Teaching Eco-Ministry

RicBy Ric Hudgens (right)

I just finished teaching a class in Eco-Ministry at Garrett Seminary. My initial (and still favorite) title for the course was a play on John Wesley’s quote, “the world is my parish.” I wanted to call it The Earth is Our Parish. However, the formal title became “CL-621 Earth Ministry for Ecological Renewal.” CL-621 is one of the core courses in the Ecological Regeneration Concentration of Garrett’s new Masters in Public Ministry program.

I’m writing about it here not primarily to promote Garrett Seminary, but because this Eco-Ministry is a growing edge in contemporary ministry. It often has interfaith and eco-spiritual aspects, which are essential. But its placement in Garrett’s new Public Ministry degree gave it a distinctive social and political slant that is sometimes missing. Garrett’s version also featured radical discipleship resources that gave it a particular focused and practical impact. Continue reading

Never Forget

Deschutes National ForestBy Ric Hudgens, Quarantine Essay #22, originally posted to Facebook on April 18, 2020. Ric is posted all his essays to Medium

Every day for the past month, something has stunned me. I’ve been unable to respond. I’m astonished by the news stories I’m hearing. I see and hear horrifying things.

The world has never been an entirely pleasant place. Horrifying things happen all the time. But now perhaps I’ve slowed down enough to feel and see the full weight of them.

I’m not surprised by the inequalities revealed in this crisis. They have been there for anyone to see who wanted to look. The callous disregard for human life by those who claim to be “pro-life” doesn’t surprise me. Their understanding of “life” has always been very narrow, partisan, and racist. Continue reading

AS THE WORLD SQUIRMS (Quarantine Essay #9)

mlkBy Ric Hudgens (originally posted to Facebook March 31, 2020). Ric is posting all of his quarantine essays to Medium.

In his 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. King wrote: “In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is putting this perspective to the test and vindicating it once again.

If we attend to the virology of this moment our unity is dramatically highlighted. Within just a few weeks, this disease has traveled the globe, infecting thousands, regardless of race, color, or national origin. All are vulnerable, and it is a universal threat. Continue reading

Thin Love

RicBy Ric Hudgens (right)

“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”–Toni Morrison

I don’t want the thin love anymore.

So thin it needs a second coat.

Too thin
to be seen at a certain angle
to hold the weight
to pull us out of the ditch
to keep things connected
to grasp with both hands
to tie my life together
to nourish our souls.

Give me the thick love.

The love that is love.

–rdh
08/12/2019

Collapse, Part II

WolinBy Ric Hudgens

In this apocalyptic age where if the politics don’t kill you the ecology will, I am pondering a distinction made three decades ago by the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin. Wolin distinguished between a politics of intending and tending. Comparing these two modes of thinking Wolin saw one as prone to control and power and the other as a means of attention and care.*

The politics of intention requires power, as we strain toward a future that is not yet guaranteed. Continue reading

Collapse

CollapseBy Ric Hudgens

A review of The Collapse of Complex Societies , Joseph A Tainter (Cambridge University Press, 1988).

So I’ve been abed for several weeks, and therefore able to reflect upon the bigger picture. I’ve just finished a book that has long been on my reading list. It’s a fascinating, thought provoking work by anthropologist-historian Joseph Tainter, who ponders the meaning of collapse in reference to complex societies. The qualifier is important. Continue reading