Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thirsty - and Running Dry

This Saturday evening, as part of the Spilling Hope project at Bethany Community Church, we'll be sponsoring a showing of the film, "Running Dry", followed by a panel discussion about the global water crisis. I was at Fred Meyer one afternoon recently and was thoroughly seduced by a demo model of a surround sound system for our living room, reduced to $150 for the whole system. I hesitated to buy it because it looked to complex for me to assemble on my own, deciding instead to go home and talk it over with my wife after previewing "Running Dry".

The film was the death blow to the sound system. There was no way to justify buying it after seeing what a substantial difference $150 could make for people on the very edge of survival. Running Dry surveys the water problem via a global tour of the continents, showing how the unique geophysical and political challenges of each region contribute to this global crisis. Unlike energy, there are no alternative sources for water other than... well, water. It's a finite resource, increasingly facing challenges due to climate change and pollution. Throw in the reality that some countries can confine water within their boundaries by diverting the flow away from their neighbors (who are often their enemies) and you have a recipe for disaster.

It doesn't take much investment, though, for real answers. The change from our collective lattes can save lives, and build foundations for health, which of course if the precursor to education, economic development, and ultimately, hope. And that's just with latte change. Throw in a few bucks diverted from surround sound, or whatever, and you can really start to see something happen.

It's easy, for many of us, to write a check. It's harder to seek a deeper understanding of the problem - but understanding leads to empathy, and empathy leads to real transformation, not just 'over there' but in our own stewarding of the precious resources entrusted to us as the wealthy of this world. We have an opportunity, a responsibility, to make a difference. It begins with seeing the problem. If you can... check out "running dry", along with a panel discussion of water and development experts who will answer questions. Discover the challenges and opportunities that are ours at this amazing moment in history.


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