Micah Bucey is one of S&P's film reviewers. A United Church of Christ-ordained minister, he currently serves Judson Memorial Church of New York City, a congregation committed to curiously seeking the intersections between spirituality, justice, and creativity. He has been posting short prayers on his Facebook page that touch upon the concerns of populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He kindly agreed to let us share his posts, to bring you fresh energy and inspiration.
Posted by Patricia Campbell Carlson on March 20, 2020
In times that strain our resources, our energy, and our resilience, we need refreshment of spirit more than ever. The following prayer by Christine Valters Paintner — an American poet and writer living in Galway, Ireland, who founded the Abbey of the Arts — helps refill our wells by recalling all for which we can be grateful during this pandemic and by blessing all who find themselves in need. Our thanks to Christine for her permission to share this work-in-progress with you.
Praise Song for the Pandemic
Praise be the nurses and doctors, every medical staff bent over flesh to offer care, for lives saved and lives lost, for showing up either way,
Posted by Mary Ann Brussat on January 29, 2020
March 3, 2020: The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that "we are in uncharted territory" with more than 90,000 cases (and counting ...) of Covid19 worldwide. As of this writing, 73 countries and territories have documented cases.
January 29, 2020. The Associated Press reports that there are more than 5,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 132 deaths in China. Other countries have begun evacuating their citizens from Wuhan, the center of the outbreak since it first appeared in December. The symptoms include cough, fever, and pneumonia. As of this writing, cases have been reported in the United States, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. The outbreak has affected international sporting events and travel, including travel within China for the Chinese New Year.
Posted by Patricia Campbell Carlson on January 2, 2020
Ecologists at the University of Australia in Sydney estimate that nearly 480 million mammals, birds, and reptiles have been killed by the bush fires sweeping the state of New South Wales, according to The Huffington Post. Pictures appearing in the news and on social media are heartwrenching and terrifying — and that's nothing compared to the actual experience of the people and animals facing the smoke and fires for weeks on end.
Posted by Patricia Campbell Carlson on September 5, 2019
Photo courtesy of pixundfertig at Pixabay.com
The Amazon's tropical rainforests — often described as "the Earth's lungs" because they generally draw in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen — have seen a record number of more than 74,000 fires in 2019. "We're all looking at what we can do about it," says Lynne Twist, who describes herself as "a proactivist, driven by a vision." She co-founded The Pachamama Alliance and founded The Soul of Money Institute, dedicated to alleviating poverty and hunger and to advocating for indigenous rights and the rights of nature.
Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on August 29, 2019
Photo Credit: Barbary Ape by Alexas_Fotos, courtesy of Pixabay
In The Week, August 30, 2019, we learn that according to the United Nations up to one million species face extinction. The Trump Administration has created new rules for enforcing the Endangered Species Act: These changes will "gut the landmark law which protects1,663 imperiled animal and plant species." Seven major environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, have sued the administration over these rules.
Posted by Mary Ann Brussat on June 10, 2019
Crop fires have become a weapon of war in Iraq and Syria. An article on Morning Ag Clips reports that farmers were looking forward to the best harvest since war began across the region, but now once golden fields of wheat and barley have been destroyed by fires presumed to have been deliberately set by fighters of the Islamic State and perhaps others. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 74,000 acres (30,000 hectares) of farmland in Hassakeh, Raqqa and all the way to Aleppo province to the west, have been burned.
Posted by Patricia Campbell Carlson on May 6, 2019
"One million species face extinction, U.N. report says. And humans will suffer as a result," observed The Washington Post on May 6, 2019. We surely have not yet run out of sit-up-and-take-notice warnings about human impact on the climate and therefore on all of life.
When I was in sixth grade, some teachers at Cayuga Heights Elementary School took it upon themselves to help us understand "one million." They printed one million x's on computer paper and posted the sheets along the ceiling of the long hallway that extended from the gym to the library. It took five minutes to walk that hallway, and gazing up at those tiny gray marks was a mind-boggling experience.
Posted by Aizaiah Yong on April 25, 2019
News from the Phillipines reports the destruction and deaths caused by two powerful earthquakes on April 22 – 23, 2019. Monday's magnitude 6.1 quake struck Pampanga province, north of Manila, as well as the capital itself; at least five people were killed when a supermarket collapsed. Another 11 people died elsewhere and others are still missing. Tuesday's 6.4 magnitude quake centered on the Eastern Samar province.
News from Mozambique on April 25 reports Tropical Cyclone Kenneth is making a catastrophic, unprecedented strike in northern Mozambique just weeks after Tropical Cyclone Idai's catastrophic storm surge and rainfall flooding swamped parts of central Mozambique.
Posted by Patricia Campbell Carlson on April 8, 2019
According to the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR), as of this writing in 2019 there are 68.5 million people displaced by war and violent conflict. Our human minds and hearts are not equipped to comprehend suffering on this scale. We can, however, hear human voices one at a time, and we can empathize with images that tap into our personal comprehension of suffering.
About This Blog
The daily news summons us to prayer. The people, situations, and events of our times call out for our compassion and God's healing presence. In this blog we will pray in a variety of forms as we lift up the needs of the world. We hope that by praying the news in this way we will also expand both our spirituality and our practice. More