Pastor Kayla and others spoke out against the Dakota Access Pipeline at a press conference that was held on September 7, 2016. Below you will find the words spoken by Pastor Kayla, who represented Cathedral of Hope and Church of the Open Arms.
“Good Afternoon. My name is Rev. Kayla Bonewell and I am the Senior Pastor of two churches which meet in this building: Church of the Open Arms and Cathedral of Hope. I would like to welcome you all here today, and have been asked to begin this news conference with a few words. Both of my churches are part of the United Church of Christ Christian denomination, and we and stand with our national church in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation, and in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
In a prayer by Jesus recorded in the Christian testament of John Chapter 17, Verse 21, Jesus prayed for all to become one, just as he and the Creator are one. Only when we recognize that all of creation is connected in Spirit, and that what we do to the rest of creation, we do to ourselves, will we begin to treat our waters, lands, and air with the holy respect and care that they deserve. The Standing Rock Sioux and other Native American peoples have been teaching this truth for many generations. We are grateful for all who take non-violent and soul-filled action on behalf of the safety of the water which is a source of life for all.
Last week most of us in Oklahoma and in six surrounding states were awakened by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake that most likely is the result of disposal wells, linked to practices of disposing toxic waste water by injecting it deep within the earth. How we treat our land and water has a direct impact upon our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren. It is the important and sacred role of our religious traditions to remind us, that the Creator has blessed us with creation, and we in turn are to BE a blessing and NOT a curse to the Earth.
This past Earth Day United Church of Christ preachers all over the nation proclaimed from their pulpits a simple message: Keep It in the Ground. Keeping fossil fuels in the ground and transitioning to 100% renewable energy is our faithful way to move forward with all of creation.
Lastly, I would like to share a teaching which Jesus taught to his disciples, recorded in Matthew 25: whatever has been done to the least of the members of his family has been done to him. In this day and age too many of us treat the land, water, and air as the least of these; we must remember that God is one with ALL of creation, and how we treat creation is how we treat God. Let us walk lightly upon the earth, protect the land, water, and air, and be faithful in our relationship with the Divine.”
You can also view the news story on KOCO’s website.