We gather this Sunday afternoon in Forest Park for Earth Day.  
Forest Park shares with New York City’s Central Park the distinction of being the largest urban park in America.  It is reason to be proud as a St Louisan.  It speaks of our St Louis forbears’ foresight.  They were aware of the need for urban density to have space and place.  To put it rather imprecisely, urban people need places like this.  

You would think that by virtue of the close quarters and many social structures city dwellers would experience rich, close relationships.  But it often is not so.  It is a paradox that urban density leads to people being distant from each other. A sense of isolation, of alienation, even suspicion and hostility.  Factions form and find expression in social protest against injustice.  The existence of violence and isolation.  These dark aspects are part of our urban millennium.
Earth Day gives us pause to reflect on the integrating and interdependent nature of global life.  Today we are more aware than ever of our interdependence.  We are attempting to integrate our human existence with life on this earth.  
But does this take place in our cities?  How can we participate in the systems of and the system of a city?  And how then does our urban life become part of the global life of humanity, and of the globe itself?
Official Catholic social teaching calls for Christians to be stewards of the earth. So, to apply this to the system of a city calls for urban stewardship.  If Christians are called to be responsible for creation, and CST understands humans central to creation, then how does this apply to the city?
Is the creation we name ‘city’ existing in a responsible way on the earth?  Are our cities earth-friendly?  Human-friendly?
The German theologian Jurgen Moltmann presents further considerations for our understanding in an ethic of the earth.  Integration and interdependence are now becoming the focus of sciences as they search for answers to global warming and other environmental challenges.  The Gaia theory of earth, and I don’t accept it in its mystical or god sense, gives science a new perspective in bringing wholeness.  Wesleyan-Salvation Army people can look at it as an expansion of holiness, of full salvation. 
What would an integrated and interdependent life and ministry look like in our cities?  Is this why there is a focus on community?
And if so, then how does this impact the urban mission?  How does it direct our urban ministry?
Biblically and theologically it may be part of the apokatastasis panton.  If it has been God’s “good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph 1:9-10), then integrating and interdependent life has great implications for what God is doing in all places, including in the city.
To gather is to integrate and acknowledge interdependency.  On God’s terms, not on the terms of “the course of this world … the ruler of the power of the air … the desires of flesh and senses” for to do so leads us to become “children of wrath” (Eph 2:1-3).  
Gathering is an agrarian image.  It brings to mind scriptural images too; the Final Day.  And our Temple Gardens?
Integration represents a return from scientific compartmentalization and specialization.  The geosciences pull together the discoveries of science to now investigate their interdependent and integrated beauty. 
An Earth Day perspective pulls together that which has been dissected and isolated for study and understanding.  In this world, in our cities.  This is apokatastasis panton.
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