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A grandfather reflects on Advent and Climate Change

last-draft-coverMusician,  children’s book author, theologian, playwright, LGBTQ justice activist, and an excellent host, David R. Weiss is someone I admire and respect. Whenever I am in the Twin Cities (Minnesota), I hurl myself at David and his partner, Margaret. What a gentle, warm, fun welcome they provide. (I highly recommend visiting them on Halloween!) Besides being the keeper of a very content bin of composting worms, David has opened his home and heart to many people and issues through the years.

I was thrilled to read David’s latest short essay, Climate Change—Claiming this Crisis as Ours. I am struck with the vulnerability and honesty in his essay along with the appeal that we lean on each other at this time of growing crisis. That last point is one that pressed itself upon me when I first began researching climate change over two years ago. As a solo performance artist who often has gone it alone, I suddenly realized that as I grappled with a changing climate, I needed community, peers, comrades, partners in this new work. David writes:

There is one other thing on my Christmas list, alongside that tool set: company. No matter our individual aspirations, this challenge is so all-encompassing that even our best principled actions will be ineffective (though not thereby worthless)—unless we learn to act in concert.

So I’m looking for a community willing to say out loud with me, from our star-seeded blood to our water-crossed brows, this is our crisis to face, our moment to be church, our season to journey together in holy conversation with one another.

Advent is the season of holy expectation and longing. We like to imagine we know what we’re longing for: the birth of a babe in a manger two thousand years ago. But there are other ways for Christmas to come. And in the face of climate change we’ll encounter Emmanuel—the Presence of God-with-us—in the honest company we keep with one another. Uncertain. Vulnerable. Present. Merry Christmas, indeed.

Please read the rest of David’s essay and share it with people in your own community.

David and Margaret in Halloween Drag

David and Margaret in Halloween Drag


The Halloween Fiesta at David and Margaret’s home


Author: Peterson Toscano

Peterson Toscano is a quirky queer Quaker concerned about Climate Change. His website is

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