Thank you for purchasing (and reading) Creation-Crisis Preaching. 

Below are the appendices for the book.

 

APPENDIX A

Interfaith Sacred Earth Press Conference Speech

in Response to the Passing of HB 1950

February 17, 2012

The Rev. Leah D. Schade

 

I am The Rev. Leah Schade, Pastor of United in Christ Lutheran Church in West Milton, a PhD Candidate at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and co-founder of the Interfaith Sacred Earth Coalition.  We are over 60 individuals representing seven different faith groups who stand united in our conviction that all children, women, men and earth’s creatures have certain inalienable rights endowed by their Creator to clean air, water, land, and public health.  We have come here today to express our deep distress about the passing of PA HB 1950 – the devastating fracking bill - because of its assault on God’s creation, public health, the vulnerable, and the sanctity of communities. We are asking for a repeal of the legislation and a “do-over” so that citizens’ concerns can be heard, and the maximum safety and regulation restrictions be put into place on an industry that has invaded our state and is causing incredible harm to our waterways, air, land, and people.

 

[Introduction of speakers]

 

Before we conclude with our blessing ceremony for the waters of the Susquehanna, I want to close with these final remarks. We want to be very clear that ours is not an anti-jobs position.  Jobs are a good thing – work is a blessing from God.  Neither is this a call to drive humanity to the pre-industrial age. Rather, we are raising questions about the moral and ethical principles that are guiding this industry of horizontal slickwater hydraulic fracturing.  Sacred scriptures and all of our religious traditions give us certain guiding principles – such as respecting and caring for God’s creation, advocating for those who have no voice and no power, the equitable sharing of wealth and resources, and especially protecting public health and community rights.  We need to have a very serious discussion about how corporate greed is creating dangerous fantasies that are blinding us to the reality of suffering and the undue burdens being placed upon individuals, families, communities and generations to come.  We need to ask what this mythical promise of jobs, boundless wealth, and energy independence is going to cost our state and our country in the long run.  There is a growing body of scientific evidence that this practice is not safe and will actually incur more expense for our country.  It poisons the water, and destroys the land which our forefathers and mothers -- and our soldiers -- gave their lives to defend.  This is a clear case of short-term gain with long-term pain.  We need to ask why our economic system has so failed its citizens, making them desperate for any job, even if it means endangering their lives and those of their children.  We need to ask why this country has so failed its farmers that they are willing to sacrifice their precious land to this dangerous industry.  We need to ask why we are believing the lie that we need fracked gas to survive.  Because here is the truth - we cannot live without clean water.  It is the foundation for life and is sacred to nearly every faith tradition.

 

We reach out to everyone in love and peace, inviting you to join with us in protecting the sanctity of our nation’s water, land, air and local communities.  Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, March 8, 7:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Northumberland.  We also encourage all clergy and people of faith to attend the Care for Our Creation Symposium to be held on Thursday, April 19th, 8:30 a.m. – 12noon at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Selinsgrove.

We encourage our legislators to listen to reason and protect public health.  This is one area where science and religion are actually in agreement.  Whether you are in favor of fracking or against, we can certainly all agree that there are values we all hold in common that warrant the strictest protection for our country and our citizens.  We believe in a God of justice and truth and put our faith not in corporations and temporary, corrupting wealth, but in the God who fights for the oppressed, the voiceless, and in those who stand on the side of righteousness.  This is our history and heritage as Americans.  We invite you to join us in standing in solidarity with those who suffer, calling our leaders to accountability, and seeing a vision of a clean-energy future where all God’s children may thrive.

 

 

APPENDIX B

“HANDS ACROSS RIVERDALE”

INTERFAITH VIGIL SPEECH

May 31, 2012

The Rev. Leah Schade

 

The Interfaith Sacred Earth Coalition is comprised of over 80 individuals representing eight different faith groups who stand united in our conviction that all children, women, men and earth’s creatures have certain inalienable rights endowed by their Creator to clean air, water, land, public health, and freedom to live peacefully in their homes.

