“Can these bones live?” (Ezek. 37:3) may be THE most urgent question for the future of planet earth in the coming decade. The question reflects the accelerated extinction of plant and animal species, including humans, from the earth – especially extinction caused by human activity.

Eight people from Albany Presbytery – from the Broadalbin, Granville, Johnstown, Schenectady State Street, Valatie, and Westminster congregations – explored this question during a 3-day conference in August at the Stony Point Center in Stony Point, New York. They were joined by 130 other participants from 28 states across the United States.

A plenary session and workshops included the psychological effects of climate change; war and warming; U.N. sustainable development goals; conceptualizing food justice; multi-faith earth care teachings; families and creation care; God’s economy; the Green New Deal.

The keynote speaker, Dr. William Brown (Columbia Theological Seminary), suggested that God’s joy in creating this rich and beautiful world must be turning to lament from watching its disintegration after a few billion years. There may be reason for hope if only humans can learn to live as modestly as their companions in the animal kingdom.

Our group members offered these take-aways:

“Everything is connected!”    “Create a climate community around you!”     “Eat less red meat!”   

“Support Future Fridays students strikes!”     “Become an Earth Care congregation!”     “Be in nature!”      “Buy green!”    “Vote green!”

Can these bones live? Please join us for an Open Space discussion before the November 19th Presbytery meeting in Schoharie!

About Rev. Paul Randall, HR

Rev. Paul Randall, Parish Associate at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Albany, has served Albany Presbytery as moderator and is currently the Chair of the Peacemaking Task Force. Paul retired in 2002 after serving churches in Ohio for 40 years. He and his wife Margaret live at Beverwyck Retirement Community in Slingerlands. They have two children and two grandchildren.

The purpose of the Albany Presbytery Blog is to share information, tell stories, and promote the mission and ministry of the presbytery, synod and beyond. While the breadth of this medium is intentionally broad, it is not a platform for opinion pieces related to business coming before the presbytery unless designed as part of an initiative to provide a diversity of viewpoints at the direction of the presbytery. Exceptions to this policy may be brought to the presbytery officers who will determine appropriateness of submissions.