Saturday, September 1, 2012

HIVE ll: GROUP PROCESS


 GROUP PROCESS – 12 Steps to Action:



A structured group process for creative problem solving, facilitated by someone who can write everyone’s thoughts on flip charts and guide participants through the steps below, can help move diverse groups to action.



1. Two or more people start the HIVE.

 

Jerry Lee Miller in sun glasses and Kevin Miller, thinly disguised as a clown, “Connected the Dots of Climate Change” and then formed our Lancaster HIVE.


2. One is Convener and Task Owner. Jerry Lee Miller has been an environmental thought leader for years. He has recruited our HIVE and he is our leader and guide.


 

Jerry has been very active in the Tar Sands Action, organized by Bill McKibben to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline. None other than NASA climate scientist James Hansen declared "It's essentially game over for the climate!" if the dirty Alberta tar sands oil is extracted and burned. Jerry was arrested with 1250 others during a 2 week period in front of the White House, including several from Lancaster,York and Harrisburg PA.  He then organized 2 buses from central PA to join the Surround the White House demonstration on Nov 6, 2011. Above, Jerry in DC.


3.  Another serves as process facilitator. Kevin Miller has been a consultant/facilitator to Fortune 500 companies for 22 years and now uses those skills for this cause.



Kevin is also an artist. He drew our theme posters.





4. Gather a diverse hive of worker bees. Offer coffee, drinks, food, music, toys, art, paper and pens. Ask all participants to introduce themselves and express a goal. Write everyone’s goals numbered up front.


5. Rules of the Road for Brainstorming:



To avoid speeches and encourage rapid ideation, it is wise to offer and enforce Rules of the Road.


6. Everyone gives ideas in 7 to 10 words. The facilitator stays out of content and writes what is said without editing or judging at all.


 

Encourage offering all ideas to the facilitator for writing on flip charts so that no ideas are lost. Ask participants to report the content of side discussions.


7. Circle and initial ideas to develop. Each participant selects one or more wish ideas to write up in more detail as Concept Sheets.




8. Write Concept Sheets.




Each participant writes Concept Sheets including: A.) A short title for the concept, B.) The name(s) of the author(s,) C.) “What is the idea?” — words right off the flip chart or new words, D. “How would the idea work?” — more details, next steps, etc. Kevin can draw rapid images such as these to provide concreteness to ideas.



9. Report Back Concepts to the group. If there are artists present, ask them to draw rapid images to go with each numbered Concept. Create a display wall.




10. Advisory Group Vote on Concepts: Give each participant 5 or 10 stick-on dots to put next to their 5 - 10 favorite concepts.


11. Nominate Concepts for Action. Each person may nominate a concept or cluster of action concepts. Team names. Next steps.


12. Regular HIVE Support Meetings: Teams report progress and/or problems with various projects. The HIVE offers creative problem solving and support. Cohesiveness is important. Accept different approaches to activism within the HIVE. Don’t waste time arguing about those differences. Just act!




THEME POSTERS help define the task and inspire group ideas







Themes for posters were identified in conversation with key players in the HIVE about core issues and needs, prior to our second brainstorming session. 



The cover poster for this document was inspired by Bill McKibben’s 7/19/12 Rolling Stone article, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math,” and served as our central theme image for the HIVE’s ideation sessions.



http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719

August 24,2012 Jerry arrested in front of White House, One of 1250 in the Tar Sands Action, led by Bill McKibben.
Photo by Steve Liptay

Contact Jerry Lee Miller to start a HIVE in your community. jerry_miller@verizon.net

HIVE of Planet-Loving Activity


“HIVE of Planet-Loving Activity”

Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Responds to Bill McKibben’s Message



TABLE OF CONTENTS:

·      Cover letter from Jerry Lee Miller to Bill McKibben and 350.org
·      HIVE Action Projects (distilled from our 44 Concept Sheets)
·      Group Process (and Theme Posters)
·      Our 44 Illustrated Concept Sheets
·      Initial “Wish Brainstorming” Idea Lists (prior to writing Concept Sheets)

HIVE ACTION PROJECTS:





HIVE participants produced 44 illustrated concepts for “Earth-Loving Activity” in Lancaster (See Group Process.) Our last step before planning action was to nominate eight concepts or clusters of concepts that we felt would be most compelling to implement. We selected action teams and scheduled some meetings. 

1. ARTS
  • Concept #1, Fossil Fuel Free Festival: A festival of artists, musicians, storytelling, dance -- weekend at various Lancaster venues.
  • Concept # 34, Climate Change Cantata: Combine already written songs (about Susquehanna, fracking, etc) and do history or have a story line about climate change. This "show" could be performed throughout Lancaster or at schools, with a handout of practical ideas to the audience.
  • Team: Jerry, Tovie, Paul, Kevin -- Jerry will schedule a meeting.

Jerry Lee Miller playing flute at an open mic event. He is passionate about moving the public to action through the arts.

2. ORGANIC FOOD
  • Concept # 44, Guerrilla Gardening/ Seed Swaps/ Seed Savings: Grow food everywhere. Do vertical gardening in apartments/houses in city and use every space possible to grow food. Reconnects us to nature in the city while taking back our empowerment from corporate mega-markets, and reduces waste. Organize seed swaps to create variety and contact in community.
  • Concept # 27, Rush on Organic Foods: Create a rush on buying all organic foods off the shelves at one Giant supermarket in Lancaster. Choose one day and orchestrate with up to 100 people + so by day's end these shelves are empty. Repeat this action 2 or 3 times at different Giants in the area. Wrap it up with a media story about organics.
  • Team: Kate, Brandon, Tom

3. SPIRITUAL
  • Concept #21, Prayer Circle Turns Climate Change Flash Mob: Prayer Circle of 500 people in Brunswick Square downtown Lancaster, to draw awareness to climate change. Staged for 3 to 5 hours. Once each hour everyone does a flash mob dance to appropriate songs and then goes back to sending out prayers. Bring chairs and signs. Arrange chairs in concentric circles. Advance sign-up.
  • Concept # 13, It's Our Kids' Planet: Spread the spirit of saving the planet in a way that touches people -- e.g., it's our kids' planet. This could be done with art contests, music, festivals, etc.
  • Concept #29, Lancaster County Religious Leaders: Engage and educate the religious community of Lancaster County regarding the urgency to preach, pray and practice climate change awareness.
Jerry Lee Miller ministers through music in his church
  • Concept #2, St. John's Letters to the Earth: Interest St. John's in becoming advocates for anti-fracking and  MDGs. Form groups around each cause identified. Create a book of art, stories, St. John's Letters to the Earth.
  • Team: Jerry, Spencer, Tom, Deb, Paul
Toys, art, food, music, dance & creativity exercises help groups to invent and move to action. These eight concepts are still in a rough beginning stage. Project Teams will meet to discuss what they actually plan to do, and the eight concepts will evolve. Each Project Team may expand or shrink. The full HIVE will review each team’s progress and offer support.

4. COMMUNICATION
  • Concept #36, KickStart a Billboard!: Design billboards. Have a group vote on designs. Put it on KickStarter to fund it.
  • Concept #17, Buy a Radio Station: Buy a radio station and only report news that isn't reported by the mainstream media.
  • Concept #42, Create a HIVE of Planet Loving Activity e-Book: "How to Make Lancaster, PA and Your Community into a HIVE of Planet Loving Activity." Make all these concepts into a Kindle e-book.
  • Team: Kate, Kesse

5. THE MESSAGE
  • Concept #20, Citizens' Climate Lobby: Initiate a Citizens' Climate Lobby group in Lancaster for Fee & Dividend legislation. Empowerment, democratic involvement, united action.
Steve Izzo is involved in the Citizen’s Climate Lobby and would like to start a chapter in Lancaster to promote Fee & Dividend legislation.
  • Concept #18, If Not Now, When? If Not Us, Who?: Mass media campaign to publicize urgency of climate crisis. Unite Hollywood and musicians (Musicians United for Safe Energy -- Jackson Brown, etc) to fund and to raise grass roots action to influence policy makers. Use celebrity magnetism.
  • Concept #39, Develop Bill McKibben/ 350.org Relationship: The time is ripe and McKibben has the nation's ear. Let's amplify his message and develop a synergy between 350.org and the HIVE.
  • Team will meet Sunday Aug 26, 5:30pm: Jerry, Spencer, Steve, Kevin, Tovie(?)

