As most of you will know, as I write my home town of Brisbane is facing the worst flood that they have ever experienced:
Please pray for all those in Brisbane preparing for the floods, for calm and for safety; pray for those throughout Queensland who have loved ones missing or for those have lost those they love.
Australia faces flooding and the United States is receiving the worst snow storms and coldest weather on record – simply a fluke of nature, or evidence of climate change? Now more than ever the responsibility of humankind to act is evident. We must act as one in order to make a difference to this beautiful and God-given world.
Despite catching a minor cold and needing more rest over the last five days or so, Julia and I have managed to get and out see a number of different people and organisations. Evensong at the National Cathedral http://www.nationalcathedral.org/ with the choir of men and boys last Thursday was absolutely beautiful. Also visited, the National Aquarium http://www.nationalaquarium.org/ and the White House Visitors Centre.
During our visit here, we have had the opportunity to take part in two Jewish events. The first, Tikkun Leil Shabbat http://tikkunleilshabbat.blogspot.com/ , is a beautiful progressive liberal service with music and singing in a circle. This lay-led movement includes a social justice talk within it and a vegetarian pot-luck dinner at the conclusion of the service.
The second service I attended last night. A Taste of Tu b’Shevat was run by the “Kayamut/Sustainability Circle” held in Silver Spring Jewish Centre http://ssjc.info/. This was a “preview” of the “festival of the trees” which has become an environmental event within the Jewish tradition. This event featured a meal-type service held at a table which uses a number of fruits accompanied by blessings. It is a way of meditating on the sources of our food and of giving thanks to God for the blessings which come from our food. It was an eye-opening reminder of how we need to appreciate the food on our tables and how it has come to be there.
Tomorrow we head back to Los Angeles, stopping briefly in Denver, Colorado. We’ll be in L.A. for three days before heading back home on Saturday U.S. time. Love and peace to all back home. Chris and Julia.