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Equipping prophetic witness.
Prof Mary Grey, one of the Speakers at CEL's "Storm of hope" conference on 7 July 2007 listed these ten points in response to CEL's phrase "Equipping Prophetic Witness"
"At the Storm of hope conference there is a panel listing four points on CEL's vision Statement.
Equipping prophetic witness.
I see equipping prophetic witness as the most important of the 4 points that CEL has declared as its blueprint for the next 25 years. This is because-
the act of doing it lets loose hope;
as well as giving a vision for practical discipleship and
in itself empowering agents of change.
But we need an enlarged vision of prophecy, namely, developing the notion of prophetic community, Prophets are not just isolated individuals - thank God we have these, men and women today - you all know them - who blaze a trail and keep vision alive. But it's prophetic communities we need, embodying the realities of the alternative lifestyle and way forward.
. 10 points:
1.We are responsible for the crisis - so the first thing the prophetic community does is call our culture to account;
2. Prophets see and imagine differently - they do not just denounce the status quo. But they resist it as the inevitable state of affairs. So, develop our prophetic imagination - refuse to accept what seems inevitable.
3. Prophetic communities are resistance communities - resistance is both secret of hope and the secret of joy. What do we resist? An economic system that seeks to preserve a way of life destructive to the earth and benefiting only the richer, fossil-fuel dependent countries
4. Prophetic communities don't sink their hope merely in obvious, technological solutions- in short term solutions like carbon trading, carbon offsetting - but in becoming transformed communities, in changing our desires, our patterns of consumption and lifestyles. Looking for deeper solutions.
5. Recognise the deeper cause- split between science and religion to the detriment of both.; Religion tending to speak in abstractions and or to be individualistic/ privatised. Not to address the whole of life. A deep wound to our cultural soul with this split.
6. Science has been allowed to develop with limited ethical concerns and values, instrumentally; letting the genie out of the bottle without calculation of the consequences - eg atom bomb, nuclear weapons. Or, thinking of its vocation as giving evidence - while letting other people act.
7. Change our idea of time. Think earth time - not time between elections, or time span of liberal capitalism, not even the time of our life-time. But generationally. Indigenous people encourage thinking in 7 generational span. Goddess religions do too.
8. Develop the Liberation ethics focus on vulnerable people to make the focus now vulnerable life-forms, the life of the planet itself.
9. Cultivate deeper connections with each other, the human and non-human and with communities that are the victims of climate change. Prophetic communities rebuild and sustain broken connections. Broken connections between human/non-human; but also between rich and poor nations, especially where the brunt, the real suffering of climate change is being experienced. Prophetic communities are where there is space to listen to the stories and to develop a compassionate response.
10. Rediscover Christian story as Earth story - What kind of theology sustains prophetic communities? Belief in God's providence, the mystery of God's continuing care. Reclaim the Wisdom traditions.where we acknowledge that we have scarcely begun to understand the wisdom embedded in creation for millions of years before we came on the scene.
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