6. NATURE CONNECTION
  • Concept #19, Susquehanna Smiles: Susquehanna River Awareness Walk -- come to the river at a time of crisis. The Susquehanna smiles as inhabitants flock to her banks. Banners costumes, long-term walk along prime locations of the river in designated locations -- ceremonial activities -- healing activities.
  • Concept #26, Creating Community in the Forest: Encourage local residents to spend time in a wooded environment, promoting appreciation, stewardship and humor.
  • Team: Sarah H., Kesse, Tovie, Deb
Sarah Henry (4th from left) is organizing a Susquehanna River Walk at a time when our river is in crisis.

7. PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS
  • Concept #38, Electric Car Project: (to be planned with Brandon Hollinger's Leadership.)
  • Concept #35, Wind Turbine; Solar Array: Get a vote on the city government ballot to buy, create and make it happen -- bond to pay for it rather than raising property taxes.
Brandon Hollinger has been converting internal combustion engine cars into electric cars for years.
  • Concept #37, Recycle for Life!: Huge recycling festival to raise awareness of the importance of recycling to sustaining the economy. Art contest from recycled materials. Fill a huge object with clean recyclables. Recycled object companies come and share their wares.
  • Team: Brandon, Kesse, Tom, Steve, Spencer

8. TARGET SEGMENTS with SOLUTIONS
  • Concept #32, Soccer on a Parched Field: Speakers' Bureau -- Contact women's organizations and educational institutions, to raise awareness about the urgency of the climate crisis. Women sense urgency better and connect to safety of their families. Counter the deniers' position.
  • Concept #29, Lancaster County Religious Leaders: Engage and educate the religious community of Lancaster County regarding the urgency to preach, pray and practice climate change awareness.
  • Concept #22, Magic School Bus: Local high schools/ colleges take 1,000 people by bus to discuss environmental concerns -- organizations led by students and concerned individuals -- speakers/ presentations about relative problems.
  • Concept #13, It's Our Kids' Planet: Spread the spirit of saving the planet in a way that touches people -- e.g., it's our kids' planet. This could be done with art contests, music, festivals, etc.
  • Concept #6, Home School After School: Develop home school or after school program about climate change, fracking, gardening, non-violent civil disobedience, etc. Show the movie "Gasland" to core group of teachers, one or more with K-12 certificates. Kids write climate songs and poems.
  • Concept #2, St. John's Letters to the Earth: Interest St. John's in becoming advocates for anti-fracking and  MDGs. Form Groups around each cause identified. Create a book of art, stories, St. John's Letters to the Earth.
  • Team: Susan, Kevin, Jerry, Steve (possible initial conversation Sunday evening Aug 26?) 

Project Teams, your project definition is still evolving. Resist the temptation to interpret your concept cluster literally. It belongs to you. Let it evolve and change according to what will work and have the most impact in the real world. Be creative in your approach to developing your project. Bring in additional team members, if it's appropriate. Expand your project, shrink it, or change it as needed.

Courage! Creativity! Compassion

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Day for BOLD Love. Not a Time For The Timid.


On a hot August morning last summer I sat down in the middle of Pennsylvania Ave, the White House at my back.


I turned to my left to see many men and women sitting or kneeling beside me. I turned to my right and saw still others, some with grey hair some just teenagers. Pivoting my head, I turned to see the people standing on the sidewalk behind me…a scientist from the DC area, a restaurant owner from Philadelphia, several students, and a chimney sweep from New York. There were 53 of us waiting to be arrested along with a couple dozen supporters who planned to get up and leave before the arrests were made.


An officer walked to the middle of the street, bullhorn in hand, to issue a warning that we would be arrested if we did not move. Just before he spoke, Amanda, a recent college grad from California who sat immediately to my right, turned to me and said " There's no better place we could be anywhere in the world right now than right here."


Over the course of 2 weeks in late August and early September, 1,253 people agreed with Amanda and were arrested at that site. Each of us, men and women, young and old from across the US felt the need to take a stand to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.


For me the compelling factor…the reason I stepped up… is the need to stop and hopefully reverse climate change. "The earth is a house that is made for us all" (as Streetbeets sings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVbydpZDTSg), but currently 200 species go extinct -permanently disappearing from our

house each day -mostly due to global warming.


Global warming ,as I'm sure you know, is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels as well as other industrial activities and land destruction.


Do you know what's happening in the tar sands under much of northern Alberta, Canada in an area the size of the country of England or the state of Florida?


