Resolution A516, titled "Sacred Acts for Sacred Waters". Here is the explanation:

"Scripture teaches us that God made the waters as part of Creation. Throughout Scripture and in liturgical practice, water has had deeply understood sacramental roles culminating with the water of baptism. Science and everyday experience confirm the description in the Scriptures of water as life-giving for all Creation. Millennium Development Goal #7 seeks to provide adequate supplies of life-giving water for all people.

Within Creation water undergoes a cycle. Water flows from sources, is contained, distributed, sometimes purified, used and then collected and distributed for further purification before rejoining the flow. In our reality the water of Creation is the result of complicated combinations of the natural processes set in place by the evolution of Creation and by many human interventions.

As the World's population grows, global and regional climates change, and the world society's increase in technological complexities and dependencies accelerates, water availability is changing and more sources of pollution are making water unfit for sustaining Creation, for liturgical purposes or for human consumption.

Individuals, congregations, communities, regions and nations are being called upon to make difficult decisions related to interventions in the water cycle. Often the decisions are made without explicit reference to Creation or to theological or ethical considerations. This Resolution asks that The Episcopal Church share the theologically sound tools already developed in diocesan programs and develop and share new tools that individual Episcopalians and congregations can use to help evaluate proposed interventions."

The commitment is so great to this vision of "life-giving water" that the resolution requests funding for a half-time position. It isn't clear whether this person is to advocate for environmental stewardship of water or to perform sacred acts for sacred water. But the salary is $60,000. (about $20,000 a year for 3 years). I know a Tungus shaman (shown right with eyes veiled) who might appeal to "the spiritual, but not religious in new ways".


Unknown said...

Alice at least they didn't appeal to the ancient Mesopotamian "Waters of Chaos" myths for further poetrification in their proposals. Of course, if they appealed to hard science instead of pretty words they might have lost the ground they were building on. The Population Explosion myth is holding about as much water as the Gilgamesh stories, last I heard. The problem of poverty is not too many people, but too much abuse in seats of power. Rather like the prophet's "My people perish for lack of wisdom," or, "Where no vision is the people perish." God give us bishops and priests with wisdom and vision for the Gospel!

Alice C. Linsley said...

"God give us bishops and priests with wisdom and vision for the Gospel!"

Amen to that!

Instead we have apostates such as this: