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Episode 96 :: Bonnie Tarwater of Church for Our Common Home on Shifting Spiritual Practices and Congregations to More Earth-Based Ways

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In the New Story of OneEarth living, religion and science are in a new relationship. At their best, they are in a joint effort (1) to urge humans to live in interdependent relationships with all beings, (2) to reverse climate change, and (3) to break through to new social and economic systems. Of course, only some houses of worship and faith communities have yet joined in this effort. One that is led to the interview of this podcast. Glad you’re listening.

This podcast is a fitting sequel to Earth Day 2018 (April 22), a most important day for all who care enough about keeping our planet livable to change the way we live. On Saturday of that weekend, Juanita, my spouse, and I heard two renowned people, a climate scientist and a theologian. From the same platform, each took a turn at describing the new, emerging cooperation between science and religion. It’s a whole New Story for OneEarth living. The scientist was Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a distinguished professor at Scripps Institute of Oceanography at University of California San Diego and UNESCO Professor of Climate and Policy TERI University, New Delhi, India. In 1975, Ramanathan discovered the greenhouse effect of halocarbons.

The theologian was John Cobb, a scholar in the field of process philosophy and theology. He is the author of more than 50 books and is described as one of the most significant theologians of the past century. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been a major influence in the ecologic movement in China. In 2015 at age 90, he was the architect of a major world conference with Claremont School of Theology, “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecologic Civilization.”

The architect of this Earth Day event was Bonnie Tarwater, the innovative pastor of the Church for Our Common Home. On Sunday morning Juanita and I went to this house church congregation, formed in the last couple years. John Cobb gave a fascinating, backyard homily on “God’s Call to Earthism.” A provocative conclusion to a great Earth Day weekend that included Buddhists, Christians, and Sikhs among various religious traditions.

That story is the background for this podcast. The Church for Our Common Home takes its name from Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si’,” which has the ecological subtitle “On Care for Our Common Home.” A lot of the rest of the story comes out in the interview-conversation I recently had with Bonnie. So let’s go to that now.


    Climate Scientist and Theologian Tell How Ecological Crisis Requires New Cooperation between Science and Religion —

    Robert Jensen: “We Are All Apocalyptic Now”

    “Saving Paradise: Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire,” (2009) by Rebecca Ann Parker and Rita Nakashima Brock

    Recent Episodes

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    ** In episode 111 for mid-April, 2018, of SLW! we featured part 1 of our conversation with Susan Taylor of Just Money Advisors about her book “What About Our Money: A Faith Response” — Wrestling with Systems Where Money Is Boss.

    ** In early May, TCGP #95 features Susan part 2 on Security and Money: Tending a Heart Able to Say “Enough. I’m Satisfied.”

    ** In mid-May, SLW!  #112, this episode features Susan in part 3 on Giving, Sharing, Investing: When Doing Good Matters More Than Getting All You Can. 

    Early April Bonus: HealthCare for All—Time for Healthcare for All—the Majority Want It and California’s Nearly There. Listen to this high energy, informative conversation with Julie Trager & Ava Torres-Bueno, two advocates for single payer healthcare. Their backgrounds in healthcare bring deep knowledge to their convictions. They tell how all of us can be served better and cheaper through California’s single payer plans.

    Episode 110: Mark A. Burch is a Canadian author, speaker and transformational educator. He has published seven books about voluntary simplicity and sustainable livelihood, including The Hidden Door: Mindful Sufficiency as an Alternative to ExtinctionStepping Lightly: Simplicity for People and the Planet and The Simplicity Exercises: A Sourcebook for Simplicity Educators.  Euterra Rising is his debut novel.

    Visit for his blog Dispatches From Euterra – Envisioning a Prosperous Descent - Simplicity Institute Reports (8) by Mark A. Burch

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    Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist

    Ep. 96: Bonnie Tarwater of Church for Our Common Home

    Reader Comments (1)

    Deep gratitude to Lee and Reverend Bonnie Tarwater for your ministries for the earth!
    I am sure you are planting seeds that will blossom in human and non-human hearts for millennia in one-earth consciousness emerges.

    June 4, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJames Long

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