Oil companies literally scrape away the living forests (among the most pristine natural areas in all the world) and scrape away the soils. Then they dig out the sand, taking about 2 tons of sand for every barrel of oil they produce. Next massive amounts of water drained from nearby rivers are used to wash the oily bitumen out of the sand- several gallons of water for every gallon of oil produced- leaving a toxic water-oil byproduct that kills fish, birds and indigenous people living in the area.


"If you simply hated the land and wanted to destroy it, you would be hard pressed to find a more vicious way of doing it" say the authors of Deep Green Resistance:Strategy to Save the Planet.


After the bitumen is washed from the sand, huge quantities of natural gas, much of it fracked in my home state of Pennsylvania, are used to cook it into a synthetic oil.The energy required means that oil produced from tar sands produces 5 times as much greenhouse gases as conventional oil.


That's why James Hansen, chief NASA climate scientist, warns that if the Keystone XL Pipeline is approved it's essentially 'game over for the climate'.


Now listen again to what Amanda said to me as we sat on Pennsylvania Avenue waiting to be arrested: " There's no better place we could be anywhere in the world right now than right here."


I believe she was correct on that day. But where would I need to be today for Amanda to say the same thing to me? Amanda's assertion has become my daily challenge.


Could it also become yours?

"Where's the 'no better place' you need to be right now? Where does the earth, (the water, soil and air) need you to be? Doing what? What do the creatures need you to be doing today?Tomorrow? How about our fellow humans and the next generation? What do they need from you?


Feminist poet and essayist, Adrienne Rich, wrote


try telling yourself

you are not accountable

to the life of your tribe

the breath of your planet


Isn't this all about love? Love for your neighbors of all species? Love and accountability, right?

Your love and sense of accountability may lead you to a different place than where my love and sense of accountability leads me. But it won't allow you to be passive.

One thing I know. These are not days for the timid. These are not the times for half measures. At the State of Our Earth 2012 Conference in Baltimore last month, Dr. Susan Shaw ,a marine toxicologist and Doctor of Public Health

warned us that "This is not a political issue. It's a survival issue! The next 10 years may be as important as the next 10,000 years!"


Yes! This is a time for bold love!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Prayers From The Dust



Psalm 90:3 You turn people back to dust, 
 saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.” 
4 A thousand years in your sight 
 are like a day that has just gone by, 
 or like a watch in the night. 
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death— 
 they are like the new grass of the morning: 
6 In the morning it springs up new, 
 but by evening it is dry and withered.

(from Oct 23, 2011 sermon at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster)


One year ago I retired after 30 years of ministry in the Church of the Brethren.

One year ago I began growing this beard.

One year ago I decreased my carbon footprint considerably, since I had been commuting over 100 miles to pastor a Brethren congregation in McVeytown of Mifflin County, PA; a commute I had made for 12 ½ years.

One year ago I began worshiping here at CMCL.

One year ago is the last time I preached.

I promise I won't try to give you a year's worth this morning.

All I want to do is make a simple assertion. Our neighbors are praying - desperately praying - prayers from the dust. By 'prayers from the dust' , I could mean any of our prayers since the psalmist clearly reminds us that we all partake of the same humble origins.

But what I actually mean by 'prayers from the dust' are all the pleas from people who recognize their own vulnerability and even their own mortality because they are the ones who are downwind and downstream from environmental contamination.

They pray from the dust and they're not always sure anyone's listening to their prayers.

What I'm advocating is Neighbor Love;the Neighbor Love which compels us to hear these pleas for somebody to pay attention. This Neighbor Love also compels us to join our prayers with theirs and then to work together to build a legacy of clean air, pure water and healthy soil for their children and for ours.

As many of you know, I've been passionately pursuing a course of action to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline. Phase one of this action resulted in my arrest for civil disobedience in front of the White House in August, along with 1,250 others over a 2 week period.

Phase three unfolds on Sunday November 6th, when 2 bus loads of local citizens, sponsored by Transition Lancaster, head to DC to join an expected 5,000 others (in actuality 10-12,000 gathered for this) to form a literal ring around the White House. This is a legal, peaceful demonstration designed to remind our president that we expect him to do the right thing by denying a presidential permit for this pipeline which would pump dirty Alberta tar sands oil over our border, across the Ogallala Aquifer

and down to the Gulf of Mexico for refining.

Phase two was a 3 minute testimony I gave at a State Department hearing on October 7th which was processing citizen input on the issue. I advocated Neighbor Love as a basis for determining what's in the national interest. If you don't mind, I'd like to go back to phase two for a moment to quote myself:

"My citizen's testimony to the State Department hearing on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline." October 7th, 2011

LOVE… a 4 letter word. I hope you're okay with my using it.

