CHAPTER 3: From Foreign to Family: Kinship as Pathway Toward Radical Care for the Earth by Kyle Meyaard-Schaap

Kayford Mountain. (Photo Courtesy of Vivian Stockman (http://www.ohvec.org/) and flyover courtesy of Southwings (http://www.southwings.org/))

An illustrated companion to Chapter 3 of Beyond Stewardship: New Approaches to Creation Care. To view main webpage, click here:

"At midmorning, our group of students met Larry Gibson at a West Virginia gas station off Route 3. We were there to observe the impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining on local communities, and Larry was to provide a front row seat."
Larry Gibson on Kayford Mountain. (Photos Courtesy of Vivian Stockman (http://www.ohvec.org/) and flyover courtesy of Southwings (http://www.southwings.org/))
"We heard nothing out of the void. Nothing at all. Who knew silence could be so deafening?"
Left: Author Kyle Meyaard-Schaap stands next to Larry Gibson (wearing hat). Right: Author Meyaard-Schaap and his group learn about the mining operations on other mountains. (Photos courtesy of Kyle Meyaard-Schaap)

To learn more about Larry Gibson and his fight to preserve the Appalachian Mountains, click the following links:

Unfortunately, since Larry's death in 2012, the mining company has begun work on Kayford Mountain. The shocking impact of mountaintop removal can be seen in the photos below, taken after mining began on Kayford Mountain:

"Kayford Mountaintop Removal Site" by Kate Wellington, [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)] https://www.flickr.com/photos/sharedferret/4474118178/in/photolist-6QNuHp-3yqjRs-7Pn2sA-ecrqbn-7P5JZx-5nvgJE-6QNx8c-6QSCfw-6QNzha-6QNvY8-6QNvpF-6QNtte-6QSXud/
"Kayford 'Mountain'" by DanaK~WaterPenny [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)] https://www.flickr.com/photos/dana-k/1679587516/in/photolist-6QNuHp-3yqjRs-7Pn2sA-ecrqbn-7P5JZx-5nvgJE-6QNx8c-6QSCfw-6QNzha-6QNvY8-6QNvpF-6QNtte-6QSXud/

To learn more abut mountaintop removal, view the following video:

"The Christian Environmental Stewardship paradigm, combined with powerful economic and political forces, can limit our understanding of the interdependent relationship between humans and the nonhuman creation. ...Scripture does not ultimately call us to use and manage the creation. Rather, it calls us to be in intimate kinship with it."
"It is in worship that we are taught who we are and are invited into the story that shapes our lives."
"The nonhuman creation (represented by bread, wine, and water) is a necessary participant in fashioning the new creation that is brought about by celebrating the sacraments."
"Our fierce sense of protection will draw us off our knees to the streets and into the halls of power. We will confront the prevailing economic, political, and social domination of creation. We will treat the nonhuman creation as family and a coparticipant in the work of creation and re-creation. We will view the nonhuman creation not as resources but as kin."
"If the American church had been formed by this vision, Larry could have died peacefully. He could have been surrounded by neighbors long since driven out. ...He could have known that his kinship with Kayford Mountain was not an isolated relationship but was shared by Christians the world over who had been shaped by worship to enact a vision of love and protection for human and nonhuman creatures alike."

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