ADVICE ON A BIRTHDAY…………Today is my birthday–I am turning 37 years old.  Wow!  I received a message this year that shared the following advice:

  1. Deal with your issues early.  We all have them.  We all have room for growth.
  2. Invest in coaches and mentors who make you better.
  3. Get off the fence.  Make decisions and live life!
  4. Study and practice faithfulness.
  5. Live like God loves you and everything you read in the bible is true.
  6. Choose a few awesome friends and stick with them.

I am going to hold on to this for this next year.  Thank you for the well wishes and prayers.  I am very thankful to have all of you in my life.  The Lord has been good!

GAME NIGHT…………….Tonight we are gathering for game night at Peace.  We will start at 6 pm.  Bring a side dish to share and a drink for yourself.  Someone has graciously provided us with certificates that will cover the cost of the pizza.  And……..there will be birthday cake to share!

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE…………The Philomath Chamber Forum Luncheon will be at Peace next Thursday, May 21st at noon.  The guest speaker is Steve Pilkerton with Oregon Forest Resources Institute.  He will be discussing the topic of Oregon forest fire risks, effects, and treatment options for the coming months.  Let me know if you would like to attend as we will need to RSVP.

FAREWELL TO KERR’S………………..This Sunday (May 17th) will be the last that the Kerr’s will be with us.  Darren and Faith (Austin and Paige) are taking leave for the east coast as Darren transitions to his new role as an instructor at West Point.  This is a big transition of the whole family too–Faith is expecting their child in the middle of September.  Come and wish them farewell this Sunday!

WIRED WORD……………This week’s Wired Word is below.  The Men’s Breakfast recently covered a similar topic.  In preparation take some extra time to think about how Christians should respond in times of scarcity.  Class starts at 9:45 am in the sanctuary.

Competition for Decreasing Water Supply Heats Up
The Wired Word for the Week of May 17, 2015

In the News

In response to four years of the worst drought in California’s history, Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order April 1 announcing mandatory water restrictions for the first time. Municipalities and townships have been ordered to slash water usage by 25 percent. The restrictions do not apply to farms, orchards and ranches, which consume at least 80 percent of California’s water supply.

As warming trends continue and the amount of snow cover on the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges declines, water that normally comes from snowmelt is no longer sufficient for residential and agricultural use, sustaining wildlife and maintaining adequate water levels for the state’s energy needs.

Because of the decline in surface water, more drilling for groundwater beneath the surface is occurring, rapidly depleting aquifers. A 2011 study demonstrated that the Central Valley Aquifer, which is vital to the state’s food production industry, annually loses approximately 29 million acre-feet of water — the amount it would take to cover 29 million acres of land with one foot of water.

Other western states are also reeling from severe drought conditions that have lasted more than a decade. But the effects of drought are being felt across the globe as well. For example, Brazil has 12 percent of the world’s fresh water but has been experiencing its worst drought in 80 years.

Since the 1970s, the population of California has doubled to approximately 38.8 million people, increasing the demand on declining water resources. Without adequate precipitation to replenish surface water, the state faces alarming shortages and difficult decisions in the future regarding how to make up for the difference and how to equitably distribute precious, but increasingly scarce, resources.

Dennis Dimick, National Geographic‘s Executive Editor for the Environment, reported that “Central Valley cropland and dairy farms produce more than 300 commodities, generating 65 percent of the state’s $42.6 billion agricultural revenue. Up to 20 percent of the cropland is now fallow because of drought and crop rotation.”

Last fall, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti issued this statement that may prove even more relevant today: “We are making the drought a top priority because this record drought threatens our economy and environment at crisis levels.”

More on this story can be found at these links:

5 Things You Should Know About California’s Water Crisis. National Geographic
Draining California (interactive graphic). National Geographic
The Billions of Gallons of Water Wasted by Accident Every Year. Yahoo News
São Paulo Drought 2015: Photos of Historic Water Crisis in Brazil Show City on the Brink of Collapse. International Business Times

The Big Questions

  1. In what sense might water be considered a commodity similar to other resources that can be bought, sold or traded? In what sense should access to water be treated as a human right? Explain your answer.
  2. How do people act when they perceive a commodity as abundant? Do they act differently when they perceive it to be scarce or at risk? How do you act in these different circumstances?
  3. What specific things should churches do during times of water shortage regarding use of water in the church building? What, if anything, should churches do during such times to help the community? Is there anything from the Bible to help answer these questions?
  4. What responsibility, if any, do Christians have to fight for those who may be harmed by some who seem to hoard precious resources? How do we ensure respect for private property rights, implied in the commandment “Thou shalt not steal,” while upholding the rights of all people to resources they need to simply survive?
  5. In times of declining resources, how do we decide who gets access to those assets? What is the role of the church in that discussion?