The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 1
UN Climate Change Summit (COP15) Copenhagen, December 2009


Oh What Fun! Interfaithism in action as well as an example of churches Going Green.


from November 12, 2009:

Church bells to ring out warning on climate change

The World Council of Churches on Thursday called on churches around the world to ring their bells 350 times during the Copenhagen climate change summit on December 13 as a call to action on global warming.

The leading council of Christian and Orthodox churches also invited places of worship for other faiths to join a symbolic “chain of chimes and prayers” stretching around the world from the international date line in the South Pacific.

“On that Sunday, midway through the UN summit, the WCC invites churches around the world to use their bells, drums, gongs or whatever their tradition offers to call people to prayer and action in the face of climate change,” the council said in a statement.

“By sounding their bells or other instruments 350 times, participating churches will symbolise the 350 parts per million that mark the safe upper limit for CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere according to many scientists,” it added.

The chimes are meant to start at 3.00 pm local time in each location.

The WCC brings together 348 Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches representing about 560 million Christians in 110 countries.

The Council of European Bishops Conferences, which gathers Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops, is also supporting the campaign, according to a letter released by the WCC.

The UN summit in the Danish capital on December 7 to 18 is meant to produce a new global treaty to broaden cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change, but the negotiations are still riven by disagreements.

The WCC acknowledged that plans for a bell ringing campaign have stirred controversy.

In some countries, the question has been raised whether churches have the right to use their bells for what may be considered to be a political campaign,” said Guillermo Kerber, WCC programme executive on climate change.

“Those who support the campaign see the care of creation and of people’s lives and livelihoods threatened by climate change more as an ethical and spiritual issue that, of course, has political implications, not in a partisan sense but referring to the common good,” he explained.

Church bells to ring climate alarm as faith joins science in Denmark

When church bells start ringing in Copenhagen, and all around the world, on Dec. 13, they will not be heralding an early arrival of Christmas. Rather they will peal out a call to action and prayer to respond to impending climate change.

More than 100 world political leaders, as well as faith leaders and supporters of action to deal with climate change, are converging on the Danish capital. There a crucial United Nations meeting began on Dec. 7 to set the international agenda on climate, so that the city can live with the nickname of Hopenhagenthat it has been given by one group of campaigners.

On Dec. 13 before participating in a climate change service, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and activists from around the world will present a global petition to Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. [...]

Mingling and working with many of the activist groups will be representatives of major faiths, including bishops, imams, rabbis and priests. During the 11 days there will be workshops, services and protests.

Churches will chime in with their main attempt to awaken the world about the need to look after the planet, by sounding their bells or other instruments 350 times at 3 p.m. wherever they are. [...]

Some are linking the climate action with their traditional Advent celebrations, that precede the celebration of the birth of Jesus around Dec. 25. The Evangelical Lutheran Epiphany Church in Hamburg, Germany, is to invite children to draw stars of hope while the bells will be rung and 350 drum beats will be sounded ahead of the congregation’s Advent concert. [...]

One delegation of world religious leaders, led by the U.S.-based Global Peace Initiative of Women, will travel to the Copenhagen meeting to discuss how the religious community can mobilize action against climate change.

They will participate in a series of workshops, including “A new partnership between science and religion,” “Sacred activism – mobilizing spiritual communities to address climate change,” and the “Moral dimensions of climate change.”

Will church bells toll for the climate?

The bells of world’s churches are set to toll on Sunday afternoon in a bid to raise awareness about climate change but in Switzerland, many will stay silent.

The Geneva-based World Council of Churches (WCC) calls climate change an ethical and spiritual issue but the mass bell ringing, endorsed by Switzerland’s national church federations, has been rejected by the largest regional Protestant groups over questions of politicking. [...]

“We are convinced of the importance of the climate conference but we are certain that ringing bells is nothing more than a publicity stunt. We want results, not just publicity,” Thomas Gehrig, spokesman of the Bern-Jura-Solothurn churches told swissinfo.ch. [...]

Catholic and Protestant aid organisations are also behind a counter proposal to say a prayer for the climate – a move which does have the backing of the umbrella organisations like the Bern-Jura-Solothurn churches.

Prayer

According to the agreed text, Christians across Switzerland should pray on December 13 for an agreement in Copenhagen so that “threatened life on the planet can breathe a sigh of relief”.

While church leaders may be divided on how best to raise awareness of climate change, they are united on the urgency of the issue.

“What is being discussed in Copenhagen is really one of those that impacts humankind, and in particular the future of the poorer parts of the world,” Beat Dietschy of the Protestant charity Bread for All told swissinfo.ch…

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Why should religious people be involved in the climate change debate? And how should religious people, particularly Christians, view themselves in relation to the earth and God, the creator of the earth?

These two questions were part of three presentations at a 90 minute “side event” called “Renew the face of Earth: Faith-based approaches to climate justice,” held Monday, 14 December during the United Nations climate change negotiations, CPO 15, currently underway in the massive Bella Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“We know the problem,” Joy Kennedy, a member of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Working Group on Climate Change and the United Church of Canada, said at the event organized by the WCC and Caritas Internationalis.

Kennedy offered the first presentation in the faith-based side event. In her talk she carved out the moral issue of climate change to the more than 140 people who packed the meeting room to standing room only. [...]

Kennedy said there is a need for some global housekeeping. The church needs to move from a theology of dominance, where for the sake of climate justice “we need to find ways to replace greed with an economy of enough.”

In order to change that way we think, Kennedy said, there is need for confession, repentance and restitution. “We have a bad habit, a belief in a theology of dominance that humans rule over the earth. Well, I have to tell you, sisters and brothers, it is past time that we confess that.”

