And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
Today marks the 45th year of celebrating Earth Day. In 1970 Gaylord Nelson started the annual celebration in reaction to the damage done by the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA. The focus then was to educate the public about the environment and on that first Earth Day held on April 20, 1970 nearly 20 million people across the US were rallied and gather in public areas to talk about the environment and find ways to defend the planet.
In a survey done by ecoATM, 30 percent of the people polled plant a tree for Earth Day, 23 percent clean up a local park and roughly 47 percent associate Earth Day with recycling. What will do you this Earth Day to celebrate and protect this great planet that God has entrusted us to care for?
Holy and Gracious God, creator of the sky and land. We stand in awe of all that makes up this great earth, from the depths of the deep blue ocean, to the beauty of the animals that walk the dry land. Help us protect and take care of this great planet so it may continue for generations. Amen.
Today marks two years since the Boston Marathon of 2013. As a runner that day and again a year later, I am deeply moved by all the actions taken to remember this day. Today I too remember Krystle Campbell, Sean Collier, Lingzi Lu and Martin Richard, and those who were injured, as well as those who raced in to help and all who were touched by this day.
As I walk through Eastertide this season I am constantly seeing resurrection each day. Resurrection is not just life after death but rather "resurrection is a divine act of radically transforming a person into quite a different mode of existence. Resurrection is thorough change into another way of existing." The "One Boston Day" is a great example of resurrection.
One Boston Day is transforming a horrific event, the bombing of the Boston Marathon in 2013, into a day of giving. One act of giving I offer is this Celtic prayer; to runners and walkers, body assisted and abled bodied, marathon runners and marathon spectators:
May the peace of the winding road be under your fee, by the peace of the warm wind be act your back, and may the deep peace of the Prince of Peace be with you always. Amen.
 Bradley Hanson, Introduction to Christian Theology (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1997), 132.
I am excited to have been accepted as a contributing scholar to State of Formation! Below is my first post answering the question: Why are you committed to building relationships with those from different religious or ethical traditions?
Faith is having a strong belief in someone or something. Faith is what binds religions together. We all have faith in someone or something, whether we call it family, God, the divine, love or humanity. As a person of the Christian faith, I love hearing from others what it is that gives meaning to a person’s life.
My grandmothers are the persons who molded my relationships and developed my passion for other people, particularly the elderly. While interning at a retirement community last year, I loved hearing the wise elders discuss their faith journeys. I encountered people of many religious traditions and found similar themes throughout my visits. One theme, which really resonates, is that we all need to be heard and seen.
Giving others a voice and hearing their stories is what builds bridges and understanding. As a runner during the 2013 Boston Marathon, I am captivated by the Boston Marathon Bombing trial. Yet while listening to the reports of the trial, my runner hat has come off and my faith leader hat is sitting on top. I am consumed and worried about how the Muslim faith is being portrayed because of two young men’s actions. This trial and public criticism is a clear reminder that listening to and interacting with people of different faith and ethical traditions is vitally important to breaking down barriers. We cannot generalize a group of people based on one person’s actions.
As I work to complete my MDiv, I recently took the position of program director at the Massachusetts Bible Society. The Massachusetts Bible Society’s mission is to promote Biblical Literacy. I feel passionately that we need to better educate the public on what scripture says and the context in which it was written. Additionally, understanding the differences in interpretation of varying religious groups from the same text is key to building bridges across religious and ethic traditions. It is through dialogue that we can better understand our own faith and the faith of others.