The Butterfly Effect

by Dr. Karen Oliveto, Pastor

There is a phenomenon known as the Butterfly Effect —it states that the world is such a delicate and connected eco-system that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can cause a weather change in New York City.

Since March 11th, we have known just how true the Butterfly Effect is. It is hard to believe that an earthquake which leveled the landscape in Japan could cause millions of dollars in damages more than 5000 miles away due to the ensuing tsunami .  Many of us on the West Coast have family, friends, and friends of friends in Japan and wait anxiously for a daily update from them.  The eyes of the world have nervously watched the nuclear reactors as they belch radioactive clouds into the atmosphere and reach critical levels as efforts to contain them continue to fail.

Due to the earthquake, we are seeing the Butterfly Effect multiply its impact as the whole world is effected.

I wonder, as I watch and listen, whether  this can be an opportunity for us to recognize in ways greater than ever before, how connected we are to one another, the earth, and all living things?  As we mourn the terrible loss of life, can we commit ourselves to new life together? Can we diminish our differences and recognize our common humanity?  Are we able to recognize that what we do, the choices we make daily, have consequences to those we may never meet?  Are we able to stand in solidarity with those whose suffering is beyond our comprehension?  Can we care for one another and all of creation in ways that offering healing and wholeness?

Let us engage in radical acts of love and care, and trust that through the butterfly effect, our actions will increase and multiply, and be a soothing balm in the midst of a broken world.

Want to do something for the people of Japan? Make a donation to UMCOR. This organization is already on the ground, partnering with local organizations to assess and respond to the devastation.  100% of your donation will go directly to relief efforts. (GLDE is also a recipient of donations from this organization).

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One comment on “The Butterfly Effect
  1. Janet Thomas says:

    Thank you Karen! Glide’s compassion knows no boundaries and extends to our brothers and sisters in Japan…

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Join GLIDE at the SF @marchforourlives this Saturday to support young people in demanding #GunControlNow! We'll meet at GLIDE at noon and walk to Civic Center together. Where your GLIDE gear if you have it, and click the link in our profile to read more about why gun control is a priority advocacy issue at GLIDE.
#marchforourlives #parkland #enough #IWillMarch @momsdemand @bradybuzz @sfmagazine @sfchronicle @theonj3 @angelabrown17 @sf_interfaith Today, GLIDE Harm Reduction partnered with @sfaidsfound, SFDPH and SF Homeless Outreach Team to conduct a health care pop-up at a homeless encampment. It was a great community effort and the Harm Redux crew reports that the residents of the camp really appreciated that we were there for them. GLIDE provided HIV/Hep C Testing and counseling. In spite of the rain, 21 people used our testing services, and many more just came to us to talk about their drug use and receive harm reduction counseling.
We're grateful to this crew! Left to right: Paul Harkin, Amber Taylor, Bill Buehlman and Jason Norelli. #rainorshine #harmreduction #healthcareisahumanright #gettested #healthcareforall GLIDE Church invites you to stand up for smart, sensible gun control laws at the San Francisco March For Our Lives Rally on Saturday, March 24!
WHO: GLIDE Church. And YOU!
WHAT: SF March For Our Lives
WHERE: We will meet at GLIDE at noon and then walk over to Civic Center Plaza together as a group.
WHY: Our children should not have to live in fear of gun violence AT ALL, much less at school. Our teachers should not have to add "taking a bullet" to their job descriptions. We raise our voices in solidarity and demand a safer, more peaceful future for our children, our teachers and our country.
WHEN: Saturday, March 24. The rally starts at 1:00 pm, but we will meet at GLIDE at noon!
Additionally, we will make posters for the rally THIS SUNDAY on March 18 after the 11:00 am Celebration.
If you have any questions, please contact our beloved Rev. Angela Brown at
#ENOUGH #Guncontrol #gunsense #safeschools #parkland #columbine #LasVegas #marchforourlives  @womensmarch @womensmarchbayarea @momsdemand @gabbygiffords @100daysaction @bayresistance @glidefycc @kaye_foster @everytown On Wednesday, the children & teachers from GLIDE's Family, Youth & Childcare Center (FYCC) joined thousands of other students across the nation in the #NationalSchoolWalkout. Our FYCC teachers stress the importance of being community-minded thinkers and global citizens. Demanding #GunControlNow and safety in our schools is an important lesson for our kids, as well as a compassionate and powerful act of solidarity with the #Parklandhighschool students & all victims of school shootings.
Gun control is also a crucial advocacy issue for GLIDE — fighting for our children's education, well-being and their very lives is a direct application of our values and one of the most meaningful efforts to get involved in today.

Much love and support to FYCC and to all the young people across the country who raised their fists in defiance, resistance and mourning. We are with you.
@glidefycc @bayresistance @momsdemand @cityhallsf @100daysaction #keepchildrensafe #safeschools #banassaultweapons #forthekids #ENOUGH #rainorshine

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