Art For Life … The Rest of the Story

Blacklock Cliffs

 

We are killing our planet!  Our oceans are a prime example.  I am becoming more aware of  how detrimental plastic is to our environment.  And I will be the first to confess that I too have been guilty.  Did you know that over 200 billion pounds of plastic are produced worldwide each year and that only 4 to 7 % is actually recycled.   Plastic pollution now affects at least 267 species worldwide.   These are photos of pollution that has washed ashore:

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100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die yearly from entanglement.   There are estimates that marine debris kills 1 million seabirds a year.   80% of marine debris comes from land via street storm drains, waterways, and rivers that eventually empty into the ocean.   Apparently we Americans use approximately 1 billion disposable shopping bags that create 300,000 tons of waste each year.  Fish and birds confuse the debris for food.  Plastic has moved into the food chain!  Plastic is not biodegradable.  It eventually breaks down to the size of plankton.

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Fish bites can be seen from marine animals mistaking the plastic for food.  This can be deadly by blocking their digestive tracts and reducing their ability to absorb nutrients.  In addition plastics contain contaminants … a toxic meal.  Scientists on research boats mid-ocean have opened fresh caught fish and found pieces of plastic in their stomachs.

An ocean gyre (jahyur) is a large, slow spinning vortex of ocean currents caused by trade winds.  There are five major gyres in the world’s oceans pulling plastic garbage from every continent and churning it into bite-size pieces for sea life.  It is estimated that 11 million tons of plastic ride the North Pacific Gyre between Asia and North America eventually washing ashore on beaches or breaking down to microscopic pieces.

Art 101-Bandon

 

When we were on our annual spring trek to Bandon by the Sea in Oregon earlier this year we became aware of the Washed Ashore Project.  All this information is from their exhibit in Bandon and their website.

Artist and director Angela Haseltine Pozzi leads the Washed Ashore community in creating large-scale sculptures of the very sea life that is threatened by the marine debris.  Communities, schools, and state parks gather the debris off of the beaches.   They are then washed, sorted, drilled, cut and processed into art supplies.  Only re-purposed plastic debris found on beaches are used in Washed Ashore art.  

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The Project has impacted the lives of over 1 million spectators.  The exhibit features massive sculptures.

Washed Ashore

 

100’s of volunteers have processed over 4 tons of plastic pollution into art supplies.  Washed Ashore’s traveling educational exhibit of sculptures continues to spread the message internationally.   Activity/Action Books and Curriculum based on Washed Ashore’s Marine Debris Awareness Program can be ordered through their website.

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Use less plastic.  Bring your own water bottle and mug with you.  Use cloth or canvas grocery bags.  Buy in bulk.  Refill containers.  Reduce and re-use whenever possible.  Recycle.  Contact Washed Ashore to start a Satellite Project in your community.  Each one of us can make a difference.

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Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature …” (Gen. 1:28).

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory above the heavens.  From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

Bandon Stars

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?  You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:  all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.  O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”  (Psalm 8)

Bearing in mind that ruling requires constant care and wisdom let us each do our part to help preserve our planet … God’s creation.

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A New Command; Easter 2013

After Jesus identifies Judas as the betrayer and sends him out he addresses his disciples:

“Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him.  If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son himself, and will glorify him at once.  My children, I will be with you only a little longer.  You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now:  Where I am going, you cannot come.”  

“A new command I give you:  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”    (Jn. 13: 31-35)

The Embrace of Love

 

This is painting I noticed walking through the Vatican Museum last year while “Chasing Francis of Assisi”.  It caught my attention because I thought Pedro Cano was able to create the heart felt emotion of a loving embrace between two men, Pope Paul II and Cardinal Wyszynski.

I came from a family that never hugged or outwardly showed loving affection.  But with time well spent around my wife’s family and in our “Christian family” circle I have come to truly appreciate a hug.   We all need to be valued and accepted as we are.  And I believe that we as individuals are beginning to love one another … no matter what church we are attending … nondenominational, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic, Franciscan ….

But what about our various church denominations and their leadership?  Are our churches really exhibiting the love of Christ?  Does the “world” know the collective “body of Christ” by the love we have for one another?  Are we working together in our communities to help the poor, feed the hungry, and house our homeless??  Could we not accomplish so much more for Jesus by working together?  


Jesus is alive!  “Peace be with you.”

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Let us break bread together.

The Emmaus Meal

 

And love one another.  “The most excellent way.”

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.  But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain:  faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.”     (I Cor. 13)

“Do this in remembrance of me.”

St. Brigida Communion

 

“This, this is the God we adore, 

  Our faithful, unchangeable friend,

Whose love is as great as his power,

And neither knows measure nor end.”    Joseph Hart (1712-1768)

How can we understand such a deep, infinite, compelling, and transforming love?  I can not but only begin to comprehend it in the very same love He has lavished on me through my family and friends.  Thank you for your Living Word … may my will be washed in submission … yielding and rejoicing in Heaven’s best for the sake of others and for the glory of your name.  Amen

Have a blessed Easter.

The Lord’s Prayer

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And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.  Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

 

This, then is how you should pray:

 

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from the evil one,

for yours is the kingdom 

and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

 

Matthew 6: 5-13

The Path of Life

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Stand at the crossroads and look;

Ask for the ancient paths,

Ask where the good way is, and walk in it,

And you will find rest for your souls.    (Jeremiah 6:16)

 

Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

To the house of the God of Jacob.

He will teach us his ways,

So that we may walk in his paths.   (Isaiah 2:3)

 

Teach me your way O Lord;

Lead me in a straight path.   (Psalm 27:11)

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge him,

And he will make your paths straight.   (Proverbs 3:5&6)

 

I run in the path of your commands,

For you have set my heart free.   (Psalm 119:32)

 

In the way of righteousness there is life;

Along that path is immortality.   (Proverbs 12:28)

 

You have made known to me the path of life;

You fill me with joy in your presence,

With eternal pleasures at your right hand.   (Psalm 16:11)