Every week I receive resource recommendations from thoughtful readers of The Ecological Disciple and followers of Circlewood. I always check out the suggested articles, ideas, books, and videos, and frequently come away feeling more informed and hopeful. Here are a few that were recently brought to my attention - I trust you will find them a source of enlightenment, inspiration, and encouragement.
Churches Rediscovering Their Vocation as Earthkeepers
It is exciting to see that a growing number of churches are recognizing the need to reconnect with the non-human creation in ways that deepen their faith and broaden their sense of vocation and mission. Circlewood supporter Jeff Pinneo alerted me to a recent article from Christianity Today featuring two evangelical churches that have been reinvigorated by exploring and embracing their place in a more intentional manner. I particularly appreciate the way the churches have come to see the integrative nature of creation care - that pursuing mercy and justice for people, other creatures, and the ecosystems that sustain them is all connected within the earthkeeping vocation. Here's what one pastor learned:
Rehabilitating a wooded area in a Black neighborhood was not only an environmental boon but also an investment in the well-being of that neighborhood. At the same time, those motivated by social justice for Black people required them to care about the health of these 10 acres of trees.
You can read the article HERE.
A Show That Explores the Reciprocal Relationship Between Land and People
Several readers have encouraged me to check out a series on PBS called American Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston. I have watched a few episodes, and have become a fan. Thurston highlights Americans' complex relationship with the outdoors through explorations of the ways they inhabit their places - it is honest and hopeful at the same time.
Reader Doug Johnson recently introduced me to the work of Dudley Edmondson, a birder and photographer based in Duluth who has spent decades sharing his love of nature with a broader audience through his writing, speaking and walking tours. Edmondson is the author of Black & Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places, and is featured in episode six of American Outdoors. You can watch this episode HERE.
Learning from a Franciscan Ethnobotanist
This last resource suggestion comes from Mary Pandiani, friend of Circlewood and Executive Director of the Selah Center. She introduced me to Gary Nabhan, an ethnobotanist and Franciscan brother who has written more than 30 books about food, ecology, botany, and justice. His most recent book is Jesus for Farmers and Fishers, which focuses on the religious and biblical aspects of food justice.
Nabhan draws on his Lebanese roots, his experience with farming, and his training as a Franciscan to draw out the connections between food, religion, and our collective well being.
I love the symbolism of bread. I’ve grown bread wheat as a farmer. I’ve gone around the world conserving different grains used for bread. Our staple foods remind us of our elemental relationship to the earth. Our bread is the staff of life, and for many of us, our faith is the staff of life.
You can listen to an interview with Nabhan on the In Search Of podcast through link below, or read a shortened version of it HERE.
I hope you find at least one of these helpful. Let's keep sharing resources that help us move along the path of ecological discipleship. Feel free to connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With you on the Way,
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