In exchange for the theology of dominance, Kennedy said, a theology of humility is needed. And now more than ever there is a need for making ethical and moral choices that benefit the whole creation, she added.

click here for the rest of this article and click here to listen to mp3s of the three presentations…

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get a load of *this* church service:

I’ve spent the last few years working more than full time to organize the first big global grassroots climate change campaign. That’s meant shutting off my emotions most of the time—this crisis is so terrifying that when you let yourself feel too deeply it can be paralyzing. Hence, much gallows humor, irony, and sheer work.

This afternoon I sobbed for an hour, and I’m still choking a little.I got to Copenhagen’s main Lutheran Cathedral just before the start of a special service designed to mark the conference underway for the next week. It was jammed, but I squeezed into a chair near the corner. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, gave the sermon; Desmond Tutu read the Psalm. Both were wonderful.

But my tears started before anyone said a word. As the service started, dozens choristers from around the world carried three things down the aisle and to the altar: pieces of dead coral bleached by hot ocean temperatures; stones uncovered by retreating glaciers; and small, shriveled ears of corn from drought-stricken parts of Africa. As I watched them go by, all I could think of was the people I’ve met in the last couple of years traveling the world: the people living in the valleys where those glaciers are disappearing, and the people downstream who have no backup plan for where their water is going to come from. The people who live on the islands surrounded by that coral, who depend on the reefs for the fish they eat, and to protect their homes from the waves. And the people, on every corner of the world, dealing with drought and flood, already unable to earn their daily bread in the places where their ancestors farmed for generations.

Those damned shriveled ears of corn. I’ve done everything I can think of, and millions of people around the world have joined us at 350.org in the most international campaign there ever was. But I just sat there thinking: It’s not enough. We didn’t do enough. I should have started earlier. People are dying already; people are sitting tonight in their small homes trying to figure out how they’re going to make the maize meal they have stretch far enough to fill the tummies of the kids sitting there waiting for dinner. And that’s with 390 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere. The latest numbers from the computer jockeys at Climate Interactive—a collaboration of Sustainability Institute, Sloan School of Management at MIT, and Ventana Systems, is that if all the national plans now on the table were adopted the planet in 2100 would have an atmosphere with 770 parts per million CO2. What then for coral, for glaciers, for corn. I didn’t do enough.

I cried all the harder a few minutes later when the great cathedral bell began slowly tolling 350 times. At the same moment, thousands of churches across Europe began ringing their bells the same 350 times. And in other parts of the world—from the bottom of New Zealand to the top of Greenland, Christendom sounded the alarm. And not just Christendom. In New York rabbis were blowing the shofar 350 times. We had pictures rolling in from the weekend’s vigil, from places like Dhahran in Saudi Arabia, where girls in burkas were forming human 350s, and from Bahrain, and from Amman.

more at the previous link…

some photos of the Ecumenical Celebration for Creation at Copenhagen Cathedral during the UN Climate Change Summit, COP15, 13 December 2009:
[ corn photo | coral photo | stones photo | Bishop Sofie Petersen holds the stone while Reverend Tofiga Falani holds the coral | more here ]

Here are some mp3 interviews of youthful participants in the “March For Climate Justice” in Copenhagen on December 12, 2009. By clicking on that link, you’ll be able to hear 18 year old Cecilia Hage from Stockholm, Sweden compare the fight for “Climate Justice” with Noah being ridiculed when he built the Ark… but Noah eventually succeeded, just like these brave Global Citizen marchers will one day triumph over us Climate Deniers.

dying to know what Jim Wallis’ Sojourners Magazine had to say? here’s just a little snippet:

I was in the small Massachusetts town of Sherborn, near Lexington, not long ago, and there were a dozen men, women, and kids standing around the bell rope, taking turns pulling, 10 rings apiece. But here’s the thing: It was a Saturday afternoon. And they rang the bell 350 times.

It was a test—a test of a kind of global emergency alert system that we hope to put into full effect on another Saturday, this October 24. In fact, I’m going to try and explain why pulling that bell 350 times may be the most useful thing your church can do to deal with climate change, to help avert the rapid unraveling of creation.

THOUGH YOU MAY not have yet heard, 350 is the most important number on earth. A year ago, our foremost climatologist, NASA scientist James Hansen, published a study showing that the maximum concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere compatible with the “planet on which civilization developed” and to which “life on earth is adapted” is 350 parts per million. That’s a tough number, because we’re already past it (the air around you right now holds about 387 parts per million CO2). It explains why the Arctic has melted with stunning speed the last two summers and why the pH of the oceans has shifted dramatically just in the last decade. Global warming, it turns out, is not some future problem. It’s here, right now, breaking upon us.

the writer says this towards the end:

AS I PULLED on that bell rope in Sherborn, I thought of a trip to Bangladesh a few years ago, which was suffering its first big outbreak of dengue fever, a cruel disease now ripping through the poor world as global warming expands the range of the mosquito that carries it. I got it while I was there, and was sicker than I’ve ever been—but I was strong and healthy going in and so I didn’t die. Lots and lots of old and young and weak people died, and here’s the thing: They’d done nothing to cause climate change. The four percent of us who live in the U.S. produce a quarter of the world’s CO2—we are, quite literally, killing our neighbors, drowning them in rising seas. When I pulled that rope, I felt like I was sounding an alarm on their behalf.

Correct. They’d done nothing to cause climate change. But if you leftists hadn’t fallen for Eco-Fraud Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” book, DDT would still be in use and millions of people would still be alive… not having died from mosquito-borne diseases like Malaria and Dengue Fever…

It seems we also have Rachel Carson to thank for unleashing Al Gore upon us.

