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East Shares "Leaps and Bounds" with ESR Community

“I’m here today because I’ve realized that our economy not only fails to provide for the basic needs of humankind, it also refuses to regard the limits of the Earth -- our home and life support system. Progress has upped the anty, and now our bulging bubbling economy is leaving a heavy footprint,” shared Tevyn East, as she began her keynote performance for the 2011 ESR Spirituality Gathering.

As she spoke, danced and sang, Tevyn raised the questions, “Is my gain linked to someone else's pain?”, “What happened with our relationship to Earth?”, and “How does faith speak to our relationship with Creation?” An intimate group of members from the ESR, Earlham and Richmond communities were inspired, brought to laughter and tears, and pushed to think about the connection between faith and global environment. Tevyn concluded by sharing the idea of resurrection, as it relates to God’s creation:

“Resurrection is all around me. I can’t imagine not believing.
The dormant Oak tree in winter, springing forth new foliage;
The clear cut redwood forest re-sprouting from its roots;  
The llanos of Columbia within the ecovillage Gaviotas reforesting barren plains and resurrecting indigenous plant life; creeks, birds and beasts.”

She charged the audience to consider their place and part in our “global economy” and to think of ways they can push their own comfort zone and make changes to impart a positive affect on the lives of others and on the earth as a whole. Many talked about the idea of “community” and how joining together to share resources, bo th tangible and intangible, such as food and parental support, could help alleviate the strain we collectively put on the earth.

Following the keynote, attendees chose from a variety of workshops that contributed to the theme of the day. Activities such as yoga, dance and art were mixed with Taize chant, journaling and conversations around the topics of eco-spirituality and economic discipleship.

The day ended with the group gathered in a circle and led in song and reflection by Tevyn East and ESR student Linnea Stifler.

As with every year, it was a time for introspection, connection and renewal. Thanks to all who contributed by volunteering, presenting workshops, and attending! For more information on Tevyn and The Affording Hope Project, visit affordinghopeproject.org.