“The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence.”
– Thomas Berry
For Sister Gertie Jocksch, seeing God in everything is not just a theory, but a way of life. “We depend on the Earth for our next breath. We need to work together with nature and see our relationship with it, instead of objectifying the Earth and seeing it as a commodity,” she explains.
As Program Coordinator with Programs for Earth Literacies in Victoria, Sister Gertie strives to educate and guide others in their quest to become more spiritually connected to the Earth and all of nature. She does this by organizing, promoting and running workshops, retreats and lectures focused on ecology and spirituality. Workshops range from discussions on the teachings of people like Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme, to eco-adventure sessions for families at a local park. The organization is also involved with an organic garden.
In order to make the services accessible to all, Sister Gertie and her team keep registration costs as low as possible, which means they depend on donations to operate. “Our registration revenue only covers about half of our annual expenses,” she explains. “We rely on donations to cover the rest. If we had more money we could offer so many more programs, and help educate so many more people.”