The Tennessean offered an article this week on the 40 Days of Prayer sponsored by LEAF. 

I read that over 2,000 people subscribed to the daily emails.  Forty Christian communities across the state volunteered to submit a prayer.  GINI's prayer was emailed out on the 27th day.  St. John's Episcoal Johnson City offered one on the 30th day. ( Other groups involved with GINI may have also submitted and I missed them.) 

For me, not only reading the prayers individually were a good meditation, reminding me that my to-do list should begin and end, and be punctuated by, prayer and listening.  It was inspiring to see different cities and denominations and names of churches day after day.  There really are people, all across Tennessee, who believe that "only God should move mountains".

A haiku prayer for the New Year:

Our Earth, so aged
yet renewed with each sunrise.

Renew us, too, Lord.

--Candace Wyman, St. John's

And from Carol Landis of GINI:

 Today, members of the Green Interfaith Network from upper East Tennessee, are praying for creation…

O Most Holy, we are truly blessed to enjoy the mountains of our region. They are an important part of our history and our culture, and an icon of Tennessee. Our mountain treasures have been recognized by the National Park system and National Forest Service, enjoyed by hikers and nature enthusiasts from around the world, and served as an inspiration for countless artists, songwriters, and spiritual leaders.

Help us to find strength in each other as we confront those who wish to forever change the landscape that we have come to love and enjoy. Help us to persist in making our voices heard. Please unite us in accomplishing this very important task. Bring us together to speak in ways that are clearly understood and that will positively affect those who can safeguard our precious mountains from blasting, now and into the future. Help us to stand firm to protect our natural heritage: the creeks, streams, forests, slopes, and wildlife that define our region and refresh our spirits.

Help us, especially, to stand together and provide support for those who are most likely to be affected by changes in air and water quality if our mountains become re-shaped piles of rubble. We know that broken rock reduces streamflow because it allows water to permeate deeply. Although the shape of the surface may be restored according to a permit, we understand that the natural systems that were in place at the surface can never be re-established. Water passing through the broken rock delivers materials downslope that were not exposed before the disruption. Help us to prevent that desecration of the Earth and the resulting delivery of toxic materials into the air, streams, and valleys below.

We also understand that we must work together to create and maintain a high quality of life for all inhabitants of this region, now and into the future. We seek your help and guidance as we strive to resolve our differences, and find ways to be more conscientious about our uses of energy so that our actions today do not jeopardize a healthy environment for all who follow. Teach us to be good stewards of the Earth and help us to be mindful of the needs of others as we make decisions each day. We can do this, with your help. Amen.

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