Blessed Tomorrow leader, Dr. Joel Hunter and co-author, Susan Barnett, illuminated an interesting theme found in Pope Francis' Encyclical, Laudato Si. Turning his focus toward water, Pope Francis demonstrates the imperative to care for the vital source that fuels the human body, and as Pastor Hunter points out, the human spirit.
Whether it's to perform Wudu (Islamic ablution) or a Christian Baptism (Christian Ablution), water plays a vital role in symbolizing a purification of the spirit. It is imperative to religiously ritualistic traditions around the world, and still, an even greater need remains. Millions of people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water, a certainty that has forced faith leaders such as Rev. Hunter to think deeply about the impact of our daily behavior.
Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor of Northland Church, is a proud supporter of climate action in the faith community. His persistence in morally guided climate talks is one of the many reasons we are proud to have him leading the Blessed Tomorrow family. To hear more on faith and climate, consider attending Coming Together in Faith on Climate, where Rev. Hunter along with many other leaders will share their drive to act for God's creation.
Pope Francis’ much-anticipated encyclical, "Laudato Si'" ("On Care for our Common Home,") was a problem for climate change skeptics and a gift to those who fear the impact of climate change, especially on the poor.
These two camps seem to be worlds apart. Yet a thread that runs through the encyclical is something that everyone can agree on because it is the thread that runs through life itself. As the pope wrote in his encyclical, it is “indispensable for human life and for supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems," and that is water.
Water is also the single symbol shared by all religions. Not just Catholics — but all Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Baha’i, Zoroastrians, Shinto, Daoists and many more have relied for millennia on water to perform ancient rituals – from cleansing to blessing.
Throughout Laudato Si, water runs deep. Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, a research and policy group dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing water problems, took a comprehensive look at the encyclical and the threat of what the pope calls "water poverty”: