One of our goals at The Pollinator is to collect useful information in one place that we think may be useful, interesting or informative. Please note that we do not necessarily endorse or agree with every item we pass along to you, but we do hope you will engage with the material and use it to help develop your own thinking in these areas.
In that spirit, here are a few recent blog posts that you might find helpful. (Please feel free to send us any that you find, too.)
From Vinoth Ramachandra in Sri Lanka, thoughts on the virus of fear. Vinoth is an elder statesman, known for his years of ministry in IFES circles. He is always worth reading.
This leads me to highlight a pandemic that is far more dangerous, in the long term, than COVID-19. It is the pandemic of racism and xenophobia that seems to be spreading at an alarming rate and has been responsible for the election of men like Trump, Putin, Johnson, Erdogan, Netanyahu, Modi, Rajapakse and others into positions of power. Much of this is fuelled by fear. COVID-19 has also brought out this fear, at the same time as others have worked tirelessly to care for victims and curtail its spread. In London, a Singaporean Chinese man was assaulted on the street and Chinese shops and restaurants boycotted. In Nairobi, even before the first case was reported, angry crowds attacked Chinese workers. Several incidents of this nature have happened elsewhere.
From Ruth Padilla-Deborst in Costa Rica, a piece on Community and Just Conviviality. Ruth and her family have been exploring theology and creation care in the context of community for many years. The conclusion of this piece tells us much about the direction she is heading:
In Casa Adobe, patterns of communal prayer disquiet our natural tendencies to conform to the status quo and send us into action. Reducing our carbon footprint by sharing household appliances, limiting consumption and simplifying our lives, gardening, and organizing the community to carry out a river clean-up, all these actions push us back on our knees in humble acknowledgement of our limitations.
I am convinced that the re-casting of relationships between us as humans and of humanity with the rest of the living community requires that we step out of the individualistic matrix of single homes and private property. Far from slight tweaks here and there, the condition of our planet demands re-casting and embodying diverse forms and experiments of community sharing. Will you dare to imagine living a new story with me?
Jo Swinney, A Rocha International’s new Director of Communication, shares some thoughts on Corona Virus, Creation, and Opportunity for Change. Along the same lines, Dave Bookless is asking that we Build Back Better in a piece that is taken from one of his recent webinar talks. From Dave’s piece…
Amidst very real fear and grief, this gives us an opportunity to rethink ‘flourishing’, and how our economic systems can be regenerative and restorative rather than unstable, unjust, and unsustainable. We’ve seen a resetting of values: a new appreciation of neighbours and low-paid keyworkers; an awareness of birdsong and blue skies; for some, existential questions about prayer, purpose, and priorities. Very few of these contribute to economic growth or Gross Domestic Product. Alongside many hardships, perhaps we’re learning how to flourish in new ways.
Finally, if you didn’t catch these webinars, they are worth a few minutes of your time:
WEA Webinar on Covid-19 as an opportunity for a historic reset (with Katharine Hayhoe, Kuki Rokhum, Chris Elisara, Dave Bookless, and others)
Season of Creation: A Jubilee for the Earth with Ruth Padilla Deborst and others. (Season of Creation is almost upon us… watch for more details in a couple of weeks.)