October 15, 2019
Caring for the Earth Linked with Social Justice Issues
A new book presents the Scriptural underpinnings for a “just and loving treatment of the living world, including humanity,” and calls upon persons of faith to be “good stewards who heal, help, free, protect, preserve and restore—leaving this planet a more beautiful and just place to live.”
Spiritual Help in Hard Times: The Bible’s Hope for Life on Earth is structured as “Ten Sessions for Group Study.” The author, the Rev. Owen D. Owens, says the book is intended for people who are members of local congregations and their leaders. “The book has two purposes,” Owens says, “to provide help from the Bible for you in hard time, so that the Spirit of the living God may strengthen and guide you through all of life’s challenges and opportunities, and to call you to follow the living Christ in making the part of the Earth you touch a better place to live.” Owens is co-chair of the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care.
“Good stewards rightly manage God’s household for the good of all,” Owens writes. “As we pray, work and speak together, crossing the boundaries of race, class, gender and nation, drawing without compromises on the deep traditions of our respective faiths, we come to appreciate each other.”
Owens has been active in environmental conservation throughout his life. He helped start and chaired the Eco-Justice Working Group of the National Council of Churches of Christ and co-founded the Valley Forge (Pennsylvania) Chapter of Trout Unlimited. A resident of Kendal at Longwood, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) adjacent to Longwood Gardens in scenic southeastern Pennsylvania, Owens is chair of the Kendal Nature Conservancy. He earned a doctorate in the sociology of religion from the University of California, Berkeley, and the Graduate Theological Union.
The Rev. Thomas Carr, co-founder of the Interreligious Eco-Justice Networks of Connecticut, says that Owens’ book is “a vital resource for congregations to explore the biblical foundations for their work in the emerging creation care movement. As Christians and people of all faith traditions come to recognize that protecting God’s planet and all life within is a sacred task, these Bible studies will help ground them in the ancient and ever-new calling to be faithful stewards of life.”
The paperback book can be purchased online for $10 from Amazon.com.