At an evening prayer service toward the end of the conference, many of those attending circled around a bonfire out in the dark to pray. For an hour or more, petitions were voiced, reflections were made, thanksgivings were given.
One person prayed, “Oh Father and Mother God, send us all your strength. We must not fail.”
Sparks from the fire ascended briskly up through the outspreading oak branches into the soft velvet of the skies. Slowly the circle dispersed back to the dormitories and tents through the dew-washed grass. In the distance the sad, faraway call of a screech owl could be heard.
Almost immediately it became apparent that there were two points of view present and active in the gathered conference-goers.
The first was the stewardship view, which proposes that humanity is charged by God to take care of the natural world but that we humans are in significant ways separate from it and superior to it.