Posted by: davenlu | November 13, 2009

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Read the founding statement for the Faith, Economy, Ecology, Transition coalition (FEET).

See the list of 80+ signing organizations. 

Sign on to the statement.

View a reading of the statement with accompanying photos, click here.

Read and comment on our draft Ecological and Economic Principles.

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Posted by: mariannedc | April 15, 2015

Shifting to a Life-Sustaining Society

By Marianne Comfort

Eco-philosopher Joanna Macy’s invitation to cultivate active hope in challenging times is energizing the Sisters of Mercy’s justice coordinators’ work of unmasking and addressing the underlying causes of our main justice concerns and the interconnections among them.

The Sisters of Mercy are committed to protecting Earth, standing in solidarity with immigrants, practicing nonviolence, responding to racism and embracing our particular concern for women. We are increasingly realizing that at the roots of all of these is an economic-political system that is destroying vulnerable people, communities and cultures and Earth.

We find Macy’s framework for engaging with challenging issues extremely helpful: first grounding ourselves in gratitude, then honoring our pain for the world, and out of that “seeing with new eyes” and taking action.

Part of “seeing with new eyes” is acknowledging the three realities that Macy asserts are operating in our time: (1) Business as Usual, in which people see little need to change the way we live; (2) the Great Unraveling, which can be paralyzing as people dwell on the resulting disasters they see all around them; and (3) the Great Turning, which involves engaging in the transition from an industrial-growth society to a life-sustaining society.

We are choosing to be part of that Great Turning.

To get a glimpse of what that might involve, at a recent meeting we analyzed who benefits from and who is harmed by Business as Usual and the Great Unraveling in the global extractives industry, immigration to the United States and the United States’ seemingly never-ending war. For each issue, we looked at the underlying political-economic system, socio-cultural norms and core spiritual values.

What we recognized is that, regardless of the issue, a privileged few are reaping financial benefits and power from unjust systems while the most vulnerable are exploited and the rest of us are manipulated into consumerism, a false sense of security and fear of “the other.”

So how do we even begin to grapple with these realities?

Joanna Macy suggests that we need to work simultaneously on three dimensions of the Great Turning to ever achieve that more life-sustaining society:

  • Holding actions, which are designed to hold back and slow down the damage being caused by the political-economic system underlying Business as Usual. These include moratoriums on fracking, reducing deportations of undocumented immigrants and supporting victims of human trafficking.
  • Life-sustaining structures, which re-imagine everything from where we shop and what energy sources we use to how we design healthcare and transportation networks. Examples include supporting local banks and local economies, integrating peace-making into our schools and building welcoming communities for immigrants.
  • Shift in consciousness, which involves nurturing compassion and other values that deepen our sense of belonging in the world and inspire us to work for this life-sustaining society.

This process could be helpful for all working toward a paradigm shift in mindset and values; public policies for an economy of right relationship; an economy of thriving and resilient communities; and a return of corporations to their proper place in society.

You may find more about Joanna Macy at

Posted by: davenlu | April 7, 2015

Lenten Weekly Reflection #5

5th Weekly Reflection in Lent - Water

Posted by: davenlu | April 6, 2015

Imagine — A new economy is possible!

Anchors and coops
An “anchor institution” is a large non-profit institution, classically a university or hospital, that is bound by place–unlike a corporation which has a lot of resources, but can easily move. Anchor institutions have more job creation potential and stability than most corporations, which local governments are always trying to lure away from their neighbors with sweeter tax deals. Supporting the community economy can come to be seen as a basic part of being such an institution.
In Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood—which is a poor, mostly black neighborhood with high unemployment and an average income of about $20,000—there now exists a complex of worker-owned and environmentally conscious companies called the Evergreen Cooperatives. The greenhouse, the laundry and the solar installation company employ over 80 community members, and all serve the three anchor institutions in the neighborhood—two major hospitals and a university. Those anchor institutions, which together purchase about $3 billion in goods and services a year, did their purchasing until recently almost entirely outside the community.

by Pamela Haines

Throughout the Lenten season, the Faith, Economy, Ecology Transformation (FEEt) Working Group will be producing a short weekly reflection in an effort  to connect our principles to Lenten themes of renewal and reparation.

Week #4 focuses on God’s call for us to work in harmony with the Earth.

(Click on image to enlarge)

FEEt Lenten Reflection Week #4

Throughout the Lenten season, the Faith, Economy, Ecology Transformation (FEEt) Working Group will be producing a short weekly reflection in an effort  to connect our principles to Lenten themes of renewal and reparation.

Week #3 focuses on how we can choose to align our economic decisions with our values.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Lenten reflection 2015 Week #3

Throughout the Lenten season, the Faith, Economy, Ecology Transformation (FEEt) Working Group will be producing a short weekly reflection in an effort  to connect our principles to Lenten themes of renewal and reparation.

Week #2 focuses on the impact of harmful free trade agreements on the most marginalized among us.

(Click on image to enlarge)

FEEt Weekly Reflection in Lent #2

Throughout the Lenten season, the Faith, Economy, Ecology Transformation (FEEt) Working Group will be producing a short weekly reflection in an effort  to connect our principles to Lenten themes of renewal and reparation.

Week #1 focuses on our covenant with creation:

(Click on image to enlarge)

FEEt Lenten Reflection Week #1

The Faith, Economy, Ecology, Transformation group (FEET) that maintains this website hosted a series of Webinars that look at the roots of corporate power and influence and what roles people of faith can play in diminishing that power and influence. Please click on the titles of the webinars to watch the video (note that the first webinar is audio only).

