Our human understanding of our responsibility for the earth and its creatures has evolved dramatically in the last couple thousand years, for Christians in general, and for people of the United States in particular. We’ve gone from seeing our survival as intricately tied to the survival of all other life, to having domination and even entitlement to the earth’s human and natural resources, to relearning the depth of our interconnection to all life.
In this class, we will get to understand these three phases of development through the experiences of three different denominations right here in Kirtland, with a special focus on addressing climate change. Through interfaith conversation and reflection, together we’ll deepen our spiritual connections and get to know one another better.
Session One: “Dominion”
Date: October 9, 2019 @ 7:00 PM
Location: Kirtland Temple Visitor Center, 7809 Joseph Street
Discussion Facilitator: Ian Lynch
Spiritual Formation Leader: Denis Paul
Synopsis: Scripture begins at the beginning of all things with the ordering of chaos into the Creation. When the story describes the placement of humans in the order, it says that they are to have dominion. So what does it mean to have dominion? Crucially, is it to be dominion over or dominion with? Ian will dig into the translation and interpretation of some biblical texts related to our place in Creation and the view of resources as blessings.
Session Two: “Nauvoo”
Date: October 16, 2019 @ 7:00 PM
Location: East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 10848 Chillicothe Road
Discussion Facilitator: Seth Bryant
Spiritual Formation Leader: Ian Lynch
Synopsis: After the Latter Day Saints left Kirtland, they eventually settled in a bend of the Mississippi in Illinois they named Nauvoo. In Hebrew, Nauvoo means beautiful place. What does it mean to be a steward of a beautiful place? What can the past tell us about our call to care for creation? Seth’s discussion will dive into Latter Day Saint scripture and history, and the contemporary experience of Community of Christ, to explore these questions.
Session Three: Blue Boat Home
Date: October 23, 2019 @ 7:00 PM
Location: Old South Church, 9802 Chillicothe Road
Discussion Facilitator: Denis Letourneau Paul
Spiritual Formation Leader: Seth Bryant
Synopsis: As our nation began to face the repercussions of using natural resources without much attention to the consequences our consumption would have on the environment, new movements were taking root all across the land. When the humanist Unitarian Universalist Association formed from the consolidation of two Christian churches, its members, like so many others, started to ask “what responsibility do I have in healing the earth and saving it from destruction?” Denis will invite participants to answer questions about our individual responsibilities within systems that favor profits and growth over health and maturation.