A progressive seminary in New York held a chapel service this week for students to confess their sins to pot plants and dirt.
Union Seminary in Harlem, New York, tweeted a photo yesterday of students gathered around several pot plants and a mound of soil to confess to them the harm humans have done to them.
The seminary said: “Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor.”
Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor.
What do you confess to the plants in your life? pic.twitter.com/tEs3Vm8oU4
— Union Seminary (@UnionSeminary) September 17, 2019
In a series of tweets that followed, the seminary went on to say: “In worship, our community confessed the harm we’ve done to plants, speaking directly in repentance. We are in the throes of a climate emergency, a crisis created by humanity’s arrogance, our disregard for Creation.”
Obviously, the exercise has received the response one might expect, prompting the seminary to encourage those who are “poking fun” to spend a couple of moments asking themselves questions like, “Do I treat plants and animals as divinely created beings?” “What harm do I cause without thinking?” And, “How can I enter into new relationship with the natural world?”
According to a statement released by the seminary, the community were not only asked to engage with plants, but also the soil, rocks, birds, and trees in their lives. Students were also asked to develop liturgical responses to the “climate crisis”.
The seminary also said that just because plants aren’t capable of verbally responding, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t engage with them.
Dr James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries responded to the tweet saying: “What does anyone expect? Union abandoned the faith, and Scripture, long, long ago. So you have to do *something* so why not confess to plants? Paganism has been around for a very long time, and it fills the time! Ichabod–long ago.”