“We know and feel in our bones that something primal is amiss. Our extended home is being eroded. It is essential that we stop and recognize these losses...to respond with sorrow, outrage and apology at these places touched by so much loss.”
— Francis Weller
So many of us know this truth voiced by Francis Weller. And yet, we have so few opportunities to express our sorrow, fear, sadness and yes, even despair about a future of life in a climate-changed world. It takes courage to touch the places inside ourselves where these truths live — those thoughts and feelings that likely keep many of us up at night, but are too often held inside us, in a space both alone, and lonely.
To create space for these feelings, The BTS Center had teamed up with The Many, an extraordinary group of songwriters, spoken word artists and liturgists to create Lament with Earth — five seasonal events which included original music, poetry, rituals, images, scripture and videos to reflect different seasons of loss through the liturgical year. These events were interactive, inviting you to pray and sing along. You were invited to bring your own sense of loss and sadness. We lamented together, and also shared that which has been a balm to our grief, strengthening us for the work we know awaits us.
Spring Event: Via Transformativa, with the Element of Water
The shattered water made a misty din.
Great waves looked over others coming in,
And thought of doing something to the shore
That water never did to land before.
—Robert Frost, Once by the Pacific
Spring in the northern hemisphere is filled with holidays that draw us into the forces of transformation: the resurrection of Easter, the liberation of Passover, and Beltane, the ancient springtime festival of optimism and fertility. In Matthew Fox's words, "these are the prophetic moments in our lives when we are called to use our talents and gifts with the hurting, fractured, dysfunctional aspects of our society." What better element to guide us through the themes of transformation than water, itself a shape-shifter? Water, in all its varied forms, stirs our imaginations even as it gives — and takes away — life. Water is intimately connected to our climate-changed world — as storm and drought, as acidification of the ocean and rain, as sea level rise and rising saline levels of fresh water sources. And, water moves turbines, grows food hydroponically, cools desert-like air, and bears life into the future.
Together, we lament, and celebrate, the transformative power of water, holding space for mourning and discovery, sorrow and inspiration.
The Season of Via Positiva, featuring All Beings
As days lengthen and temperatures warm, many of us are drawn outside to first-hand experiences of awe and wonder, and delight — the characteristics of creation spirituality's via positiva. Our creatureliness awakens and is enlivened by the blooming, burgeoning, bountiful world. Yet the more we are aware and alive, the more keenly we feel the threats to our fellow beings — the extinction of species, their loss of habitat, and the despoiling of dwelling places by powerful forces which threaten the extraordinarily diverse and resplendent world which we share with all that lives and breathes along with us. We welcomed you to join us as we celebrated and mourned, awakened and grieved, loved and despaired. Coming to be together, to share these feelings, thoughts, and sadnesses is the key to moving towards life.