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Union Theological Seminary in New York City has long been one of the most respected and academically-prominent institutions in mainline liberal Protestantism. Earlier this week, during a chapel service, the seminary students confessed their ecological sins to plants.
The seminary sent out this tweet on Tuesday:
Today - Chapel - Plants - Grief - Joy
Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor.
What do you confess to the plants in your life?
Ridicule - Statement - Prayer - Supplication - Plants
Responding to the ridicule, the seminary issued a statement defending prayer and supplication to plants. Here are some excerpts, from Jon Brown, “Absolute theological bankruptcy”: Union Theological Seminary students confess climate sins to plants:
“We’ve had many questions about yesterday’s chapel,” the statement read in part. “In worship, our community confessed the harm we’ve done to plants, speaking directly in repentance. This is a beautiful ritual.”
Throes - Climate - Emergency - Crisis - Humanity
“We are in the throes of a climate emergency, a crisis created by humanity’s arrogance, our disregard for Creation,” the statement continued. “Far too often, we see the natural world only as resources to be extracted for our use, not divinely created in their own right—worthy of honor, thanks and care. We need to unlearn habits of sin and death. And part of that work must be building new bridges to the natural world....
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Measuring his life out one teaspoon at a time.