For the Birds: Volunteering as Ministry
By Lisa Shaw
Caring for the earth includes caring for her creatures whose claim to this home precedes ours both geologically and biblically. Embedded in all religions is the belief that all of creation has a spiritual life, from the indigenous Americans who praise trees as ‘standing people” to Kabballah Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, who wrote that “even the silent world of rocks and earth have a soul…” The earth itself, even the outer celestial bodies such as the sun and moon are themselves sentient and responsive to our care. Remember, the “om” is the sound the earth makes.
Birds have retained a sacred place in multiple spiritual paths. Psalm 50 assigns an intimate knowledge of birds to the Creator: “I know every bird on the mountain, and all of the animals in the field are mine.” Our inner imperative tells us to be caretakers of the earth’s beings just as much as scripture does, with God reiterating in Genesis 9:15, “I will remember my covenant which is between me and between you and between every living creature.” Caring for the earth mandates care for its animals who have been injured and displaced in the wake of human “progress.” Volunteering to work with injured and displaced animals is a Divine way to honor ancient covenants and commitments.
The Florida museum calls “The Everglades National Park “the most threatened park in the U.S.”
Comparing its size to New Jersey which is half the original area. Everglades Birds who are unique to Florida, experience particular cruelty as water become scarce and deforestation gobbles their habitats The wading birds fall prey to starvation and injury; only the fortunate survivors end up in wildlife rescue.
Knowing Flamingo Gardens
Flamingo Gardens in Davie, Florida, a botanical garden, and wildlife sanctuary, has provided a safe harbor for these animals since the 1930s. A botanical garden as well as a sanctuary and rehab facility, houses over 90 species of Florida native birds and animals, most of whom are permanently injured or non-releasable. It just celebrated the 40-year anniversary of the first of its kind free-flight aviary, which houses over 45 species and 250 birds. On the path to the aviary, you find one of the largest raptor sanctuaries, including raptors: the Hawk Walk (with Harris’s and red-shouldered hawks) and Owl Alley (housing barn owls, great horned owls, barred owls, burrowing owls), as well as a section for Mississippi kites and golden and bald eagles.
Ministry Earth is a collective Awareness-Raising, Perception-Building Initiative from Humanity Healing International, Cathedral of the Soul Educational outreaches created to introduce the perspective of Ethical Consciousness and Nonhuman Personhood to its Animal & Eco Ministries. Ministry Earth is a Service-Oriented Initiative and its Magazine is a Copyrighted Publication of OMTimes Media, Inc. Broadcasting and Publishing House.