In an answer to critics who contend his commitment to the environment has wavered, Al Gore on Saturday visited the home of Rachel Carson, whose book Silent Spring prompted Gore’s interest in the environmental movement.

“Rachel Carson is one of those rare individuals who brought about change in all of our lives,” said Gore.

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Here’s but a sampling of the many, many youtube clips of churches ringing their bells 350 times:

@@@ Cambridge church bells ring for climate change

“At 3:50 p.m. on the 350th day of the year, Harvard Square churches rang their church bells 350 times to bring awareness to global warming. Local churches have joined the campaign to set a global target of 350 parts per million carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The current CO2 level is approximately at 387 ppm.”

@@@ 350 Memorial Church Harvard rings its bells 350 times

“Memorial Church at Harvard rings its bells 350 in solidarity with other churches in Harvard Square on the 350th day of the year (12/15/08) at 3:50pm in the afternoon to draw attention to the number 350. 350 is the sustainable level of parts per million of CO2 that our planet must drop to (currently at 387) in order to mitigate against global warming. Check out Bill McKibben’s http://www.350.org and join us in this critical work!”

@@@ Zion United Church Bell Rings for Climate Change

“Zion United Church in Armstrong rang their church bells 350 times, along with other churches around the world. The bell ringing event is intended to warn us of the global climate change issues.”

@@@ Climate Justice bell ringing, Leiden, the Netherlands

“A small parish church rings the bell for the climate.

The koster is wondering what the painter of the church (1920′s) would have thought about this…”

@@@ 350 bells

“Hancock Church in Lexington, Mass., rang its bells 350 times at 3:50 p.m. on the 350th day of the year, Monday, Dec. 15, to raise awareness about climate change issues. See 350.org for more information.”

@@@ 350 org at Old Steeple

“Old Steeple Community Church, Aquebogue, NY took part in the International Climate Action Day sponsored by 350.org by ringing the church bell 350 times to alert the community to the dangers of too much carbon in the atomosphere and the need to do something about it.”

@@@ 350 bells to seal the deal

“Churches around the world rang their bells in a united call for a Fair Ambitious and Binding climate deal in Copenhagen.”

@@@ 350 bell ringing dec 13 09

“Gathering at Unitarian Church of Calgary on December 13 2009 to ring bells and thumb drums 350 times in support of 350.org’s call for the Copenhagen conference to develop a treaty that reduces carbon dioxide levels to 350 ppm.”

@@@ The Bells of 350 At St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral In Denver

“The church bells chimed, and they rang 350 times, for the life of the earth.”

@@@ “Now That’s A 350 Bell Choir”

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more on that church service with the coral and corn:

from Australian Andrew Bolt’s blog at the Herald Sun:

The Sydney Morning Herald’s alarmist Marian Wilkinson is awed by a religious ceremony that should have the rational either laughing … or scared::

SLOWLY, carefully, the Reverend Tofiga Falani, from the tiny nation of Tuvalu, walked down the long aisle of the Copenhagen Cathedral, holding in his arms a piece of bleached dead coral from the Pacific Ocean. With him came the Reverend Suzanne Matale from Zambia clutching dried-up maize from Africa and Bishop Sofie Petersen, from Greenland carrying stones uncovered in the melting glaciers of her ice-capped home.

As a thousand worshippers sang All Creatures of Our God and King, the three religious leaders from far-flung corners of the world joined scores of bishops and priests who gathered in Copenhagen’s most famous church on Sunday to pray for the planet and for the politicians who are disputing its fate.

This invention of new rites of neo-paganism is oddly familiar:

1000 of our “best and brightest” flew to Canberra to tell the Rudd Government precisely how to run our country… Indeed, you could almost hear their group omming from the moment the summit opened, as a sacred ice cube from deep Antarctica was presented for worship while didgeridoos groaned.

another paragraph from that article by Marian Wilkinson called “When the moral argument went mainstream”:

The Reverend Henrik Stubkjaer told the overflowing crowd in the cathedral the bleached coral was brought to Copenhagen as a symbol for the rising sea temperatures, the dead maize for extended droughts and failed crops, and the stones for the melting polar worlds. “Lord” he called, “we lay in your hands these symbols of your suffering creation. Forgive us our part in the destruction of your carefully balanced world, our home and community. Help us heal and reconcile your earth…”

from the WCC website:

Theecumenical celebration, attended by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, members of the Danish government, participants at the UN climate change summit and a plethora of religious leaders, was hosted by the National Council of Churches in Denmark in collaboration with DanChurchAid and the World Council of Churches (WCC).

In his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams spoke about fear as the root of excuses to avoid the difficult and costly decisions that the climate change crisis requires – “decisions that will mean real change”.

“We meet as people of faith in the context of this critical moment in human history [to say] do not be afraid”, Williams said. As “love casts out fear”, it also helps to take “the right decisions for our global future”.

In order to ensure that the earth is a safe home for future generations, some questions need to be asked today, said Williams. Amongst them: “What would be a healthy and sustainable relationship with this world?” and “How shall we build international institutions that make sure the resources get where they are needed?”

some “Reflections from Copenhagen” By Joan Brown,OSF

Their sentiment spilled over into Archbishop Tutu who danced about on the stage and was so joyful as he addressed the serious nature of the work ahead. He noted that the wealthy countries say 150 billion dollars is too much for adaptation and helping the vulnerable, suffering from climate change, yet, how much was spent on the bank bail outs and on war.