Like many of you, I've been taught to love my neighbor as myself.

In 30 years as a pastor, I made the principle of neighbor love the core…the heart of my ethical message.

I don't know if you've considered LOVE as a basis for determining the national interest, but if you could consider it for just a moment I'm sure you'll be persuaded.

In my ministry I visited thousands of hospital rooms where hurting people went for treatment; people like you and me subject to bodily breakdown due to a host of causes, known and unknown. I've also conducted hundreds of funerals for people whose earthly lives ended, as all human life does and as each here someday will.

I've seen that each illness, each injury and each death impacts other people- those whom afflicted people love and those who love them. You and I suffer as individuals, but our suffering causes others to suffer as well.

It's good that we are connected in this way.

Because we are connected, we don't want to inflict unnecessary suffering on others. We also realize it is undesirable for some of us to profit at the expense of others' suffering. This brand of profiteering is the opposite of neighbor love. We all agree that it is plain wrong.

LOVE says, "This is injustice!"

I'm sure you know about the immense amount of money a few corporations and investors stand to make from this pipeline. So do the citizens currently occupying Wall Street, Freedom Plaza here in DC and a host of other US locations. They are now in the streets crying for justice and seeking a country governed by neighbor love rather than money love!

LOVE says "People over profits."

I'm sure you know about the suffering of indigenous peoples in Alberta who've seen rare deadly diseases skyrocket since the tar sands began their costly toxic extraction process.

LOVE says "No more poisoning innocent people!"

I'm sure you know that the acceleration of climate change from tar sands oil use will wreak untold suffering upon the people of our nation, perhaps even your own loved ones. The number of billion dollar weather disasters in the US this year such as flooding, fires and tornadoes are unprecedented and this trend will likely grow worse.

LOVE says "Stop climate change while you can!"

The likelihood of BP type spills from ruptured pipelines over the nation's heartland threatens the fresh water drinking supply for 20 million people!

LOVE says "Find a better way!"

I'm sure you want to find that better way for all our people. Find it before any more loved ones suffer unnecessarily.

LOVE says," THIS is in our national interest!"

++++++++++++++++++++

You might say that was my plea on behalf of our neighbors who are praying from the dust. We have so many such neighbors!

Praying neighbors like farmer Bruce Kennedy of East Smithfield,PA in Bradford Co. This past summer Bruce constructed a sign and then erected it in the center of town. On that sign is Bruce's literal handwritten prayer:

DEAR GOD

Oh Lord Please save Our Town

I love my earthly home

(1) 6" Pipline (sic) leak(1)DIESELFUELSPILL

(1)HYDRAULIC FLUIDSPILL

(2) BROKEN HEARTS

HOME OF OUR GRANDCHILDREN

Please help, I ask in Jesus name,

Collins Rd - Okis Acres Farm - Bruce D Kennedy

+++++++++++

"This farm has a lot of heritage in my family," he explains."It means a lot to me." His land is leased out to Chesapeake Energy for natural gas drilling. 3 separate accidents on his property provoked him to display this prayer on a homemade sign in the middle of his village.

In Bruce Kennedy's prayer is a universal quest. We each want this. Even though we may be dust, we want to leave a legacy. Perhaps that's what the psalmist had in mind when he ended Psalm 90 with: "Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands."

Can we hear what Farmer Bruce Kennedy is seeking? Can we hear his prayer from the dust?

Or, how about the prayers of 3 men from the Gulf Coast area where toxic logs they call 'tar logs' are constantly washing up on shore ever since the BP oil spill. I've seen these logs. I've smelled them. You don't want to.

They're about a foot in length and 3 inches in diameter. They're made of 'dispersed' oil, sand and a chemical dispersant called Correxit.

Correxit, owned by BP, was banned in the UK a decade ago. BP used their own banned poisonous product to 'clean up' their mess.

Back to the 3 men; John, Chuck and Andre. They, and 12 other Gulf Coast residents drove 1,300 miles to Washington DC in August of this year to meet with three different federal agencies…hoping someone would hear their prayers from the dust.

This contingent of desperate people were told to go to the food court in the Ronald Reagan Trade Building. As they sat around tables in the food court, a woman from the National Institute of Environmental Health & Safety (NEIHS) walks up to the table- no introductions- and begins to pass out pamphlets.

