Sunday, May 7, 2017

Finding My Voice, Part I

I started this blog to guide Unitarian Universalist ministerial candidates through the fellowshipping process. Much of the material here is useful for anyone preparing for an interview.

My ministry has evolved from a focus on organizational development and human resources to one that's focused on climate and environmental justice. It is taken many years for me to find my voice as an environmental justice minister.

Though I have a reputation for being quite outspoken, I have been timid and tentative in my public writing. Though most people have a great fear of public speaking, my fear has been much more of public writing. Of course, the level of discourse that sometimes appears on the web has done nothing to assuage those fears.

But I'm getting older and more ornery as environmental degradation accelerates, threatening life on the planet. Facebook has also taught me how to deal with the slings and arrows of outrageous readers.

My truth is that we need to prepare for a dramatic reduction in human population if not human extinction. I have been to the stages of grieving several times and will surely go through them again, but this is no longer a time for despair (a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there). It is time for discernment and for courage.

While the scope of our crisis is precedented, the nature of it has multiple precedents which we can document going back to the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago. I actually find it a relief to know that what is happening now merely a normal human pattern writ large

Ministers are taught to develop a prophetic voice. It's important to know the difference between the common understanding of prophecy and the religious understanding. The common understanding refers to Nostradamus and others who make vague predictions about future. Some of these prophets are called economists.

The religious understanding of prophecy is truth telling, especially telling truth to power. Prophets come in two varieties. There are prophets within the court who tell royalty what they want to hear. There are prophets in the wilderness who tell the elites what they don't want to hear.

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