Letter from Publisher
Earlier in the year, I assumed I would approach the end of 2015 tired, lethargic and struggling to the finish line, feeling that I couldn’t wait until it’s over. Instead, I feel like I’m roaring ahead and don’t want to stop. I am exhilarated by a confluence of shining events, including new findings on climate change and progressive negotiations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. Our world is also finally recognizing that what affects one country eventually affects us all, and that all countries must come together to work toward common goals to protect us.
Locally, I am exhilarated by how North Texas faith congregations are embracing deeper levels of environmental stewardship; discover some Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified churches. Equally exciting are the growing number and success of sustainable and/or recycled products entrepreneurs here, represented in “Sustainable Gifting in the Metroplex."
All this progress has me looking forward to the new year with visions of a greener, healthier more sustainable state. Before long, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex may seriously start debating green bragging rights with Austin and Houston.
The icing on my holiday cake came in a recent Bible study class I attended, where one discussion question asked, “In what ways do you see God’s creation responding to Him today?” This gave me another opportunity to elaborate on a Natural Awakenings theme of sustainable living, encouraging each of us to consistently act on our God-given responsibility for Earth stewardship.
Today our environment is shouting, “I’m tired of being mistreated, dishonored and dismissed as a precious resource.” It’s trying to shake itself free on many fronts: from earthquakes and tsunami’s to life-threatening heat waves, snow storms, water shortages and floods; from sickening smog and ozone threats to aberrations in growing seasons and an unprecedented rate of species extinction. All carry inherent consequences for humanity’s physical, emotional and economic health.
Leading thinkers from all major faith traditions believe that the answers lie in aligning with a spiritual consciousness. Related insights are found in Richard Davenport’s feature article, “Awakening to Spirit: Prayer and Meditation Heal and Free Us.” He shares a how-to primer in “Five Ways to Pray from the Heart” if praying is new to you. You might enjoy joining in the December 3 prayer vigil supporting the Paris Climate Summit sponsored by Dallas Interfaith Power & Light. Then pledge to help heal the world your way.
Holidays can be a stressful time if we pack them wall-to-wall with doing rather than being. Let us remember to mindfully punctuate our days with empowering prayer and meditation. More people are also discovering how daily giving gratitude enhances our spirited view of life and can bring deeper meaning to everything. You’ll fine tips on mindfulness in our interview with Sharon Salzburg.
As we embrace this cherished season of joy and celebration, may we “remember the reason for the season.” As always, we hope these pages enlighten and inspire your days.
Bernice Butler, Publisher