Monday, October 15, 2012

blog action day 2012: the power of we

Some of why we're blogging about The Power of We this year:
Firstly, the popularity of your suggestions; Community, Equality, Transparency/Anti-Corruption and Freedom, in our theme poll.
Secondly, The Power of We is a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, either for their own communities or for people they will never meet half way around the world.
blog action day 2012Recently I heard a story about the "ubuntu" philosophy and lifestyle of some African tribes: an anthropologist put out a basket of fruit and told some African kids the first one who reached the fruit would win all of it. When he signaled them to run, they joined hands, ran together toward the fruit, and then sat down together to enjoy the fruit together. When the anthropologist asked why, they replied, "Ubuntu. How can one of us be happy if the others are sad?" Ubuntu can be summed up "I am because we are."

As parts of the world first became more industrialized, later on more interconnected through transportation and media, then still later on instantaneously and sometimes anonymously connected via the world wide web, people seemed to lose awareness of our true human interconnectivity and our need for one another at basic levels of clean water, nutritious food, clean air, and community. It looks as if southern California's almost built-in literal a-no-nym-ity, or "namelessness," has extended throughout the rest of the world into every one of the more developed, post-industrial countries during the last couple decades of the twentieth century and the first two decades of the twenty-first. too frequently we read and hear about university age and younger people who have lost the practice of compassion, haven't yet learned to relate to others beyond a surface level—the result of spending every waking hour plugged in, tuned in, which actually equates to what we used to call "tuned out" back in the day.

Again this year I'm participating in blog action day from my theology blog... as the church we gather to celebrate sacraments of baptism and holy communion. With its recurring confession "I believe – I believe – I believe," the Apostles' Creed is the historic baptismal creed, but after baptism, we, us, ours become the baptismal words, as we learn to live in covenantal community. Celebrating sacraments requires human interdependence, makes working toward clean water, nutritious food, and clean air necessary. On behalf of all the world, "we" the baptized gather together to celebrate eucharist, creating a world where justice, equality, safety, sufficiency make their home, a planet without violence, without need or deprivation of any kind, a place where love and mercy reign—a foretaste of the fullness of the time of salvation promised by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, if only for a single hour at a time! In liturgical actions and afterwards, the church lives out ubuntu; at its best, the church knows none of us can be happy when others are sad—I am because we are.

blog action day 2012: #powerofwe #bad12

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