‘Meet The Author’ with Sharon Delgado
KNOW & GO
WHAT: Book reading and signing with Sharon Delgado. Music and artwork from Russel Brutsché.
WHEN: 3-4:30 p.m. Sunday.
WHERE: The Open Book, 671 Maltman Drive in Grass Valley.
Local author and ordained minister Sharon Delgado has released her book called, “Love in a Time of Climate Change: Honoring Creation, Establishing Justice.” We caught up with Delgado and threw a few questions her way about her life and her book.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am an ordained United Methodist minister, retired here in Nevada County where we raised our children. I love to take walks in the woods and go Salsa dancing with my husband, Guarionex.
Fridays are “Cousins’ Day,” with the younger grandkids getting off early from school and coming to play together at our place. I am active in my church and I seek to follow Jesus and his way of nonviolent resistance.
I am committed to ongoing spiritual transformation and to doing whatever I can to move God’s beloved world in the direction of social, economic, and political transformation.
What brought you this area?
In 1971, Guari and I moved here from San Francisco as part of a back to the land migration of young people. We rented a cabin, later built a house, and raised our children in the forested area outside Nevada City.
After I was ordained in 1991, I served as pastor of United Methodist churches in Newcastle and then in Santa Cruz, where I later worked at the Resource Center for Nonviolence. In 2006, we moved back and renovated our home.
We are grateful to be retired here in this beautiful area, near our grown children, grandchildren, and friends.
How did you get into writing?
I started to journal as a spiritual practice as a young woman, and have continued it ever since. I started writing about social and environmental issues from a faith perspective while I was in seminary in the late 1980s.
One thing led to another, and after seminary, I wrote many sermons, programs, and articles. I went on sabbatical in 1999 and started my first book, “Shaking the Gates of Hell: Faith-Led Resistance to Corporate Globalization,” which was published in 2007.
Now I’m working on updates for the Second Edition of Shaking, which will be published in 2018.
What is your favorite book or who is your favorite author?
My tastes in books vary. I read the Bible every day. I always have an array of nonfiction books going: theology, spirituality, social issues, environment, and other topics that I find interesting.
Authors I have appreciated in recent years include Jon Dominic Crossan (God and Empire), Jane Mayer (Dark Money), Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything), and Mike Lofgren (The Deep State).
I love novels, but I choose to read them when I have time to immerse myself in the story. Favorite novelists include Barbara Kingsolver, Amy Tan, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and many others.
What is your book about?
My book is a call to readers to consider what it means to follow Jesus’ teaching to love God and neighbors in this time of climate change.
Its premise is that if we love God, we will honor creation, and if we love our neighbors we will not only reach out to them in mercy, but will also work to establish justice.
Our neighbors include not only people nearby, but also people harmed anywhere by weather disasters, future generations, and other species. Those who are interested can find out more at my blog, Progressive Christian Social Action at sharondelgado.org.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had considered writing this book for a long time, but I started writing it during the 2016 primary election, when some members of the Christian Right were supporting Donald Trump, a climate change skeptic, for president.
I felt inspired to present an alternative vision based on God’s love for humanity and for all creation.
I hoped that by offering a progressive Christian view that respects other faiths and philosophies, demands justice for oppressed peoples, and takes climate science seriously, readers would be motivated to act for climate justice.
What do you find most challenging about writing a book?
Maintaining an ongoing discipline is the primary challenge, but one that I like. After early morning contemplative prayer, I write by hand in my notebook for a couple of hours.
Then later, in the afternoon or evening, I enter what I have written into the computer and do fact checks and edits.
If I’m not working on a book, I’m often working on a blog post or an article, but I feel most focused and purposeful when I’m writing a book. I take breaks on some days, but daily writing has become a regular pattern for me.
What is your key takeaway or message you hope readers find in your book?
I want readers to understand that climate change is a spiritual and moral issue as well as a global challenge with grave repercussions for civilization and for the earth. Future generations will look back at how we responded.
Responding to climate change is not a sidetrack, but part of what it means to be alive in this time. Denial and avoidance takes us farther down a destructive track.
The process of inquiry outlined in this book enables readers to discover a faithful response to climate change and, at the same time, to grow in spiritual maturity.
Where can people find your book?
People can find my book at the Book Seller, Harmony Books, or the Open Book. I encourage people to support our local bookstores, so these independent bookstores thrive and continue to enrich our community. If you see me around town, I’ve always got a copy or two on hand.
You can also buy Love in a Time of Climate Change from the publisher, Fortress Press, or from online distributors.
How would you describe your own perfect day?
Each day is perfect, a gift beyond measure. I am happiest when I recognize this most fully. I like the inner spaciousness that comes from spiritual practice, and I’m an introvert, so I need lots of time alone.
I also love to spend time with my dear husband, children and grandchildren, and friends. I’m grateful to be alive, and for the opportunity to serve. Even when I can’t sleep, I’m grateful.
I go outside on the deck and look at the stars, or when it’s cold I sit by the woodstove, reminding myself that (like the Buddha), “I am awake.”
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