He said, when God looks down and sees Darfur, Gaza, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan God is crying and asks, `Why did I create humans?`

Then God sees Copenhagen and God begins to smile and say, `Look what my children are doing. You are wonderful because you are telling politicians, and developed countries to reduce emissions…we do not want a political argument, we want a politically binding agreement. Join us, join the winning side.¨

Amidst the great live music and dancing after his speech, and presentation of the signatures, I walked to the Church of Our Lady Copenhagen Lutheran Cathedral for the Ecumenical Celebration for Creation. This most significant religious celebration of COP 15 was inspiring. I was blessed to have a very good ticket. I was in the front.

A presentation of the symbols of climate change: Glacier stones from Greenland, dried up maize from Africa and bleached chorals from the Pacific Ocean carried by children was very profound.

What a gift to hear and be a few feet from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams as his words touched hearts in the Cathedral. His was a message of turning from fear to Love. Love casts out all fear. What will move us to the right decisions is Love and not fear. We cannot show the right kind of love for humans without keeping and loving Earth as home. We are here as people of faith to speak and act strongly out of Love to address climate change. ( The text is inspiring and I am told it will be on his website.)

from a blog called Modern Hope:

Four hours later, I find myself in line stretching for blocks and blocks outside the largest cathedral in Copenhagen. The Ecumenical Celebration for Creation has announced that there will be a few hundred seats open for this afternoon’s service, presided over by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury. Slowly, the line enters the church. I am seated in the very, very back of the very, very top of the highest balcony. From there, I can see nothing without standing on my tiptoes. I can only hear, but hearing was enough. Prayers were made as bleached coral from a dying reef the Pacific Ocean, shriveled corn from a failed crop in Africa, and smooth rocks from under a retreating glacier in Greenland were sanctified and placed upon the altar. Scriptures were read about creation, about oneness, about healing. Hymns were lifted up in English, Danish, Zulu, and Greenlandic. And the Archbishop of Canterbury stood up to deliver the sermon.

looks like the coral/corn/rocks weren’t just for that one church service… here’s a blog post about another church using those same items… and here’s a photo of this church with the items:

Earlier in the day I presided at the mid-day Eucharist in St Alban’s Church, at which Ursula Sonnewald, a parishioner from Trondheim, was confirmed. Ursula and her priest, the Revd Mary Strommen, journeyed down from Western Norway for this service.

The prayer team at St Alban’s Church seems to be well into their rhythm of providing hospitality and spiritual nourishment to visitors during the period of COP 15. The team includes 3 Anglican Franscican Brothers and one Sister, as well as other clergy and laity, and is headed by the Chaplain of St Alban’s the Revd Jonathan LLoyd. One of the Franciscans remarked that Copenhagen has become a place of pilgrimage: the world is travelling here: politicians, scientists, lobbyists, NGOs, movements and just “ordinary” people. The close of the day included Evening Prayer with about 20 in attendance. The service was followed by a spiritual talk by Brother Clark SSF, the Minister General of the Society of St Francis. Brother Clark has a blog which is worth a visit.

St Alban’s, like many Churches and other places around the city, has a focus for prayer and meditation which is very symbolic: rock from Greenland, coral from the Pacific, and corn, the staple crop of many indigenous and other peoples.

this guy, whose blog is called “Eurobishop”, also has a photo of the outside of the Lutheran Cathedral where they held the “Ecumenical Celebration for Creation”…

Here’s Moderator Mardi from Moderator Mardi Tindal’s blog… She seems to really like the coral:

Bleached coral from the Pacific Ocean was the most eloquent voice in Copenhagen this week (during the Ecumenical Celebration for Creation), accompanied by glacier stones from Greenland, dried up maize from Africa, remarkable faith leaders from around the world, and words of scripture, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (Rom. 8:19).

These touched my soul, introduced me to friends in my global family, and invited me into God’s complex—and simple—healing of creation.
Not so long ago Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream about how the children of God would be revealed in his generation, making it possible for his four little children to live in a nation where they would not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.

Today I leave Copenhagen dreaming about how the children of God may be revealed in this generation, making it possible for the whole human family, as well as coral, maize, and stones to be loved and cherished now and in generations to come—no longer exploited and destroyed for the short-term benefit of a few.

from ABC News:

“Don’t be afraid!” said the archbishop of Canterbury to the packed cathedral.

The congregation stretching out below his pulpit was led by Denmark’s stately queen, Margrethe II, and a dozen clergy who included not only Lutherans but Catholic and Eastern Orthodox priests, South Africa’s Desmond Tutu and two Buddhist nuns.

But it was the children at the head of the processional signaling the start of this Ecumenical Celebration for Creation — held midway through the two-week climate summit in Copenhagen — who had set the tone.

As the organ boomed and voices soared with “All creatures of our God and King/Lift up your voice and with us sing …” up the aisle, two by two, the children led the adults.

In their hands they held the reasons for fear – strange offerings for any church service.

First, held out in the cupped hands of the first three pairs of children, were pieces of dead bleached coral from the Pacific, “a symbol of rising sea temperatures, polluted, suffering and dying ocean worlds,” as the program informed the congregants.

Then came three pairs of African children carrying cobs of dried-up African maize — “symbol of drought and desertification, of failed crops, human hunger and suffering.”

Then came children, each carrying stones uncovered by retreating glaciers in Greenland, “symbol of melting polar worlds, of rising sea and river levels, and loss of life-giving mountain water resources.”…

okay, enough of the corn/coral/rocks…

how about several more examples of COP15 interfaithism/new age/paganism:

number 1: Brahma Kumaris

COP 15 and NGO Forum

The NGO Forum has a well attended meditation each morning. This morning’s session was led by the Brahma Kumaris. Valerianne from Switzerland guided the meditation. After half an hour’s powerful meditation, there was a sharing on empowerment. At the end one woman asked how activities like mediation would impact the COP15? This gave the opportunity to speak of mind over matter, and how creating harmonious relationships influences the whole community through a new, more positive, and inclusive attitude. This different atmosphere supplies a more constructive attitude towards climate change, rather than the outbursts of anger which can be expressed.

p.s.:

Brahma Kumaris (“sisters of God”) is one of more than 800 new religious movements operating in the United States. Most are New Age amalgams of many traditions. Some, like Brahma Kumaris, are obvious spinoffs from of older religions (in this case, Hinduism).

