Dear Creation Care Community,
Connections between ecological crisis, pandemics, and your baptism? Theology and activism for the Earth and all creatures?
Justice rolling down like mighty waters and its implications for both actual clean water and our baptismal practices?
Join a (zoom) forum presented by the Creation Care Community of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island at 5:30 pm, Sunday, April 26. It will feature Ben Stewart -- academic, theologian, activist, and Lutheran pastor. Ben presented to the clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island back in January. Thanks to an invitation and support from our pro-cathedral, St Ann & the Holy Trinity, we are excited to offer to everyone this time to listen, think and enter more deeply into a foundational Christian practice - baptism - and its life-giving yet challenging implications for our relationship to the Earth and other creatures of God.
>> You can register to be part of this free event here.
Dr. Benjamin Stewart is Associate Professor of Worship and Director of Advanced Studies at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
His expertise includes Wisdom in a ‘post-truth’ culture, Renewal of congregational worship life, Religion and ecology, Natural burial as a spiritual practice, And the history, theology, and renewal of Baptism
We hope you will join us and spread the word widely!
The Rev. Mary Beth Mills-Curran
St. John's Episcopal Church
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
Brokenness and Wholeness - A Passover and Easter Conversation
with Mother Marie Tatro and Rabbi Hara Person
By Hannah Selinger - March 4, 2020
On Thursday, February 27, at 6 p.m., members of the local clergy convened at Sag Harbor’s Christ Episcopal Church to discuss their recent experiences at the U.S.-Mexico border. The small panel consisted of Reverend Karen Ann Campbell, rector of the Christ Episcopal Church; Rabbi Daniel Geffen of Temple Adas Israel; and minister Kimberly Quinn Johnson of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork.
In addition to a question and answer session, moderated by Patty McCormack, the meeting featured a brief slideshow of images and videos captured by Reverend Campbell during her January travels to Brownsville, Texas. At the forum’s end, audience members were encouraged to ask questions. All three members of the clergy had visited the border in hopes of broadening their understanding of border relations and government intervention.
“I had no idea what I was going to find, and it was amazingly awful, and evil,” Reverend Campbell said. “[P]art of my impetus was, when I was a kid, I found out about the Holocaust … I went to everyone who had been of age in 1938 and said, ‘Well, what did you do?’”
The tale recounted by Reverend Campbell, Minister Quinn Johnson, and Rabbi Geffen was a gruesome one. Photos showed makeshift pup tents for 4,500 migrants seeking asylum to protect them from the elements, open-air kitchen without proper sanitation, showers constructed with pumps that diverted non-potable water from the polluted Rio Grande, and minimal healthcare assistance.
One woman who had recently given birth found out, through a mobile medical unit, that her newborn infant had contracted pneumonia. Border agents, seeing the x-rays, denied her entrance for medical treatment on two separate occasions before finally granting her asylum. Of the 10,000 migrants who appeared at the nation’s border in November, Reverend Campbell said, seeking asylum from clear and present danger in their home countries, only 11 were admitted to the United States.
For Minister Quinn Johnson, travels to the border have ignited a passion for fighting injustice. “I cannot prepare you for what it feels like to witness people shuffled in in chains,” she said. “I am 100 percent clear that the work of my life is to free our people.” Minister Quinn Johnson reached the border by way of Tucson, Arizona.
Rabbi Geffen viewed the trip as an opportunity to see, firsthand, what he understood to be grave American injustices. “It’s not acceptable to sit on the sidelines at the distance,” he said. “I needed to be able to see, with my own eyes, as much as I was capable on this trip.” In response to a question regarding the perceived impotence of activism, Rabbi Geffen said, “We have to constantly be fighting against that feeling of powerlessness.”
Although the clergy members made no mention of specific political figures, their mission was, on its face, necessarily political. “We’ve decided that we need to have an enemy, and if it isn’t going to be Russia, evidently, it’s going to be people of color,” Reverend Campbell said. “I left thinking that Underground Railroad or falsifying documents were the only way to get [asylum-seekers] into the country.”
Minister Quinn Johnson offered a slightly less subversive tactic to enacting change at the border. “We can abolish ICE,” she said, noting that the institution has only been around for two decades; ICE, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was established in 2003, as a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. “There is a way that we managed the border, that we managed immigration, before ICE,” she added.
All three members seemed to agree that what they had seen had changed them. Rabbi Geffen said that the experience had also been elemental in his understanding of the current system and its extreme pitfalls. “I possess now an experience and a knowledge base and at least a foothold in a larger conversation,” he said. “Being there in person was an important necessary step — at least for me.” He also explained that it is often easy for local community members to ignore the problems at the border, since those problems feel far away from the northeast. Those problems, he said, are merely anecdotal “when it’s not an actual person with an actual name and an actual story.”
Reverend Campbell was less diplomatic in her assessment of what she saw and experienced. “Following orders is not a defense,” she said. “Let them cross. Choose your side in history.”
In a First, Washington National Cathedral Will Host Historically Black Colleges and Universities on Feb. 16
WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL
Imam Dr. Abdalla Allam, Islamic Mission of America
Nancy Black, Brooklyn Monthly Meeting
Father Michael Callaghan, C.O., Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Reverend Canon John E. Denaro, St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church and Pro-Cathedral
The Reverend Joseph D. Dewey, Resurrection Brooklyn
The Reverend Mark Genszler, Christ Church Cobble Hill
Pastor Klaus Dieter Gress, Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church
Father Dominique Hanna, Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral
Dr. Ahmad Jaber, Board Chair of Dawood Mosque
Rabbi Molly G. Kane, Brooklyn Heights Synagogue
The Reverend Mark Lane, C.O., The Oratory Church of St. Boniface
The Reverend Ana Levy-Lyons, First Unitarian Congregational Society
Rabbi Serge A. Lippe, Brooklyn Heights Synagogue
The Reverend Erika K. Meyer, Grace Church
Pastor Clint Padgitt, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Cantor Ayelet Porzecanski, Brooklyn Heights Synagogue
The Reverend Dr. Allen F. Robinson, Grace Church
The Reverend Katherine A. Salisbury, St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church and Pro-Cathedral
Pastor Julie Sløk, Danish Seamen’s Church
The Reverend Marie Tatro, Episcopal Diocese of Long Island
The Reverend Dr. Craig D. Townsend, St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church and Pro-Cathedral
The Reverend Adriene Thorne, First Presbyterian Church
Rabbi Samuel Weintraub, Kane Street Synagogue
The Reverend Dr. Brett Younger, Plymouth Church