Saturday, February 13, 2010

Climate Change

The sharp-eyed among you will notice that I've added "Climate Change" to the subtitle of this blog. It is not from a lost of interest in ministerial interviewing and examining, but from being drawn to a ministry of climate change. I am becoming increasingly convinced that we are headed toward an avoidable disaster if we do not address the amount of carbon we are pumping into the atmosphere.

The topics of ministerial examining and climate change are related. If we do not form and develop ministers ready to address this issue, we do a disservice to humanity and to all life on this planet.

Over at the blog 10 Minutes or Less, Mike Durall recently posted the following quote from Robert Wuthnow, Christianity in the 21st Century: Reflections on the Challenges Ahead:
Liberalism should be a counterculture to secularism, not a reaction to fundamentalism. It needs to present itself as a third way.
Though I'm not a Christian, I am a liberal. gives 13 definitions of the adjective form of "liberal." Some that are relevant here are the following:
1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.
5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.
6. of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.
7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners.
8. open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.
11. not strict or rigorous; free; not literal: a liberal interpretation of a rule.
With some hyperbole, Tom Brokaw referred to my parent's generation as The Greatest Generation. I do not want our children or our grandchildren to refer to us as "The Infamous Generation" or "The Inept Generation," the generation that failed to act even though we knew we were undermining the conditions that sustain life on this planet.

Working in strategic planning for many years, I learned that my (and your) crystal ball is cloudy. In The Art of the Long View, Peter Schwartz persuasively argues that we can't predict the future and provides useful "scenaric" approaches for developing strategic vision.

We cannot "know" the outcomes of current environmental damage the way we can know the history of environmental damage and our contributions to current and historical damage. Caution in making predictions is warranted. However, such caution does not argue against prudence and action. It's time for change.


  1. Curious what your thoughts are on the new competency requirement:

  2. Thanks for the question.

    The new "Sexual Health" competency makes sense.

    16 (or 15 or even 10) competencies are problematic. I recommend that the existing competencies be consolidated into 3: UU Identity, Ethics & Justice, and Ministerial Praxis.