Organizing in the Biocommons

Co- presented by: EcoFaith Recovery, the Wilderness Way Community & Leaven

Video made by EcoFaith Intern Elizabeth Herzfeldt-Kamprath

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About Organizing in the Biocommons: 

For clergy and lay leaders of spiritual communities, congregations and networks who are asking…

What is the nature of the clear, immediate and immense ecological crisis in our region and the biosphere?

What are the impacts of this crisis on our families, congregations and communities?
What are the sources of this crisis?
What are the sources of spiritual wisdom and power we can draw on to creatively and powerfully engage this crisis, and create new possibilities within it?
What is “biocommons” anyway?
“Bio” stands for biosphere – the living planet within which we are born and flourish.
“Commons” stands for the ways humans organize themselves and make decisions to nurture our common life within biosphere.
We “organize in the biocommons” in order to transform our public spaces, public life and public dealings to reflect and nurture the sacred life and relationships of the biosphere.
Why do we do this?

We are in the early stages of an unprecedented YES-NO-YES in our region.

The First and Great YES is the power of life manifest in the biosphere and all creation.  This great YES is profoundly threatened by a devastating NO.

This NO is the assault on our climate and species systems from the concentrated force of oil, natural gas, coal, rail and pipe-line firms, backed by their investors and lenders.

This assault is expressed in three ways: 

Earth Crisis. Our climate system is disrupted and the Sixth Great Species Extermination is underway.
Economic Crisis. We suffer vast inequalities of wealth, income and power; unemployment, underemployment and mis-employment, all driven by the unsustainable idea of unlimited growth.
Polis Crisis (our Democracy). As our classic mediating institutions implode and become irrelevant to public life, we are increasingly ruled by Kleptocracy (corporations control our governments) and Petrocracy (key among those corporations are those in the fossil fuel sector).

This profound threat is giving rise to the Second Great YES: The Great Opportunity – Our Great Work – to re-create and co-create a generation of Organized Mediating Communities, which become deeply literate about this YES-NO-YES, in order to imagine and help create an economy and culture of Creationjustice.

Primary Questions Shaping the Content of the Course

  • What are the systems of ecology-climate, economy-finance, captive government, and religion-spirituality that underlie the Yes-No-Yes of our current regional/global situation?
  • How do our congregations/communities move beyond symptoms and denial, into root causes and system assumptions driving our situation?
  • How do congregations shift from maintenance-focused, non-mediating institutions to mission-focused, Organized Mediating Communities?
  • How do we shift, in our emotions and spirits, from the current dominant world-view, which is obsolete and destructive, to the emerging world-view, which is life-giving and hope-full?
  • How do we deepen the capacity of our spiritual communities/networks/congregations so that our people can creatively engage both the Threat and the Great Work of this time and our place?

Video Resources – filmed by our intern Karin Hatch at the Fall 2014 course sessions

 Below is a sample of the videos available. Go to our Youtube channel to view all videos.


Questions may be directed to the primary facilitators of the sessions:

Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin (


Readings for the Fall 2014 class here

Readings for the Winter 2014 class

Readings that were assigned in the 2012-2013 version of the course.

Readings that were assigned in the Winter2012 version of this course.

Learn More:

Contact us if you are interested in learning more!

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