See the program for the four webinars:

October 1A Paradigm Shift in the Understanding of Corporations


David Korten (Yes! Magazine)

William Quigley (Loyola University)

October 15 – Alternative Forms of Corporations


Heather Van Dusen (B Lab)

Ed Lorenz (Alma College)

John Duda (Democracy Collaborative)

November 5 – Confronting corporate power nationally


Mateo Nube (MovementGeneration)

Aquene Fairchild (Public Citizen)

Liz Ryan Murray (National People’s Action)

November 19 – Confronting corporate power internationally


Nathaniel Meyer (Corporate Accountability International)

Melinda St-Louis (Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch)

Posted by: kathymcneely | July 2, 2013

What about a maximum wage?

Contributed by Pamela Haines

The moral imperative for a minimum wage is clear. But what about a maximum wage?

It’s not hard to make the case that something needs to be done.  Back in 1965, US CEOs in major companies earned 24 times more than the average (not minimum wage) worker. A typical American CEO now makes 380 times more than the average worker.

Around the world, change is in the wind.  An Egyptian ruling that a maximum wage in the public and government sectors be no more than 35 times the minimum wage has been in force since January 2012.  France’s president last summer promised to cap the salary of company leaders at 20 times that of their lowest-paid worker.  In February, new code amendments of the German Corporate Governance Commission, which all German companies follow, were released, including a mandate that all publicly-traded firms place a cap on executive compensation. While the specific executive pay maximum is left up to each corporation, the Commission made it clear that current pay levels have soared too high.

The immorality of our current situation is clear.  Perhaps the time has come in the US to talk about a maximum wage as well.

Posted by: davenlu | June 3, 2013

How to “Mainstream” a new Cosmology?

David Korten has written an article (“Religion, Science, and Spirit: A Sacred Story of Our Time“) that could serve as a clarion call for all people who are unsatisfied with the current dichotomy of science and mainstream religions, both of which fail to appreciate and care for Earth and the amazingly interdependent world of life created by God. He left me wondering about how those of us who are part of a shift to a more holistic worldview can be more visible and invite others to the exciting opportunities opening up.

In the article he describes three cosmologies that have influenced the Western worldview: monotheistic religions, science, and what he calls the Integral Spirit worldview. While the first two cosmologies have strong institutions and traditions representing their worldviews, the last has no real structure in Western society. This is especially problematic for Korten because the religious and scientific worldviews accept extreme inequalities as natural while also diminishing the value of the natural world; thus, creating the mindset that has brought about the rapid destruction of Earth we witness today. It is through bringing more people to adopt the cosmology of the Integral Spirit that humanity may be able to revert the situation in order to avoid further destruction and live in better harmony with Earth.

For Korten, the monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), focus attention on our individual relationship with a personal but distant God, making relations with each other and the natural world to be of secondary importance, at best. These religions can help justify the destruction of Earth and unequal societies since, as Korten writes, “Nature exists for our temporary human use and comfort.” And “[t]hose who demonstrate their closeness to God by their pious religious observance and special knowledge of His intention properly exercise authority over the rest of us.”

Meanwhile, the scientific worldview sees the cosmos as a grand machine where “…only the material is real. The formation and function of the cosmos and the evolution of life are consequences of a combination of physical mechanism and random chance. Life is an accidental outcome of material complexity and has no larger meaning or purpose. Consciousness and free will are illusions.” The basic law of nature “is a brutal competition for survival, territory, and reproductive advantage.” Social Darwinism, an extension of this worldview, easily accepts extreme inequalities as normal, a result of this competition.

The Integral Spirit story, by contrast,” writes Korten, “infuses all we behold in this life and beyond with profound meaning. All of creation is a sacred and ultimately unified expression of an eternal and intimately present divine will. All beings are interconnected and our fates are inextricably intertwined. As participants in and contributors to the ongoing process of creation, we each bear a sacred responsibility. Our lives take on profound meaning and purpose in relationship and service to the sacred whole.”

“The Integral Spirit cosmology is consistent with the findings of quantum physics, which reveals that the apparent solidity of matter is an illusion and at the deepest level of understanding only relationships are real. I find that Integral Spirit is the underlying cosmology of a reassuring number of religious leaders and devout members of many faiths, including a great many Catholic nuns, as well as most people who define themselves as spiritual, but not necessarily religious.”

“This cosmology has the elements of the needed story for our time. It remains, however, largely a private story without the institutional sponsors that give the Distant Patriarch and Grand Machine cosmologies authority and public presence. The absence of institutional sponsorship helps to secure its authenticity, but the absence of public visibility limits its influence as a guide to rethinking and restructuring our human relationships with one another and nature.”

This last paragraph really caught my attention. I think it touches on something very important that is lacking today. While more and more people are changing their worldview toward something like the Integral Spirit cosmology, it is a silent, invisible change. How can we, who want to encourage this societal shift to a more integrated view of Earth and life, make the change more visible? How can we bring together those who are already shifting their worldview so that others can see that change is happening and that they could be part of this paradigm shift?

It is not an easy task. To create new institutions based on the Integral Spirit runs the risk of creating bureaucracies that restrict that Spirit; of repeating many of the problems with our current institutions. Yet without recognizable organizations and institutions, it will be difficult for people to see the growth of this worldview and to know how they can participate in it.

Some of the reflections and small group processes that we have created on the Scriptural and Theological resources page of this website are a good start, I think, at helping people to discover the Integral Spirit and the need for a paradigm shift in Western societies. But much more will be needed in order to incorporate these new adherents and create a visible movement.

What more can we, as participants in the Faith, Economy, Ecology, Transformation coalition, do to help spread the word?

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