 

When we heard the news about this community of Riverdale being evicted from their homes to make room for a water withdrawal plant for the hydraulic fracturing industry, we were immediately alarmed.  This is a grave injustice.  Aqua America may say it’s not their fault that these families are losing their homes, since the land is zoned industrial, and “it’s just business.” But the company knew the families had been living in this neighborhood for over 30 years and that they would have to be displaced.  And the Susquehanna River Basin Commission shares the blame for this fiasco.  They never should have approved the permit for this site, knowing that people actually live here.  This situation is emblematic of the perfect storm of economic, governmental, sociological, and fossil fuel industry forces converging to destroy communities, public health and God’s creation over and over again. 

 

As people of faith, we believe it is important that the voices of those who are impacted by these forces be heard.  Just because they are not on the same economic level as the ones who are making decisions about their lives does not mean that they do not have worth and value in the eyes of our Creator.  Just our small sampling of readings at this vigil demonstrates that nearly every faith tradition would look at what is being done to the people of Riverdale and to God’s creation and clearly state that it is immoral, unjust, unethical, and intolerable.  Just because it’s legal does not mean that it’s right.

We see this as a ‘green’ civil rights issue.  Not only are the human rights of these families being violated for the sake of corporate greed, the waters, air, land, plants and animals of God’s creation are being violated as well.  We are standing in solidarity with the families of Riverdale as they fight for their homes.  We will continue to demand justice for them and for creation.  Like the persistent widow in Jesus’ parable, like David fighting Goliath, like Moses and Aaron confronting Pharaoh, like Gandhi confronting colonial imperialism, we know that justice and righteousness shall prevail.

 

Sister and brothers, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once shared his dream for this nation about the end of racial inequality and injustice.  As people of faith today, we also have a dream.  We dream of this beautiful and noble state of Pennsylvania and this nation promoting and investing in clean, renewable energy that will create jobs and avoid the destruction of our communities, land, air, and water that comes with dirty fuels like natural gas, oil and coal.  We dream of villages like Riverdale able to live peacefully in the community of care they have created without fear that corporate and governmental forces will take away their homes.  We dream of our children playing by the banks of the Susquehanna River and all rivers no longer afraid that poisons flow through the waters and cause diseases in the fish and surrounding plant and wildlife. 

 

We believe in a God of justice and truth and put our faith not in corporations and temporary, corrupting wealth, but in the God who fights for the oppressed, the voiceless, and in those who stand on the side of righteousness.  We invite you to join us in standing in solidarity with those who suffer, calling our leaders to accountability, and seeing a vision of a clean-energy future where all God’s children may thrive.

 

 

APPENDIX C

HANDS ACROSS RIVERDALE

 

Interfaith Prayer Vigil

 

“Mourning the Loss of Riverdale”

Riverdale Mobile Home Park

Thursday, May 31, 2012, 6:00 p.m.

The Rev. Leah D. Schade,[1] Presiding

 

The suffering of Riverdale Mobile Home Park residents in Jersey Shore, PA, has been met with indifference by Aqua America, the company partnered with Penn Virginia Resources (PVR) that plans to build a three million gallon per day water withdrawal site at the property to service natural gas drilling beginning June 1st.  As a result, a refugee crisis in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, is about to worsen and only a movement of the residents and their neighbors can stop it. 

Thus we hold this prayer vigil to mark the destruction of the Riverdale Community by Aqua America, lament the loss of a thriving neighborhood, comfort those who have lost their homes and relationships with good neighbors, and call for justice for the people of Riverdale. 

 

 

WELCOME

 

RECOGNITION OF THE AMERICAN FLAG

 

LITANY of LAMENT

L:  Where are the homes once planted here by the River? 

C:  They have been sent away.  We cry out in lament.

L:   Where are the families whose children once played in the grassy lots? 

C:  They have been sent away.  We cry out in lament.

