November 29, 2009
You may have heard of Marjora Carter. She is host of a show on Public Radio’s called The Promised Land and also one on the Sundance Channel called Eco-Heroes. She has been named one of the twenty-five most influential African- Americans by Essence Magazine and is a Genius Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation. What she did that led to these opportunities and accolades was founding and heading something called Sustainable Bronx, a community organization dedicated to Environmental Justice solutions through innovative, economically sustainable projects that are informed by community needs in addressing policy issues affecting one of the poorest congressional districts in the country. It is not unlike the transition town movement originally out of England but now international and growing in this country and might be helpful to us as we begin to think about the future of this city block on which we sit in the middle of a growing metropolis. Marjora Carter said something really compelling in her remarks to the Trinity Institute at the beginning of this year (January, 2009). She said: “As far as I’m concerned, people need three things to be whole: someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to. If any one of these things is missing, the other two suffer—and in communities like mine, at least two out of the three are hard to come by.” The article is called “Greening the Ghetto” in The Anglican Theological Review, (Fall 2009, Vol. 91, No 4) p.602
This kind of work could be the personal ‘way in’ to issues of sustainability and environment that I have been seeking. Many of the articles of that issue of ATR, (available in our parish library) address such things as ‘neighborhood ethics’ and ‘a theology of urban space’ that could be useful in our next phase of strategic planning.
Another great resource comes from our own Earth Stewards in the most recent All Saints’ Monthly in thinking about the spirituality of a sustainable Christmas. It is called 'Have a Green Christmas'.