Order of the Sacred Earth: A New Call for Community?

Two years ago I linked up with two young people to call for a new kind of order, a new kind of community called the Order of the Sacred Earth.  We published a book together called Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action. We lay out our vision in the Introduction which reads like this:

Video showcasing the three Co-Founders of the Order of the Sacred Earth. Originally posted to the website of the OSE.

In times like ours, so marked by apocalyptic goings-on from climate change to climate change denial, from the failures of education, media, politics, economics and religion, it is important that we not succumb to despair or to non-action or to reptilian brain action-reaction. We need to go deeper within our own souls and within the genius of our species to find anew what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called “the beloved community.” Yes, we are witnessing the death of institutions and systems and an era that is not serving us nor our Mother Earth well any longer. We need to journey into this dying in order to break into new forms of community, religion, spirituality, education—in short, creativity that will give birth to deeper forms of living and interacting with one another and other beings on this small, intertwined planet.

Traditional Csango circle dance, Budapest, 2018, originating from the Moldavian Csángó culture of East Romania. Photo from a video by Elekes AndorCreative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

The vision we are proposing came to Matthew and Skylar in different ways in dreams three years ago. It is about a new spiritual (not religious) order. We say “not religious” because it will not be beholden to any religious headquarters or to only one religious tradition. More and more people are open in our times to drinking in wisdom from the Earth herself, and the many spiritual traditions and practices that sustain life.

Circle ‘Round for Freedom, a circle chant calling us into a new way of being. Originally posted to YouTube by The Church of the Larger Fellowship -CLFUU.

Many people are identifying at this time in history as“spiritual but not religious.” At the same time we believe it is possible for some people to be both spiritual and religious, but people must make an effort, all spirituality requires effort through presence, intention, and direct action. We include action because we are in a time when contemplation alone is insufficient in addressing the needs of our times and the more-than- human world. So our vision of a new order extends to those who call themselves spiritual but not religious and those who identify as spiritual and religious and also those who may call themselves either agnostic or atheist and feel the creative potential of creating a community vessel such as the Order of the Sacred Earth (OSE). What is at stake is not a particular religious or spiritual tradition but something much larger than our particular religions: The future of Mother Earth and therefore the future of countless species including our own. All are endangered. Humans can and must make a difference.

The essence of OSE is a common vow we all will make: “I promise to be the best lover and defender of Mother Earth that I can be.”

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, Jennifer Listug, Order of the Sacrd Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action, pp.xiii-xv.

Banner Image: “Children’s Smiles, Cao Lãnh, Vietnam” Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

Can you see yourself part of a loosely connected community or“order”with an agreed upon vow to be the best lover and defender of Earth that you can be?  

Recommended Reading

Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action
By Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jen Listug

In the midst of global fire, earthquake and flood – as species are going extinct every day and national and global economies totter – the planet doesn’t need another church or religion. What it needs is a new Order, grounded in the Wisdom traditions of both East and West, including science and indigenous. An Order of the Sacred Earth united in one sacred vow: “I promise to be the best lover and defender of the Earth that I can be.”
Co-authored by Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jennifer Berit Listug, with a forward by David Korten, this collection of essays by 21 spiritual visionaries including Brian Swimme, Mirabai Starr, Theodore Richards, and Kristal Parks marks the founding of the diverse and inclusive Order of the Sacred Earth, a community now evolving around the world.
“The Order of the Sacred Earth not only calls us home to our true nature as Earth, but also offers us invaluable guidance and company on the way.”  ~~ Joanna Macy, environmental activist and author of Active Hope.

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2 thoughts on “Order of the Sacred Earth: A New Call for Community?”

  1. Avatar
    Dani Pattuzzi

    Hello. We are a small group of people in Leicester UK who have very recently come across the idea of the Order of the Sacred Earth. We have ordered the book and will start reflecting on it but we’re also very interested in updates about the development of the network. Although the idea of a new order and a vow to Mother Earth is a wonderful concept of itself it would be much more valuable to be part of a wider movement and feel supported by it. From what I can see on the OSE website it doesn’t look like much has happened or been updated since early 2019 and that includes the podcasts that Jennifer and Skylar were running 2 years ago: they seem to have suddenly stopped after 5 episodes rather than run for 12 as anticipated. Just wondering whether anything happened (apart from the pandemic, of course!) and the whole movement has actually stopped or has simply been put on hold. Any update would be really appreciated.
    Many thanks

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