I read now from an unpublished account written by Lancaster resident, Jack Basille, who was with them as an independent journalist.

"I leaned over and whispered to John, "Tell me this isn't the meeting..." Before he could answer, I saw the pamphlet. It was a hand out from the NEIHS informing the reader of how the Institute has, and is continuing to help make the environment safer. "John's look said more than he ever could. It was at this point that I realized what these people were up against. Earlier in the day, Charles had told me that they had driven almost 1,300 miles to take part in these meetings. Now they were here, discussing not only their future, but the future of their children, in the midst of the confusion in a crowded lunchroom. The meeting was so difficult to follow due to the background noise. A man named Andre spoke up, asking this woman about the dispersant. "I was in charge of a clean up crew in the gulf, and I want to know what I can expect having been sprayed with that stuff." He turned his arm over and opened his fingers, "These scars go the whole way up my arm. In fact, these tattoos are to cover up the scars." I looked closer, and underneath the black ink in his skin, I saw what looked like numerous cigarette burns on his fore arm. The woman answered. However, it was all but impossible to understand her. I looked over at Chuck. Tears were streaming down his face. "What should I do about my son? He's played in the water after we were told everything was clean! What can I do for him?" It was heartbreaking to see a 6'3" 320lb man begging for any hope for his son. The woman swallowed her bite of food before responding, "The best advice I can give you is to get him a genetic test. The damage to the genes is instant and permanent, so get him tested." Chuck stood and walked from the table. It seemed as if he shut down as he disengaged himself from the meeting."

Can we hear the prayers of THESE neighbors? Can we hear their prayers from the dust?

Finally, one more prayer from much closer.

You may have heard that Pennsylvania has the nations fifth-worst smog. You may have heard hat Lancaster County is the 10th-smoggiest midsize metro area in the country. This is because Pennsylvania is a 'tailpipe state' and in Lancaster County we are at the end of the tailpipe. That is, we are the recipients of airborne pollution emitted by Midwestern power plants.

"As bad as that is," the Intelligencer Journal tells us, "it could soon be worse. The US House of Representatives recently passed the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act, or TRAIN Act." (Congressman Joe Pitts who represents the 16th District which includes all of Lancaster County voted in favor of this )

According to the Intel editorial, this act "prohibits the implementation of existing clean-air regulations and would delay the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing mercury and cross-state air pollution rules" causing an "additional 25,300 lives lost due to smog, soot and air pollution, and an additional 11,000 heart attacks.

"The new mercury standard alone would cut health care costs significantly by preventing up to 120,000 asthma attacks in children per year and lowering the risk of brain damage in the unborn.

"Infants and children are the most susceptible to asthma attacks because they breathe more rapidly than adults and because their immune systems and organs have not matured."

With that as background, I ask you to hear the prayers of 5 women from southeast Lancaster, all mothers of young children. Their prayers from the dust can speak to you through a conversation they had at an educational event a few months ago.

One mother says, "I'm having a rough time concentrating today because I had to take my 10 month old to the hospital yesterday with an asthma attack."

A 2nd mother says: "My child died from an asthma attack."

A 3rd mother says: My 12 year old has asthma, too."

We can all figure out what these mothers are praying, can't we?

But can we hear them? Can we hear them praying from the dust?

Can we hear all those urgent prayers of neighbors who are downstream and downwind from environmental contamination?

Can we ask, "What does Neighbor Love require?"

Can we ask, "What can we do together to leave a legacy of clean air, pure water and healthy soil for all our children and grandchildren?"

"Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the works of our hands."


photo by Thadd Acosta,Lancaster,PA.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Draw Me A River




DRAW ME A RIVER
A Song by Jerry Lee Miller

Open up your box of crayons
my children.
Draw me a river clapping her hands.
Draw her dancing through the bottom lands.
My children,
Draw me a river clapping her hands.

Please don't color mountains crying
tears that flow downstream.
Please don't color fish a dying.
I want to wake up from my bad sad dream.

Please don't color dumpers dumping
Stuff that's killing off our friends.
Please don't color  massive pumping.
I just want my sad bad dream to end.

Please don't color pretty choirs
Singing it's not so bad.
Please don't color fancy liars
Saying we should all be glad.

Open up your box of crayons
my children.
Draw me a river clapping her hands.
Draw her dancing through the bottom lands.
My children,
Draw me a river clapping her hands.