Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, March 19, 2016
A Sustainable PEACE for All
I am taking a break from my posting of personal definitions of PEACE from St. Viator’s High School. Going back some days, I had the opportunity to hear Rev. Terry Gallagher speak at a ministerial meeting here in the Chicago area at the beginning of March. This personal definition of PEACE is more political than many of the other definitions I have heard, so far. (Just letting people know.)
Terry is some speaker. Trained as a chemical engineer, he came to the ministry late. Went to seminary in his fifties, and now serves as a United Church of Christ minister. He is also the Chair of the Environmental Task Force of the Illinois Conference of the UCC. He knows what effects various chemicals have on the earth, the plant life, the water, the animals—everything.
He shared a specific situation involving a group of indigenous people in Latin America and mining practices of a foreign company who owned the mine outside their village. How the mining company kept gradually poisoning not only the miners, but also their families. And, the air, the water, the plant life, the animals, and the general state of public health for the whole area around the mine.
Terry broadened his talk to cover God’s Creation, how it was created as very good, and how humans are to be stewards of the earth. And, finished up with a whole list of excellent—and simple!—ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. Ways to educate, and to facilitate learning in large groups.
I asked Terry for his personal definition of PEACE. He was intrigued, and told me he would like to think about it. Several days later, he sent me an email with this excellent definition. Terry said: PEACE is the just sustainable access to the life systems of God’s Good Creation for all creatures now present and for eons yet to come.
He also sent me an impactful photo along with the email. I was also intrigued, and asked where it was taken. His response: “It was taken several years ago in front of the White House as part of the protest against building the Tars Sands Oil pipeline known as the Keystone XL. 1073 of us got arrested over a 10 day period, and that was a significant factor in the stoppage of this particularly obscene destruction of Creation.”
Terry, God bless you for your work. God bless you for your tireless commitment to the betterment of the planet. Even though different people have deeply held political stands on some of these issues, still. Dear God, thank You for Terry’s integrity and strong love for Your creation.
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