I am certain that today thousands of congregations in both Canada and the United States will be praying for the residents along the Eastern Seaboard of both countries whose lives were thrown into chaos in the past ten days by two different storm systems. Hurricanes Fiona and Ian devastated regions accustomed to strong weather events but both were probably the strongest ever for the affected areas. In Florida, where the governor has forbidden state employees from publicly using the term "climate change", the financial cost will be in the tens of billions and there is a human toll as well, both in loss of life and a sense of place.
We can't describe this as the "new normal" because it is likely the harbinger of even greater weather extremes around the globe, for which we are ill-prepared. Climate scientists regularly remind us that climate change doesn't create weather events but it accelerates and amplifies them, resulting in lengthening droughts and intensified rainfall.
This is the final Sunday for Creation Time or the Season of Creation which began on September 1st and concludes Tuesday with the Feast of St. Francis, patron saint of ecology. The Creator may have the whole world in God's hands, but our future depends on our taking hold of the responsibility to care for all of Creation, rather than what it really reckless self interest.
Port aux Basques, Newfoundland
Sadly, many of the congregations in the affected communities will not be able to gather for mutual solace and strength because of the damage to their buildings and lack of electrical service. I'm thinking of my cousin and his family in Fort Myers, Florida. Their home survived Ian's onslaught but his wife is a church-goer and its hard to imagine that they'll be worshipping today.
On this World Communion Sunday we can appreciate that there is no "us and them", "here or there", when it comes to the climate emergency. As we celebrate the Lord's Supper or the Eucharist we are in communion with all Christians, all humans, all living beings.
Fort Myers, Florida