...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Clean Coal- It's Radical

Words lose all meaning sometimes.

My favorite oxymoron of late is "clean coal." Having had my childhood years in Ohio, where coal based electricity was common, I'm flabbergasted by this term. Would anyone care to inhale your daily supplement of mercury laced ash, courtesy of the local, coal-burning power plant?

The fresh water supply in Appalachia effects much of the country's water. Efforts to "clean up" coal rely on disposing what's left of the clean up (a variety of sludges) and this stuff trashes fresh water supplies, ground water, with high levels of toxins like lead and arsenic. It takes land and then ruins it for generations. Sort of the strip mining of the new century.

Makes you think about the way we use words in church, and how some may hear them as self-contradictory. Yet we go ahead and use them. Although most in the church don't hear it this way, virgin birth is by definition a paradox. How about "radical" used in almost everything the church does today? Which leads to the church of the extreme middle!

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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