Bishop Geoff Davies, our Green Bishop, and Kate Davies led a service in the Kalk Bay Mountains in Cape Town on the Saturday of the Earth Keeper Day weekend. Kate Davies reflects on the experience:
How can we reclaim the inherent mystery that belongs to all of creation, while living in a throw away culture that has covered this wonder with waste? How can we return to a magical world, one that we have made toxic with our greed and desires, with our addiction to consumerism?
Could it begin with something as simple as recognizing that we are not separate from the Earth, but, breathing its air, sustained by its food, nourished by its beauty, we are part of this miracle?
Wisdom words from Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee’s ‘Shifting the climate debate onto sacred ground’, framed the thinking behind a meditative Earth Keeper Day celebration on a rocky outcrop overlooking False Bay on the Kalk Bay mountain. Using a mandala and the universal symbolism of the life-giving elements of earth, water, fire, wind and space, a shared thanksgiving service for the gifts of smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing linked a diverse group of Christians, seeking sanctuary. As silent participants, we gazed out over the bay, looking down on the Saturday morning busy-ness in the human settlements below.
Meditations by ‘geologian’, Fr Thomas Berry, drew us back to the centre and guided silent reflections on our inter-dependence and connectedness with the world around us.
The universe is a communion and a community.
We ourselves are that communion
become conscious of itself.
There is no such thing as “human community”
without the earth and the soil and
the air and the water and all living forms.
Humans are woven into this larger community.
The large community is the sacred community.
Words from Lewellen-Jones reminded us of the significance of Pope Francis’ encyclical in which he “reconnects the well-being of the Earth to the well-being of our soul, care for the Earth to care for the soul.” Pope Francis suggests that “while technology is often presented as the only solution, it proves incapable of seeing the mysterious network of relations between things and so sometimes solves one problem only to create others.”
The Pope’s words came alive to this small band of pilgrims present on the mountain that morning. “Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.”