A prosperous ascetic meditation movement based in India, with some 500,000 members (mostly women) worldwide, the group was founded by Dada Lekh Raj, a Hindu diamond merchant who in the 1930s experienced a series of powerful visions revealing “the mysterious entity of God and explaining the process of world transformation.” Its establishment was originally rooted in a desire to give self-determination and self-esteem to Indian women. Members wear white, abstain from meat and sex, and are committed to social-welfare projects. They believe in an eternal, karmic scheme of time that involves recurring 1,250-year cycles through a Golden Age (perfection), a Silver Age (incipient degeneration), a Copper Age (decadence ascendant), and an Iron Age (rampant violence, greed, and lust-our present state). The group is recognized as a nongovernmental organization by the United Nations, with which it often works.

number 2: In the Master’s Light

New moon ceremony at the NGO meeting during the Climate Summit

Wednesday December 16th at 10 AM an In the Master’s Light service will be held on behalf of Areopagos and the Climate Working Group of the National Council of Churches in Denmark. It a new moon ceremony for creation. The language is English, and the service is conducted by rev. Ole Skjerbæk Madsen and other pastors.

The new moon service is based on a Christian theology of creation and stewardship in relation to the environment. The service inspires hope using the symbolism of the moon’s increasing light up to the darkest season of the year. Songs, meditations, reflections and prayers for the Earth and its climate (in both words and symbolic actions) leads up to a concluding blessing of the Earth.

The ceremony will take place in the Yellow local hall, Onkel Danny Plads.

p.s.:

In the Master’s Light” (IML) is a bridge building ministry between Church and the new spiritualities.

The work began as spiritual gatherings in 1995 in Copenhagen. It started as an outreach from a parish church in Copenhagen in non-church premises, which were also used by new-agers. Since then the service has developed, and is held both in church buildings and in non-church premises such as libraries. At some places the service includes the Eucharist, in other places experiments take place e.g. dancing. IML at some places arrange services at full moon as a service praying for the healing of the Earth and the human race, acknowledging the concern of the theosophist and new spiritual milieu for the brother-sisterhood of humanity and the wholeness of creation. Also seasonal services are celebrated on the eight Celtic festivals.

IML is engaged at new age fairs having its own booth, praying with guests and other exhibitors. IML give workshops and lectures in New Age societies and at their activities. We have different courses introducing seekers to Christian spirituality and faith, and offer individual soul care, counselling and spiritual direction. IML arranges city retreats with different partners.

here’s the text from the New Moon Ceremony seems to be some Christian prayers mixed in with a lot of New Age and paganism

here are a few paragraphs from the “history” section of their website:

Our seminars, workshops and devotional meetings, even Communion services, at fairs are generally well received – especially those on Tarot, Kabbalah and Christian spirituality or mysticism, e.g. a two hour long tarot meditation concert, where participants draw cards and musicians played them oan I commented them.

The most successful workshops has been on the healings of Jesus and the healing ministry of the Church, and doing creational worships walking through the forest, listening the trees, letting nature speak to the heart, building an altar and sharing in the Eucharist as we will do later on this morning. Participants in the creational worship have counted shamans and eco-spiritualists, and their reaction have been that this gave them words and expressions which they would use for example in their healing garden.

For several years I have taught at the esoteric section of a neo-theosophical movement, because their leader knows that without the example of Jesus they will miss the quality of humility in their spiritual formation. I have taught on following Jesus, discipleship in the Gospel of John, the concerns of the early church and the ecumenical synods. I have found that the best opening to sharing the Gospel and the teachings of the Church is to conduct a guided meditation on a central story of the life of Jesus.

IML is also celebrating the so-called 8 Sabbaths, which are celebrated in Wicca as well as other neo-pagan groups. You will get an idea of the seasonal service when we have a short communion service in the next session this morning. These nature related services will reveal to spiritual seekers that Christians are concerned with the healing of nature and humanity, and that we are engaged in channelling the Light of God to our fellow-creatures in a practice of invocation and evocation, to use the theosophical vocabulary.

Number 3: Oh so majorly Interfaithy!

On 10 December, which is U.N. Human Rights Day, the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden held an interfaith ceremony at the Swedish Gustav Church in Copenhagen. There, Swedish Archbishop Anders Wejryd; Mustafa Ceric, who is the grand mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Rev. Grace Chung Lee, a Korean from Won Buddhist International, and Lutheran Bishop Sofie Pedersen of Greenland, took part. There was Hindu dancing, Jewish chanting, a Sufi flute and other actions for people who had signed the Uppsala Manifesto on climate change a year earlier.

info from another source:

WELCOME
The Church of Sweden and Religions for Peace together with and in Gustafskyrkan invite to an:

Interfaith Ceremony on Climate Change

Where: Gustafskyrkan, Folke Bernadotte’s Allé 4, Österport, Copenhagen
When: 10 December 2009 at 6 pm

Participating:

* Archbishop Anders Wejryd, Sweden
* Dr Mustafa Ceric, Grandmuftiof Bosnia-Herzegovina
* Venerable Dr Grace Chung Lee, Korea
* Bishop Sofie Pedersen, Greenland
* Imam Abdullah Khan, Copenhagen
* MM John Brinkman, Japan

