Hope for Creation IACCW – Winter Week Two Summary

Imitatio Naturae

In class on Sunday, we discussed chapter two in Mark Wallace’s When God Was a Bird: Christianity, Animism, and the Re-Enchantment of the World, titled “The Delaware River Basin.” We reflected on a set of questions, both in relation to our personal convictions and the realities of our work lives: “How do we understand, in our minds and hearts, the value of land and water, plants and animals, and the atmosphere and the climate?…Do we envision nature as commodity or gift? As financial asset or life-giving grace (p. 55)? We also engaged Wallace’s provocative reading of Jesus’s healing of the blind man in John’s Gospel using the “dirty” elements of saliva and earth, both sacramental means of God’s loving grace, asking ourselves: What would it look like for this congregation to become more dirty? More elemental? More earthy? Finally, we explored the invitation to be imitators of nature, followers in the ways of earth’s rhythms and systems, as a congregation that seeks to practice biomimicry in all that we do. We opened and closed listening to the sounds of the Pileated Woodpecker.  

For class this coming Sunday, the Rev. Dr. Eleazar Fernandez will be facilitating our time together. Dr. Fernandez is professor emeritus of constructive theology at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, past president of Union Theological Seminary of the Philippines, an ordained elder in the UCC in the Philippines, and an author of numerous books and articles.