Biography is Theology. Beginning with this premise, Laurel Dykstra, Anglican priest with the Anglican Diocese of New Westminister, and presenter at the Care of Creation learning event last Thursday told the story of Salal and Cedar, a community of faith which which meets outdoors for worship, education and action on behalf of Creation. As Rev. Laurel’s story unfolded we learned that the crux of Salal and Cedar’s ministry and witness centers around the question, “What does it mean to be a Christian, to be a follower of the Way, in our part of creation, in our particular watershed with its history of human intervention and with the species that also call it home?”
I, like many others, often feel helpless in the face of the climate crisis. What can one person do that will make a difference when the situation seems unsurmountable? Here are three strategies that Rev. Laurel suggested for adoption:
1. When the moment arrives when we realize that what we thought could save us, no longer is adequate - we need to look at what our Tradition teaches us. Technology alone won’t save us, science alone won’t save us. The climate crisis is a spiritual crisis that requires a transformation of the heart. The gospel invites us to repentence and conversion and a new way of life.
2. Look to Indigenous leadership for wisdom and guidance. In other words, look to people who have been resilient living in the aftermath of catastrophic events and have learned to survive and thrive. They have something to teach us who belong to settler society—who have only recently begun to feel some of the effects of climate change and sound the alarm.
3. Do not rely on the global supply chain to save you. Learn about what can be sourced locally. Form local/regional pods to share knowledge and goods — like a like a network of people with disabilities impacted by wildfires in California did when they researched and tested a variety of face masks and then shared their recommendations about the best ones with their community.
Finally Rev. Laurel talked about courage. Our current moment requires it. We often feel timid, but if we love Creation, we will find courage rising within us to protect what we love. And we can cultivate that courage by being brave together.
It was great to see several members from Gloria Dei at this event. If you would like to talk with any of them to learn more about the event let me know and I will put you in touch.