Program

* Hindu classical dance and the lighting of the earthen lamp
* Chanting from the Jewish liturgy
* Flute and Sufi music
* Buddhist meditation
* Prayers and readings from various religious traditions
* The choir of Gustafskyrkan
* Signatories to the Uppsala Climate Manifesto

you can find a more detailed program by downloading a Microsoft Word document at this page… this detailed program says that, in addition to what I’ve earlier listed, the following also took place during the “Interfaith Ceremony on Climate Change: Hope For the Future”

*Reflection and Chanting from the Won Buddhist tradition, Venerable Grace Chung Lee, Korea
*Chanting of ancient Hindu mantra and lighting of earthen lamp for universal peace
*Recitation and singing from Guru Granth Sahib
*Contemplation from the Tendai Buddhist tradition
*Recitation of verses from the Quran, sayings of the Prophet
*Reflection, Prayer from Bosnia, Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Reading from the UN declaration on Human Rights:
All human beings are born free and equal
in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience
and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Reading from the Uppsala Manifesto:
We offer the gift of our various faiths as a source of empowerment for developing sustainable lifestyles and patterns of consumption. We undertake this mission in a spirit of humility, responsibility, faith and urgency.

p.s.:

Won-Buddhism
is a new Buddhism of Mahayana tradition; it was founded by Venerable So-Tae-San in 1916 in Korea. It has introduced practical egalitarian Buddhism to the contemporary world so that Buddhist truth might be expressed in daily life. Won-Buddhism’s three basic goals are modernization, vitalization and practical application of Buddhism

number 4: more Interfaithism as well as the New Age idea of  “the Oneness, the underlying source from which all life is drawn.”

Addressing Climate Change by Awakening to Oneness
World Spiritual Leaders Gather for the COP15 – The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen

Organized by the Global Peace Initiative of Women
December 7th – 13th, 2009
Various venues in Copenhagen

Background
Climate change poses an unprecedented challenge and opportunity for the human community. Much will depend on how we respond over the next few years. We cannot afford to leave these decisions to governments and business interests. Too much is at stake. What is perhaps most greatly needed is the guidance of our spiritual traditions, the wisdom and the love that comes from deep prayer and contemplative practice. Throughout our time together we will seek to access this inner spiritual guidance, leaving time for silence and communion. Climate change, more than any other issue, has the potential to unite us as a human community. It also has the potential to divide us. But we will succeed only if we are able to tap that which unifies so that we can come to know more deeply our Oneness, the underlying source from which all life is drawn.

To create a contemplative space for our reflections, all sessions will begin and end in silence, with periodic moments of silence between our words.

if you read this pdf which contains further info, you’ll discover that this is a joint event with the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University

p.s.:

the benign-sounding “Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW)” is actually very New Age and Interfaith

The Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) was founded to help awaken and mobilize spiritual energies in places of great need with the goal of aiding in healing and unifying the world community. GPIW facilitates this by seeking to gather together those of great insight, wisdom, compassion and dedication, many of whom are working quietly for the upliftment of the world. A major focus of GPIW’s work is to aid in building a global network of contemplative leaders who through their inner work can help transform the causes and conditions that lead to suffering at both the individual and collective level.

This work is under the stewardship of a group of women spiritual leaders and practitioners. It is GPIW’s mission to help manifest the special qualities of the Divine Feminine, or Shakti, which enables the inner transformation now required for us to meet the challenges facing the Earth’s community of life.

We stand at a crossroad and much about the future will be determined in our time. GPIW deeply believes that the perception of the unity of all religions and the awakening to the sacred in every aspect of life are essential principles for our transition to a more peaceful, compassionate and sustainable world community.

some history of the group:

In 2004, GPIW was approached by the United Nations Development Program to help in the organization of a series of youth leadership summits to help mobilize young people around the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. GPIW’s role was to bring the spiritual component and to invite spiritual leaders to engage with young people in the discussions. In partnership with the United Nations, we organized two Pan-African Youth Leadership Summits, one in Asia, one in Latin America and a final Global Youth Leadership Summit at the United Nations in New York. As part of this final program, GPIW organized a peacebuilding retreat for those young people from conflict areas, which was held at the Dharma Drum Mountain retreat center in upstate New York, with participation from the UN University for Peace. These programs were a joint effort of GPIW and the United Nations, both in organization and funding. From this process, GPIW developed a global network of young leaders that continues. Much emerged from this collaboration and GPIW subsequently went on to organize three followup programs with a greater focus on how to transform conflict by tapping spiritual resources. [...]

Over the years GPIW’s work has grown to include three basic components – dialogues with women in conflict areas, programs to cultivate spiritual resources in young people, and gatherings to deepen interreligious and interspiritual exchange around principles of oneness, interdependence and compassion. These gatherings often include a focus on the feminine principles that can help rebalance our world and create a more inclusive and caring world community.

In March 2008, GPIW organized a major gathering in Jaipur, India called Making Way for the Feminine for the Benefit of the World Community. This was a turning point for our organization. It brought the feminine principles more deeply to the center of our work, and the understanding that this rebalancing of the masculine and feminine energies is essential for the wellbeing and future of our world. This understanding has guided us in developing the program for our first Summit in the US entitled Gathering the Spiritual Voice of America to Deepen our Knowing of Oneness and our Compassion as a Nation, which will take place in November, 2008. We envision this as a national reflection on how to foster the changes needed in the national consciousness so that we can address the critical challenges of climate change, global poverty and conflict, and heal the divisions that prevent us from moving forward.

here’s a pdf which says that the GPIW brought with them “35 spiritual leaders and thinkers, environmentalists and scientists to participate in the numerous events taking place in Copenhagen around this UN Summit. The delegation will include strong representation from the Eastern traditions and include faith leaders from countries across the world, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Norway, Pakistan, Senegal, Thailand, UK, Uganda, the United States, and Vietnam.”

