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'OUR DIALOGUE WITH THE PLANET'

EARTH AND FAITH DAY OF REFLECTION

An awakening of spring. An awakening of the spirit. On Earth Day weekend HUPC participated with others in a day of reflection sponsored by St. Mary's Parish of Park City. Father Rick Sherman, a longtime HUPC member and friend, invited Margaret Pettis to read a poem as part of the prayers offered by Lutheran pastor Jeff Louden, whose powerful prayer called for activism by the worlds' churches and invited all present to read the Psalm 104, a member of Baha'i', and Fr. Charles Cummings, a Trappist monk from the Abbey of the Holy Trinity in Huntsville, who said:
"...There is an integrity and a wisdom eternally holding all things together, and we, through contemplative prayer, can tap into this underlying order… Through the practice and habit of contemplative prayer, we can learn to live in deep peace of heart in the midst of whatever chaos there is around us, while at the same time doing what we can to bring order and healing into that chaos. The contemplative does not simply opt out of the struggle but engages in the struggle as a contemplative, that is, as one who is not going to get caught up in the craziness or use crazy methods in attempting to heal craziness."

Dick Carter was asked to address the gathering on the spiritual nature one finds in the wild world. Sharing poems and passages from other writers as well as journal entries, Dick offered:
"Wilderness seems to be at the base of our dialogue with the planet we live on...Wilderness isn't real estate-it isn't a resource… It isn't a management obstacle. It is moment from moment. Thunder to lightning. Warm sun to cool breeze. We don't administer it, or to it. We are part of it.... In wilderness, space and silence permeate."

Thanks to Padre Rick for organizing such a meaningful celebration of an often forgotten element of the fight to preserve wild places and creatures.

In this juniper,
born of a seed on a mesa in the sun,
shelter of jays and mountain lion, is the word.

In this rock,
ancient as the vesper wind caressing
every crevice, every cleft, is the altar.

In this cirque,
comber of clouds and midwife
of the dawn, is the homily.

In this stream,
filling granite fonts with golden offering
of aspen leaves and cutthroat trout, is the hymn.

In this goshawk,
who, with stroke and gesture of wingtip,
slices through wind and cloud, is the way.

In my heart,
where deep love for this world
wraps itself about each tiny thing, is hope.

Margaret Pettis


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