Welcome to the weekly Podcast called All Together hosted by Executive Religion Editor Rev. Paul Raushenbush. All Together strives to offer a unique perspective into spiritual and religious individuals, communities and ideas that are shaping our world.
This week's All Together segment is called Green Spirit in honor of the giant People's Climate March happening in New York City and around the world the weekend of September 20th and 21st; and the UN Climate Summit the following week. Raushenbush speaks with environmentalist Bill McKibben, Karenna Gore, and Rabbi Lawrence Troster about the spiritual significance of environmental activism and how religious communities are rallying to help save the environment before it is too late. Plus Raushenbush offers a quick round up of the religious news of the week and picks this week's Saints and Sinners.
At the opening of the show Rev. Raushenbush references a prayer written by his great grandfather Walter Rauschenbusch 100 years ago called Prayer for Nature. The powerful environmentalist message of this prayer shows that there is a tradition of care for the earth that goes deep in religious traditions that needs to be called upon now that climate change has become such a life and death issue.
O God, we thank you for this universe, our home; and for its vastness and richness, the exuberance of life which fills it and of which we are part. We praise you for the vault of heaven and for the winds, pregnant with blessings, for the clouds which navigate and for the constellations, there so high. We praise you for the oceans and for the fresh streams, for the endless mountains, the trees, the grass under our feet. We praise you for our senses, to be able to see the moving splendour, to hear the songs of lovers, to smell the beautiful fragrance of the spring flowers.
Give us, we pray you, a heart that is open to all this joy and all this beauty, and free our souls of the blindness that comes from preoccupation with the things of life, and of the shadows of passions, to the point that we no longer see nor hear, not even when the bush at the roadside is afire with the glory of God. Give us a broader sense of communion with all living things, our sisters, to whom you gave this world as a home along with us.
We remember with shame that in the past we took advantage of our greater power and used it with unlimited cruelty, so much so that the voice of the earth, which should have arisen to you as a song was turned into a moan of suffering.
May we learn that living things do not live just for us, that they live for themselves and for you, and that they love the sweetness of life as much as we do, and serve you, in their place, better than we do in ours.
When our end arrives and we can no longer make use of this world, and when we have to give way to others, may we leave nothing destroyed by our ambition or deformed by our ignorance, but may we pass along our common heritage more beautiful and more sweet, without having removed from it any of its fertility and joy, and so may our bodies return in peace to the womb of the great mother who nourished us and our spirits enjoy perfect life in you.