The pdf has quotes from many of them and most contain lots of New Age buzzwords like:

Let us create a world where all can see everyone through the new eyes of oneness, and do whatever it takes to treat each other as we treat ourselves. Let us together create a culture of development based on the principle of Non-separation at all levels of our relationship. It is in this relationship with Nature, with each other, with every person, place or thing on this planet, that we can bring into our global cultural social fabric, the awareness of “We are all one“.

Swamini Pramananda

The earth can heal herself. All we need to do is recognize the living system that we are part of and allow the healing forces to do their work.”

“Working with the Forces of Nature to Heal the Planet”

“The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change”

“We know for our individual self that real healing only takes place when our inner and outer selves are aligned, when we are nourished by our own soul and the archetypal forces within us. What is true for the individual is true for the whole. It is from the energies within and behind creation that the healing of creation will take place, because these are the beings that support, nourish and help creation to develop and evolve.

Sufi master Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

“We believe that a partnership between the spiritual and scientific communities could facilitate the breakthroughs needed to help us evolve societies that don’t degrade the Earth.”

We look to mobilize collective prayer and meditation energy, across traditions and continents, for the healing of the Earth through our panels:

The Role of Contemplative Practice and Prayer in Addressing Climate Change”

Working Collectively for Inner Transformation

Facilitating the discussions will be Tho Ha Vinh, Founder Eurasia Foundation, Acharya Judy Lief, Author, Buddhist Teacher, Dena Merriam, Founder & Convener, The Global Peace Initiative of Women and Sheikh Saliou Mbecke, Founder, Faith for Peace in Africa, Sufi Leader, Senegal.

“The duality consciousness is the basis of the distinction of ‘yours and mine’ with its multiple names like big and small, weak and strong, good and bad, black and white and dear and opponent. It’s the divine way of self-realization by which a symbol of pride, distinctiveness, superiority, possessiveness and identity transforms into a messenger of love, coexistence, humbleness, devotion, service and peace for all creations of God – being an indispensable part of divine diversity. The biggest task of the religious and spiritual leaders today is the spread of the oneness consciousness which is the foremost way of saving our planet from the dangers of extremism, war, destruction and above all environment degradation.”

Sufi Rehman Muhaiyaddeen

“Looking to the earth as our witness is like looking into a mirror that reflects back to us precisely and dispassionately our state of mind. To effectively alter our course, we need to work at many levels at once. In Buddhism this is described as turning the “three wheels” of view, practice, and action.”

Acharya Judy Lief

The emerging of awareness of the global interconnectedness – not only in the field of information and economy – but on the deeper level of Life itself, is the only hope for a qualitative transformation. Therefore the challenge lies in promoting an approach to education, from primary education to highest academic levels that cultivates, next to academic subjects, meditative practice as a basis for the inner experience of the deeper interconnectedness of consciousness with the whole universe.”

Tho Ha Vinh

The people who weren’t able to get into the official government COP15 conference in The Bella Center came up with their own public alternative version called Klimaforum09

the GPIW held their panel discussions as part of Klimaforum09…

Titles of these panels:

“Spiritual Perspectives on Climate Change”
“Conflict and Climate Change – a Spiritual Perspective”
“Sacred Activism” – Mobilizing Spiritual Communities to Address Climate Change
“The Divine Feminine: An Essential Force in Addressing Climate Change.”
Buddhist Responses to Climate Change”
“Working with the Forces of Nature to Heal the Planet”
“The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change”
Global Spiritual Leaders Gather for Prayer and Reflect on Oneness

They also offered early morning meditation

here’s a pdf of their exact program from COP15

here’s a pdf of a full list of participants…

a very quick summary: there’s a founder of a Buddhist Center, Swami/meditation teacher, Chairperson of Buddhist Global Relief, Founder of the Uganda Buddhist Centre, Director for the BuddhistResearch Institute in Thailand, Chairman of the International Association of Buddhist University, Acting General Secretary to the Supreme Patriarch of Buddhists of Bangladesh, Zen Buddhist Nun, Mystical scholar/spiritual teacher, Spiritual teacher of Shinji Shumeikai, European Director of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, International Affairs Representative for Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association, Preeminent American teacher of Buddhist meditation, President of Inner Trip Reiyukai International (ITRI), the oldest lay Buddhist organization in Japan, grandson of the Caliph of the Murid community, resident of Auroville (a community dedicated to human unity in South India), director of the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Sufi Center in Lahore, Pakistan, Teacher of Vedanta and developer of educational materials on Vedic culture for over two decades, leading scholar on the teachings of late Indian sage, Sri Aurobindo, eco feminist and author of several books including Vedic Ecology, Dr. Maurice Strong (YUCK!) Secretary General of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, leader of annual meditation retreats in the Vietnamese Zen tradition, Acting General Secretary to the Supreme Patriarch of Buddhists of Bangladesh, Co-initiator of LOS and GEN the Danish and global network of eco-villages and Gaia Education, Founder and Chairman of Gaia Trust, National Coordinator of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University in Denmark, an Ayurveda Physician (Indian Medicine)/teacher of Ayur Veda, Indian Philosophy and Meditation, Healing minister in the Church of the Resurrected Life – a theosophical church working for World Peace.

a New Age/Oneness/Interfaith EXPLOSION!!

pdf: a fine whine in the wilderness from Joan Chittister of  “the Global Peace Initiative of Women” on the Climate Conference…

pdf: some photos of the GPIW interfaith participants…
================================

okay, before we end things with some nifty Links, let’s get some promotional business over with:

The UN Meddling with Religion, Part 1
UN Climate Change Summit (COP15) Copenhagen, December 2009
Church bells ringing out warning on climate change! pagan “Christian” church service complete with altar full of corn, coral, and rocks… Eco-fraud Rachel Carson and DDT, lots of Interfaithism, New Age, and Paganism

The UN Meddling with Religion, Part 2
United Nations World Urban Forum (WUF3) 2006 Vancouver
UN participants wanting to Rezone-Out Churches and Rezone-in Interfaith Community Centers? Thanks, U.N.! David Suzuki calling us maggots, whiny eco-gal Severn Suzuki, fun with paganism, burning a 14 foot demon effigy, the child-eating Rangda leads an army of evil witches!

