Discerning our collective calling: love, hope & climate justice
At Southeastern Yearly Meeting of Friends on 4/12/2017, Peterson Toscano stated in his first workshop at the Life Enrichment Center that addressing climate change is a pastoral care issue.
Peterson served as the Walton Lecturer, and gave the title of his work as "Discerning our collective calling: love, hope, and climate justice." We can use that as a way to describe our Meetings for Learning series - a form of pastoral care devoted to exploring what could become our collective calling when it comes to facing new climate realities. And we are open to possibilities that love, hope and pressing for climate justice will be more effective at moving others to action than cataloging crises and lamenting losses to the world - though those have their place too. Grief happens. So does joy. Expect the ineffable, over and over again. ["Ineffable" - from Google, adjective "too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words. '...the ineffable natural beauty of the Everglades'"] It is the nature of Quaker worship to be drawn to the possibility of experiencing the ineffable.
Peterson used storytelling, comedy, and personal witness to get Friends to have those moments and then get us talking - the community discussion was rich and (judging by what others said) the personal insights gained were plentiful - and priceless. In addition to his talks on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the gathering, Peterson also met with SEYM youth and teens. We are all better for the experience. Many of us found ourselves pastorally cared-for, I think. It was gifts of the Spirit, liberally distributed, given to all who would receive them.