On either side of the river is the tree of life…
and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Rev. 22:2)
EcoFaith Recovery is a faith-based leadership development effort grounded near the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers and reaching out to other parts of the Pacific Northwest for the purpose of revitalizing congregational ministries to participate in the healing of creation.
Together, we are waking up to the enormity of the ecological-economic-spiritual crisis before us. As we wake up, we are discovering that we are part of a much greater spiritual awakening – an awakening that allows us not only to see into the depth of the crisis, but to commit ourselves to be a source of inspiration and healing within this crisis.
Therefore, we envision ourselves as a tree of life, rooted and growing at the confluence of Ecology, Faith and Recovery – three deep and wise tributaries, merging to form a powerful, rushing river of life-giving water. This river nourishes the soil for ancient and new trees of life to grow and thrive along its banks, producing abundant fruit and leaves that are “for the healing of the nations.”
Rooted at that confluence, EcoFaith Recovery is fed by the deep waters of the Christian faith tradition, the environmental and ecojustice movements, and the 12-step recovery movement.
Fed by the Recovery movement, EcoFaith Recovery acknowledges that not only have our “lives become unmanageable,” but for those of us in the “developed” world, our entire way of life has become unsustainable – individually, institutionally and globally. Therefore, we acknowledge our need on every level of our personal and public lives to go into “eco-faith recovery,” share our stories in community, discover our collective power, and turn to a higher spiritual power in order to effectively face this crisis with creativity and imagination.
Fed by the environmental and ecojustice movements that have expanded our awareness of the climate crisis, and opened us to the majesty and mystery of our place within the 13.8 billion year old story of the universe, we bring people together who dare to allow themselves to be shaken – shaken not only by the tragedy and depth of this crisis, but also by the astounding power and hope available within this cosmic story, in which we are participants.
Fed by the Christian tradition, we draw upon the rich biblical, theological and spiritual resources of our faith to inform and sustain this work of personal, communal and institutional recovery. Because our Christian institutions are also complicit in the systems that are destroying the planet, we participate in prophetic critique and expansion of our own tradition, renewing and enlivening the power of Christian community and witness during these challenging times.
And so at the confluence of these three powerful rivers, EcoFaith Recovery is growing to:
1.Create and network small groups and learning communities who dare to name and understand how and why our civilization has become unsustainable, and together discover new and sustainable ways of being
2. Engage, mentor and nurture one another, especially youth and young adults, so we can grow together as leaders who can provide powerful spiritual, economic and community leadership for decades to come
3. Build and re-build powerful institutions and networks that not only understand the causes of this crisis, but that can also employ the vast resources of Christianity, creation, cosmos and community toward the work of healing
We invite you to come and grow with us as a tree of life in these challenging times.
While fed by the Christian tradition, we understand ourselves at our core to be people of the earth, people in community. Therefore, we seek and invite partnerships with people and institutions from other faith traditions and spiritual perspectives who are also discovering what it means to go into “eco-faith recovery,” so that together we might re-imagine and re-create our common life on our beloved planet earth.
In 2016, we will partner with you to take action for a stable climate and a sustainable future by deepening our engagement with EcoFaith’s Practices for Awakening Leadership. Here are just a few of the ways we will do that:
- Our Beyond Fossil Fuels initiative is equipping leaders to engage their communities in taking local action to move us towards a renewable energy economy;
- Three different “Returning to the Rhythms of God” retreats will ground members of Oregon and Washington faith communities in the life-giving patterns of God’s creation;
- An EcoFaith Permaculture Extension Agent will offer workshops to help congregations explore eco-theology and create food bearing, pollinator friendly, or native habitat landscapes;
- Five more internships will be added to the 17 already offered to equip young adult leaders to make a difference in a world facing the devastating implications of climate change but still hoping for a better future.
If you’re hungry to get a taste of what this experiment is really about, take a look around our website, and sign up to receive email updates about our Initiatives!