The UN Meddling with Religion, Part 3
The Ground Zero Imam and an Interfaith Explosion
The U.N., Glenn Beck, Temple of Understanding, Aspen Institute, reading the Koran in church, and the Ground Zero Imam… Soooo Interfaithy!!

The UN Meddling with Religion, Part 4
Obama/Hillary and Freedom of Religion vs. Freedom of Worship
What’s the deal with Obama’s use of “Freedom of Worship” instead of “Freedom of Religion”?

The UN Meddling with Religion, Part 5
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC
The Grand Procession of the Ghouls, Blessing of the bicycles, the creepy Peace Fountain, The Peace Altar, Paul Winter’s Earth Mass and Summer/Winter Solstice concert, Blessing of the Animals, Rev. Dr. James A. Kowalski, The Temple of Understanding, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, William Irwin Thompson, The Lindisfarne Association, Madeleine L’Engle, Rev. James Parks Morton, United Nations Sunday, and Christa: a crucifix depicting Christ as a woman… and more!

The UN Meddling with Religion, Part 6
UN Climate Change Summit (COP16) Cancun, Nov/Dec 2010
The Invoking of Ixchel, lots of meditating/Circular Dancing/and Sacred Sunrise Ceremonies, Mayan Mania/drama at Chichen Itza/and a whole bunch of fun with Brahma Kumaris… Mother Earth is the lady of the hour and boy do those Indigenous Peoples sure know how to complain…

The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 7
1992 Earth Summit in Rio
Invoking Iemanja the “goddess” of the sea, Shirley MacLaine meditating with the Dalai Lama, John Denver crooning, Shamans threatening Bush Sr. with that Shamany thing they do best, drinking hallucinogenic tea, thanking bananas as they are eaten, Maurice Strong and his wife Hanne and her Wisdom Keepers keeping up a constant drumbeat throughout the proceedings, John Kerry (of Vietnam fame) making a love connection!

The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 8
Actual Evil Within the United Nations
Lucifer-revering New Age Theosophy/ the UN Meditation Room/ Lucis Publishing Company used to be named the Lucifer Publishing Company? Really??/ Theosophy groups meditating inside the UN Meditation Room according to the changing of the moon/ the Lucis Trust evil prayer The Great Invocation was once published in Reader’s Digest? Really??/ UN’s General Assembly room contains a being called The Avatar of Synthesis? Really??/ UN Catholic chapel and Interfaith chapel.

The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 9
Cooperation Circles and the United Religions Initiative
Bishop William Swing and his United Religions Initiative/webs of Interfaith Cooperation Circles/Wiccan Donald Frew and his traditional Wiccan foundation blessing while Bishop William Swing joins in and raises his arms in invocation. Sigh.

Thanks to the Faith and Freedom Institute for the link!
================================

::ENDLINKS::

350.org

the UN’s site for the 2009 Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen
America’s COP15 site
Denmark’s COP15 site
COP15 Twitter

World Council of Churches 350 page
learn about several Interfaith activities that the WCC was involved with at the Copenhagen climate conference

time now to go back to *that* church service for the final time:
The
Ecumenical Celebration for Creation hosted by The National Council of Churches in Denmark in collaboration with DanChurchAid and World Council of Churches… you can download the full text of the Liturgy here as a Microsoft Word document… including the sermon by The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams… or you can snag a less detailed version in pdf form here

youtube: Live webcast in Copenhagen by Lord Christopher Monckton and Americans for Prosperity gets crashed by Eco-zombies who can’t stand free speech
youtube: watch The Truther Girls talk about the “Copenhagen Agreement Flop”
youtube: Raw Video: Mass Protest in Copenhagen
youtube: Climate Refugee Camp Flash Mob at Copenhagen
youtube: Copenhagen Protest Turns Violent: Hundreds Arrested
youtube: travel guide to Copenhagen
youtube: Climate in Copenhagen turns sour
youtube: the scaremongery opening film shown during the opening ceremony entitled “Please help the world”
youtube: how proud and lucky these girls must feel…
knowing that their singing will be helping to bring an entire planet back from the brink of extinction… (the Danish National Girls Choir at the COP15 Cultural Opening Ceremony, December 7, 2009.)

from Tim Blair:

Actor Danny Glover believes that the Haitian earthquake was caused by climate change and global warming:

((youtube clip))

Says Glover: “When we see what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen, this is the response, this is what happens, you know what I’m sayin’?”

Sarah Palin twitter posts:

#1: Copenhgen=arrogance of man2think we can change nature’s ways.MUST b good stewards of God’s earth,but arrogant&naive2say man overpwers nature
#2: Earth saw clmate chnge4 ions;will cont 2 c chnges.R duty2responsbly devlop resorces4humankind/not pollute&destroy;but cant alter naturl chng

an article: about Greenpeace protesters dressed as ninjas who scaled the Sydney Opera House to unfurl a banner… and a foot-stomping protest by little baby poor countries who walked out of talks because they were cranky over the Kyoto protocol being dumped…

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