Our Purpose and Mission Statement

Working to build God's dream. Help wanted!

We the people of Glen Rhodes United Church, are determined that our life together will be fully inclusive for people of all ages, races, genders, sexual orientations, differing abilities, ethnic origins and economic circumstances. Therefore, we hope that God will work in us so that we will be a sensitive congregation, willing to share our faith and gifts in language and worship, in the life and work of our church and wherever God calls us to do justice in the wider community, with compassion, fun and laughter

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

“Creation’s voice”   Wednesday, April 24, 2013   by Robin Wardlaw

Season of Easter, Year C
Readings: Genesis 1:29–31; Romans 8:18–24

Theodor Geisel raised all kinds of topics in his children’s books, writing under the name Dr. Suess. Who knows how many millions of children have been sensitized to the plight of minorities by Horton the elephant, or helped to appreciate boundaries by a risk-taking cat in a hat. Theodor Geisel died over twenty years ago. Over forty years ago, he gave the world the Lorax. The Lorax was "shortish and oldish and brownish and mossy ... with a voice that was sharpish and bossy." He saw what people were doing to the world, cutting down truffula trees to make thneeds, which everyone needs. There was lots of work, and lots of pollution, until the last tree went down. All that was left in a ruined landscape was the sad industrialist, the Once-ler, who had invented thneeds, and a plaque left by the Lorax, before he too vanished, upward, into the clouds. The plaque said merely, “Unless.”

The Lorax keeps crying, “I speak for the trees.” He was an Old Testament prophet, raising the voice of the voiceless over and over. In his case, it was no use. He remained alone in his opposition, and he was heavily outnumbered by all the people happily working in thneed factories, making all that money, and satisfying all those customers. It turns out the Once-ler is now old. He has been telling the whole story about his rise and fall to a young boy. And he has one truffula tree seed left. He has finally realized what people need are the trees.

In between bills, family matters, jobs, health, cars and computers and houses that always seem to need attention, we think about “unless.” Unless we get serious about things as a society, as a species... Unless someone speaks for the sharks, or the reefs, or future generations... Unless we start relating to planet Earth differently... Sometimes our reflection gets us motivated to do something. Sometimes it makes us angry. Much of the time it disables us with sadness, helplessness, trapped in the via negativa.

This is a far cry from the optimism of the bible. The creation story bubbles over with the via positiva. 
The apostle Paul acknowledges present distress, even distress on a planetary scale, but insists that adoption is coming, the redemption of our bodies. I’m not sure what he means by those phrases, but you can feel the confidence. It won’t serve us to be too positive. It won’t serve us to be too negative, either, although we need them both. It is transformation and creativity to which we are called. To hang on to a seed of hope, and to find in bread broken a symbol of both woundedness and healing. To find in a cup shared a symbol of our interrelatedness to all creation, our solidarity with it, and its solidarity with us.

We eat and drink, not as giddy diners on a sinking cruise ship, ignoring the catastrophe about to swallow us up, but as the crew of the rescue ship, about to launch into the swells to bring hope to a situation that seems hopeless. Our government seems determined to make news of the situation impossible to get, and speaking about what we face a crime, or treason. We will resist. We may be shortish or oldish or brownish or mossy, but we have voices, and if they have to be sharpish, or bossy, we will use them. To speak for the whales, the lakes, the climate, the trees. Let us eat and drink health, health to all creation.

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