L:   Where are the elders and couples, the men and women who once shared in community here?

C:  They have been sent away.  We cry out in lament.

L:   Where is the River once flowing with clean, healthy water, sustaining all life forms along its banks? 

C:  The River is being sold and poisoned.  We cry out in lament.

 

 READING FROM THE JEWISH SCRIPTURES:  Micah 6:1-2, 8

Hear what the Lord says:
   Rise, plead your case before the mountains,
   and let the hills hear your voice. 
2 Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord,
   and you enduring foundations of the earth;
for the Lord has a controversy with his people,
   and he will contend with Israel. . .  

8 The Lord has told you, O mortal, what is good;
   and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
   and to walk humbly with your God?

 

 READING FROM ISLAMIC SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION:

O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor.... Holy Qur’an 4:135

The Messenger of Allah said, “Help thy brother whether he is the doer of

wrong or wrong is done to him.” His companions said, “O Messenger! We

can help a man to whom wrong is done, but how could we help him when he is the doer of wrong?” He said: “Take hold of his hand from doing wrong.” Manual of Hadith

 

READING FROM THE BUDDHIST TRADITION:

Vajradhvaja-sktra:  A Bodhisattva resolves: I take upon myself the burden of all suffering, I am resolved to do so, I will endure it. And why? At all costs I must bear the burdens of all beings. The whole world of living beings I must rescue, from the terrors of birth, of old age, of sickness, of death and rebirth . . . To the limit of my endurance I will experience in all the states of woe, found in any world system, all the abodes of suffering. I am resolved to abide in each single state of woe for numberless aeons; and so I will help all beings to freedom, in all the states of woe that may be found. 

 

READING FROM CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES: Matthew 25:31-46

‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.  . . . 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” 44Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?”45Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’ 

 

REFLECTION: The Rev. Leah Schade

 

REMEMBERING THE RESIDENTS OF RIVERDALE

(Candles are lit as the names of the families and residents of Riverdale are read.)

 

LITANY OF HOPE AND REDEMPTION

L:   We pray for comfort for all refugees of the natural gas industry, especially the residents of Riverdale.  We pray for restoration and liberation.

C   We wait for justice.

L    As Jesus instructed us to pray for our enemies, we pray for those who exercise power without mercy; those who control wealth, land, and natural resources without regard for those most vulnerable; those in positions of leadership who make decisions based only on profit instead of compassion:

C   We wait for justice.

L    We pray for those workers and employees of industries whose livelihoods depends on extraction and nonrenewable sources of energy.

C   We wait for justice.

L    We pray for politicians and government employees to protect the most vulnerable of their constituents, to resist the temptation to succumb to corporate interests, and work within established systems of legislation to establish fairness and equity.

C   We wait for justice.

L    We pray for “the least of these” among our Earth-kin who suffer from extraction industries.  We pray for our River, Air, Trees, Plants, Animals, Birds, Fish, Insects, Microbes, and Soil whose voices are not considered when human decisions are made.

C   We wait for justice.

L     We pray for activists and advocates who work tirelessly to raise awareness, fight for justice, empower the marginalized, speak truth to power, and instill hope for a better future.

C     We wait with hopeful expectation.

L    We pray for clergy who provide pastoral care and guidance for refugees, landowners, industry workers, government leaders, and activists, striving to discern the path of righteousness within tangled complexities.

C   We wait with hopeful expectation.

P     We pray for our children to have a future with clean water, air, and land; where communities are respected and protected; where energy is clean and renewable; where justice prevails and the least of these are given priority; where people of all religions, ages, economic levels, and races are treated fairly and equitably.

C     We wait with hopeful expectation. Amen.

 

SONG  - Amazing Grace

 

BLESSING OF THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER

 

FINAL BLESSING (All are invited to join hands.)

 

 

 

[1] This liturgy was created by The Rev. Leah D. Schade.  Permission to use this liturgy may be requested by contacting her at jimleah@aol.com.