care of earth committee initiatives from 2003-2008
Water for the Journey
Presented by the Eco-Justice Committee of the Dominican Alliance and Sponsored by the Care of Creation Committee, this workshop looked at the facts surrounding Earth’s water, the major issues and explored action steps – all in the context of prayer. This workshop was help April 5, 2008.
Spirituality of Water
Sara Leland, Ph.D. accepted the Committee’s invitation to speak to sisters and associates on the Spirituality of Water. Her presentation on January 6, 2007 was well received as she spoke of spirituality as a way or relating to the universe around us. As we drink a glass of water, we drink Lake Michigan; when we shower we are swimming in Lake Michigan. From the Oglala Sioux, the listeners were reminded to be as water, lower than all things yet stronger than rock. Everything we buy, use or do affects water.
Attending Earth’s Sacred Elements
Members of the Committee are residents of Michigan and appreciate the special connection they have with the Great Lakes. They joined hundreds of others in the Great Lakes Fall Clean-up, sponsored by Alliance for the Great Lakes, in 2006 and again in 2007, concentrating their efforts on the shores of Lake Michigan in Muskegon.
Supporting Earth’s Charter
The Committee studied at length and endorsed the U.N. Earth Charter* and subsequently asked the whole congregation to consider its support. With pictures, words, a choral reading and discussion, the Committee invited sisters and associates to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the Charter. Although thee principles are broad, each person doing one thing to protect and cherish Earth is a beginning of the Charter’s realization. The Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids formally endorsed the Earth Charter in the fall of 2005. The Care of the Earth Committee continues, and also invites you, to support efforts that embody the values found in the Earth Charter.
*The Earth Charter is an international document which asks all humans living on earth to cherish all life and to treat Earth and all creation with gentleness and respect. As problems of world environmental degradation intensified, the United Nations stressed the urgency for international cooperation. The Earth Charter was formulated over a twelve-year period, with the cooperation of thousands of people, hundreds of organizations and 78 countries.
Telling Earth’s Story
After its own study and reflection, the Committee planned a program in 2003, inviting sisters and associates into Earth’s new telling of her story. Presenter and guide, Sister Suzanne Golas, CSJP, from WaterSpirit Center in New Jersey, expanded participants’ appreciation of the magnificence of Creation with works of art, poetry and prayer with Earth themes that have been created by sisters.