Earth & Spirit Center
Welcome to the Earth and Spirit Center! We would like to tickle your consciousness
with periodic ideas that promote an ethic that the Earth and its inhabitants are sacred, and
that we must act accordingly. This involves issues large and small, in thought and in
daily practice. It means our stewardship of the land and its resources, finding ways to
reduce our individual and organizational ecological footprints, and enlarging our
connection and care of the other beings on the planet. We ask you to share your insights
and practices that will help others live lightly on the Earth and care more about its
inhabitants, thus enriching yourself and the Earth..
The new year and the Lenten season inspire many of us to make changes in our lives that
may involve exercise, weight loss, kindness, discipline, and other ways intended to make
us better persons. What if we take this season to look at our lives in terms of the large
and small ways that really matter in the realm of Earth stewardship? We all like to point
fingers at industry and business polluters, and individuals with conspicuous consumption
habits, but there is still that issue of three fingers pointing back at us when one finger
points at those whom we consider ecological offenders.
Sometimes our small habits are wasteful of resources, and we just haven’t recognized our
thoughtless waste of resources. This week when a group was meeting at the Earth and
Spirit Center we noticed that there were several disposable water bottles in our recycling
bin. Yes, we urge our participants to recycle everything, including the food scraps, and
provide cups that may be used and washed; so why these bottles? There is something so
fundamentally illogical and wasteful—and expensive—about buying one-use bottles of
drinking water in an area where the public water supply is excellent in taste and purity.
This issue touches our sensibilities in other areas as well.
At the same time we were pondering the issue of water bottles at our center, we received
a call-to-action from several religious groups, urging us to take a pledge to boycott plastic
disposable water bottles. Sr. Sharon Dillon of the Franciscan Federation, put this
perspective on one-use water bottles: ―There are communities around the world without
clean, drinkable water while large corporations earn hefty profits by selling a resource
that should be affordable to everyone.‖
In Louisville, the Louisville Water Company has given out 1.8 million re-usable sports
water bottles since 1997. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Listed below
are some interesting tidbits on bottled water from the Think Outside the Bottle campaign:
Seventy-four percent of Americans drink bottled water, and one in five drinks
only bottled water.
Worldwide, consumers spent $100 billion on bottled water in 2005.
Each year more than 4 billion pounds of PET plastic bottles end up in landfills or
as roadside litter.
Making bottles to meet Americans’ demand for bottled water required the
equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil last year – enough fuel for more
than 1 million U.S. cars for a year - and generated more than 2.5 million tons of
If you would like to join the boycott of bottled water, you can take the pledge to “Think
Outside the Bottle” at the following website: http://www.thinkoutsidethebottle.org/.
Here’s What’s Happening
at the Earth and Spirit Center
We have some exciting plans for the coming months and seasons, and we are pleased to
share some of these Earth Care activities with you. Let us know if you would like to be
Gardener Holly Clark is expanding our organic vegetable garden by cultivating an
ecosystem of biodynamic learning opportunities providing experiences for children and
adult participants to nurture their wonder and reverence for the natural world. The goal is
that they will become more involved in the production and use of healthy food, part of
which will provide food for low-income families. Specific components of the project
Raised bed vegetable and herb gardening
We invite Earth and Spirit members and friends to participate by contacting 452-2749 or
Low Carbon Diet
Any serious dieter knows that you've got to count calories. If we're serious about fighting
global warming, we have to start counting "carbs," as in carbon dioxide. That's one of the
main ingredients causing global warming. So here is your chance to start on a "low
carbon" diet. By making specific, targeted changes to actions we take every day, we can
be part of the solution to the problem. Using the textbook Low-Carbon Diet by David
Gershon, participants will learn ways to reduce their carbon emissions by 5,000 pounds –
Five Mondays-April 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12
• Instructor: Phyllis Fitzgerald
• Location: The BARN behind the
1924 Newburg Road in Louisville, KY
• Suggested donation: $30.
Includes cost of textbook
No one is refused for lack of funds.
• For more information: contact Ms. Terry Schuhmann, weekdays from 9:00-3:00 at the
Passionist Monastery 502.451.2330
2008 Nature Explore Summer Day Camp for Kids
June 23-27, 9:00 a.m. to noon. Nature Explore is a program of fun and education to
help children connect with the Earth. It is designed to awaken a sense of awe and wonder
as children are introduced to the beauty of nature, the joy of gardening, and the basics of
nutrition. Campers will explore together in age-appropriate groups led by trained guides.
Through games, instruction, and hands-on learning experiences, a child will be guided
through self-discovery to develop an appreciation for this wonder-filled planet we call
Our Present Courses in 2008
Four 10-Week Meditation Courses are now in session.
Meditation for Beginners - ―Encountering the Inner Christ‖ began on February 2
and continues on Wednesdays through April 23, 10:00-11:30 a.m. OR 7:00-8:30
Meditation for Experienced Students - ―Integral Spirituality‖ session, began on
January 26th and meets for 10 Tuesdays through April 2, 10:30 a.m.- noon OR
Embracing the Life We Are Given (A Five Week Cosmology Course)
A Sense of Belonging: Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. through March 6.
Enneagram: Introduction to a Sacred Psychology
Part I: Learning the Enneagram; the Enneagram & Self-Discovery, Saturday,
February 16, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Part II: Transformative Dimensions; the Enneagram & Spirituality, Saturday,
April 12, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Conversations that Matter: Discussion courses may be held at the Earth and Spirit
Center, churches, homes, businesses—anyplace where inquiring minds unite.
Eight Mondays, 10:30 a.m.-noon, through March 31 at the Barn.
At the Earth & Spirit Center - Nine Mondays, 6:30-8:00 p.m. through
March 24 at the Barn.
Healthy Children, Healthy Planet
Global Warming; Changing CO2URSE
Choices for Sustainable Living
Discovering a Sense of Place
Globalization and Its Critics
Low Carbon Diet – How to Lose 5000 Pounds
Five - Wednesdays at St. Paul United Methodist Church February 13 - March 12
Five - Mondays at the Earth & Spirit Center – April14 – May 12
Church Renewal Programs
Caring for God’s Creation; Embracing the Life We Are Given
A spiritual formation and education program conducted at a church, it opens on a
Sunday, and continues two or three evenings during the week. It is designed to
facilitate a spiritual awakening through proclamation and prayer.
January 27 St. William Catholic Church
February 10-12 St. James Catholic, Elizabethtown, KY
April 12-14 Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
Spirit in Action
For if there is to be a livable world for those who come after us, it will be because we
have managed to make the transition from the Industrial Growth Society to a Life-
sustaining Society. When people of the future look back at this historical moment, they
will see, perhaps more clearly than we can now, how revolutionary it is. They may well
call it the time of the Great Turning.