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Preview: Springbank Retreat: the South's center for 'healing self, healing earth'

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On a mild day in December, I found myself at Springbank Retreat in Kingstree, S.C. – sitting in a tipi. I’d never expected to usher in the new year at a Native American pipe ceremony, but I was moved, and honored, to participate.

I’d been looking for a spiritual place to get away for a few days after Christmas and write. I found Springbank on the Internet and wrote to director Sr. Trina McCormick, who told me to come on down.

A pro-energy platform, sans fossil fuels

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Many of us have well-developed protest muscles, but a fewer number of us are as fit in the area of the positive picture for our future. 

My denomination, the United Church of Christ -- often a church of firsts, or so we brag -- is in the process of writing a national resolution, to be adopted at the June 2015 Synod, against fracking. We just turned around and have decided to not just be against fracking but against fossil fuels, as well.

Church activists help fight soy fields, oil in Argentina's Chaco region

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As the global economy pushes giant soybean fields and petroleum operations farther into previously untouched regions of South America, church activists in Argentina are standing alongside indigenous communities seeking to defend their land and culture from the destruction that such development has often entailed.

"The buzzards are circling, wanting to seize the land from those to whom it belongs," said Consolata Fr. Jose Auletta, who coordinates indigenous ministries for the diocese of Nueva Oran in northern Argentina.

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