God uses water to claim us, to cleanse us, to call us into life together. The cover of pastor and writer Dan Erlander’s illustrated baptism manual Water Washed and Spirit Born shows catechumens – new believers preparing for baptism – surrounded by waves, fish, and birds. Erlander shows us that the waters that claim us are not just found in a font. Our baptism places us at the center of our watershed.
Orca advocates say that habitat degradation far outstrips restoration as more people move to the Pacific Northwest. Every year we lose habitat along the Puget Sound shoreline that is critical to marine life.
If I’m still hopeful, it’s because of my baptism. Water washed and spirit born each day, I can encourage awareness that what happens on a farm, in a septic drain, or in a stream in the mountains affects our whole watershed. That what happens in my particular watershed has a life-or-death impact on those beautiful, water washed and spirit born orcas.
This message is excerpted from “Watershed washed, spirit born” by Anne E. Basye in the June 2020 Gather magazine.
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