I am directing a pilot certificate program offered by the Center for Religion and Environment in Contemplation and Care for Creation, which will be held May 29-June 10 of 2016 with practicums extending throughout the following year. The program includes formation in the contemplation of nature, an examination of how creation fits into the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith, an exploration of some of their socioeconomic implications, and training in how to discern, plan and implement environmental action projects.
As part of this effort I have written a draft program in natural contemplation and spiritual formation called Living in an Icon, Alive in the World. It draws on our experience in the Opening the Book of Nature program. I will be working on the program’s group facilitator’s manual over the next year. I hope that we can revise Living in an Icon after the pilot program and publish it for use by groups or individuals.
Again, in preparation for the certificate program I am working with my colleagues to develop a course that explores how the environment (creation) is an integral part of Christianity. The Hebrew people from whom Christianity emerged were a landed, agrarian nation. Their faith, therefore, reflected this. So, we will explore topics such as the Incarnation, Jesus’ death and resurrection, and “dominion” from the perspective of biblical theology. Again, after we have developed auxiliary materials such as a manual and possible videos we hope to publish this course to make it available to the public.
Of course, I also am writing a weekly blog for the Huffington Post on the interrelationships between environment, religion, and economics.