Godspace is an invitation to create a pathway to a more vital whole-life faith. Created by Christine Sine, the website grew out of her passion for creative spirituality, gardening, and spirituality. She aims to inspire followers of Jesus to develop creative approaches to spirituality that intertwine the sacred through all of life. To read more on Godspace, click here.
In 2018, Sikh communities will be celebrating the 8th annual Sikh Vatavaran Diwas (Sikh Environment day) on March 14th. It is a day for Sikhs to celebrate and reflect on their bond with the environment. Gurdwaras (local congregations) can hold divans (conferences) on nature themes and try to inspire sangat (companies) to install solar panels, host workshops, participate in kitchen gardening, and story sessions for young children. By joining in, Sikhs across the world will share what the environment means to them, and raise awareness about the state of ecology across their spiritual homeland, Punjab. To read more or register for Sikh Environment Day, click here.
EcoSikh has created the groundwork for a Sikh environmental theological foundation, and the inspiration to connect Gurbani to the state of the environment today. This is the first of its kind from the Sikh community and it outlines new actions Sikhs can take to strengthen their connection to their faith through environmentalism. To read the entire statement, click here.
“You, Yourself created the Universe, and You are pleased…You, Yourself the bumblebee, flower, fruit and the tree. You, Yourself the water, desert, ocean and the pond. You, Yourself are the big fish, tortoise and the Cause of causes.”
— GURU GRANTH SAHIB, Maru Sohele, 1020
EcoSikh is a response from the Sikh community to the threats of climate change. Their mission is to connect Sikh values, beliefs, and institutions to the most important environmental issues facing the world. They honor their Gurus’ wisdom by believing that all humans have an intrinsic sensitivity to the natural world, and that a sustainable, more just society is possible. To read more about Eco Sikh, click here.
The Jewish festival of Tu B’Shvat, also known as the New Year for Trees, celebrates the ReBirthDay of earthly trees and of the sacred and supernal Tree of Life. The celebration begins on January 30th and ends January 31st. It is celebrated with a Seder in which the menu is the fruits and nuts that are given by the trees. As a special aspect of their climate-crisis work, The Shalom Center is inviting people to create a special Trees of Life Fund for reforestation in the US. You can contribute by clicking here. To read more about Tu B’Shvat click here.
This short video consists of David Loy discussing the Buddhist perspective on the Eco-crisis. He begins to describe anata, the belief that all things are constantly changing and there can be no such thing as a permanent self, and dukkha, which is the idea that human experience is short-lived and suffering results from excessive desire. These ideas come together to describe the Buddhist idea that there is no “self”. Loy says that, “our sense of self is usually haunted by a sense of lack.” This sense of lack and false sense of “self,” create issues for people that can be related to consumerism, the Eco-crisis, and more. To watch the entire video, click here.
RENEW International is a Roman Catholic ministry organization that fosters spiritual renewal by empowering individuals and communities to encounter God in everyday life, deepen and share faith, and connect faith with action. To read more about RENEW International, click here.
Song Picks by Natalie
Medicine is a song by Rising Appalachia. The song is describing the medicine that is found all around us. I believe that they are describing nature, religion, and music and their healing possibilities.
“Remedies are bountiful and surround us from the garden to the farthest prayers made of star dust find your healing in the music that calls”
I believe that these lyrics are talking about ways to heal outside of traditional medicine. They are talking about “the garden” which is nature, and then they say “to the farthest prayers made of star dust,” which I believe is them saying to find remedy in the deity you pray to. When they say “find your healing in the music that calls,” I believe they are saying to find your healing in whatever speaks to you. I interpret the word “music” as the belief, whether it be nature or religion, that heals your mind.
To hear the song click here.
To read the lyrics click here.
Song Picks by Natalie
Mitakuye Oyasin is a song by Nahko and Medicine for the People that I feel relates to spirituality and nature. The phrase comes from the Lakota language and reflects the world view of interconnectedness held by the Lakota people of North America. The phrase translates in English as “we are all related.” The song begins with the lead singer describing being thankful for receiving a greater wisdom so that we as people can help all living things and calls this a prayer. The lyrics of the song describe being thankful for all that we have been provided before and then says,
“All of the blessings I have received
How could they have been bestowed upon me?
So I’ll put it all back in the ground
Back in the soil where I am found”
The band is describing their connection to the Great Spirit, or Wakan Takan Skan Skan, which translates from the Lakota language as Sacred Great Spirit. The song ultimately describes being thankful for this relationship and returning the blessings by taking care of the earth and all its creations. To hear Mitakuye Oyasin click here. To read the lyrics, click here.
EngagingSpirituality is a 21-week spiritual deepening process for adult Christians who are seeking to bring the power of the Holy Spirit to the needs of the world. It is another series from JustFaith Ministires that invites Christians to look at the world together and break open their lives. It encourages people to Be Still and Still Be in the storm of life that surrounds them. To read more, click here.