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Promoting Earth-Friendly Living

September 19, 2011

By Sister Denise T.

What do activist sneakers, walking or biking to a 500-acre beauty zone, homemade chocolates, sheep wool and blankets, wind turbine and geo thermal energy, fresh fruit, children’s events and, of course, delicious potluck food and drumming have to do with September 24th?

New Dawn Earth Center in Cumberland, RI, is hosting Moving-On to Alternative Energy as part of the global Moving Planet activities. On this day, we are taking time out to do our part for future generations and proudly join people in 188 countries doing the same thing as we demand solutions to the climate crisis. Earth needs us to become activists as well as to make changes in our personal lives.

In collaboration with Dan Shea from Spirit In Nature, New Dawn Earth Center has chosen to celebrate those groups and individuals who are making a difference through earth friendly living – Moving-On to Alternative Energy. A group will walk the 2.6 miles to St. Mary’s Abbey in Wrentham, MA, carrying banners, signs, instruments. Cyclists, carpoolers, families will join them at the wind turbine to hear about the abbey’s commitment to alternative energy and its participation in a wool co-op.

The abbey’s wind turbine has been functioning since December 2009 and its newly completed candy house is heated and cooled using geothermal energy. Upon return to New Dawn Earth Center, all will celebrate with a potluck and children’s activities, followed by a Drum Circle led by Dave Curry.

Why Moving Planet? The goal of 350.org, the sponsoring organization of this worldwide rally, is to remind us that a mutually enhancing earth -human relationship can be sustained IF we reduce our carbon footprint to 350 ppm (parts per million).  At the moment is has reached 392 ppm! That is, there is a ratio of 392 ppm of carbon dioxide molecules to all the molecules in the atmosphere.   For many years it was stable at 275 ppm and has increased since the Industrial Revolution.  The rapid increase cannot continue.

We are all aware of  glaciers melting, parts of the ocean dying because of the carbonic acid formed in the waters,  droughts, extreme heat waves, increasing “natural disasters” such as tornadoes, hurricanes, microbursts, floods.  Is Earth giving us a message? Will we listen to Earth by participating in this worldwide event and enfleshing the Sisters of Mercy‘s critical concern for Earth and the Sisters of Holy Cross chapter resolution to promote cosmic consciousness?

As women religious and Christians, is this part of our call to be prophets? Do we take time to BE within the light and love of Holy Mystery which is within and surrounds this Earth and Universe? We are called to be Earth Mystics in communion with all creation.  For me, care for Earth is a spiritual call.  I urge you to join us and all concerned citizens from all over the world to help make a strong statement concerning climate change.

Founded in September 2001 by the Sisters of Mercy, New Dawn Earth Center is about education.  New Dawn invites all people to nurture their spirits and relate to the diversity of life on Earth.

We reach a variety of groups:  children from the inner city, students at neighboring Mercymount Country Day School, Scouts; adults attending Northwest Institute Study Circles, discussing the DVD Economics of Happiness, exploring a deeper spirituality for today. We often begin our programs by listening to the heartbeat of Mother Earth.   Can we offer Earth the healing she needs to strengthen that heart beat?  Join a local group on September 24th to make a difference and visit our website after September 24th to see us gathered under the wind turbine.

Sister Denise, a Sister of Holy Cross, is director of the New Dawn Earth Center.

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