2001 through 2007
For our Ecojustice posts from 2008 to now
Pope condemns the “climate change prophets of doom”
The London Daily Mail reported on December 12 that Pope
Benedict XVI “launched a
surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them
that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm
evidence and not on dubious ideology.” His comments were
prepared for delivery on World Peace Day on January 1, but they
were released as delegates gathered on the Indonesian island of
Bali for UN climate change talks.
this message, entitled "The Human Family, A Community of Peace,"
Pope Benedict says that "Humanity today is rightly concerned
about the ecological balance of tomorrow," and he adds: "It is
important for assessments in this regard to be carried out
prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom,
uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions,
and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of
sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of
all while respecting environmental balances.”
The Daily Mail reporter adds: “His remarks reveal that
while the Pope acknowledges that problems may be associated with
unbridled development and climate change, he believes the case
against global warming to be over-hyped.”
Read the full article >>
From the Orthodox Church: a more pro-creation stance
Witherspoon Issues Analyst Gene TeSelle notes that the Patriarch
of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Bartholomew of
Constantinople, addressed the same issue out of the Orthodox
theological appreciation of creation. He issued an Encyclical in
September, 1999, in which he proclaimed September 1 as “the
annual day of prayer for the environment.” This concern for the
natural word, says TeSelle, is grounded in the Orthodox faith in
God's presence in the whole world – especially through
incarnation – and the role of icons and the liturgy and other
sensory factors in devotional life.
addition, the document praises the Committee on the Environment
of the World-wide Federation of Organizations of Engineers,
which had just met in Thessalonike and proposed that a binding
"Global Code of Ethics" for the environment be drafted.
See the full encyclical >>
new affirmation of the call to care for God’s creation
Al Gore and chairman of scientists’ panel gave important
statements in receiving the Nobel Peace Prize
You may want to see the full texts of these important
see Gore’s address:
For R. K. Pachauri’s address
What might we do with this material to extend its effect?
Here's a suggestion from one friend:
I am forwarding this message to my entire address book and
urging you to insist that your elected representatives and
favorite presidential candidate do the difficult and right
thing in the months and years ahead to save the planet for
Michigan congregation seeks advice for
Kurt Kremlick has sent this query. Well, two queries:
Ending use of plastic and paper cups
The Green (Environmentally concerned)
Presbyterians at First Presbyterian Church in Kalamazoo, MI
would like suggestions from any congregation that has
successfully eliminated the use of foam (especially) and other
paper/plastic cups in church programs – especially before/after
worship and for meetings. How did you do it? And what have been
the results? Any and all suggestions welcome. Please respond
and in the subject line, note "Green Presbyterian - cups."
De-icing parking lots
The Building Committee and Green Presbyterians
at First Presbyterian Church Kalamazoo, MI would like to hear
from churches in snow country about how they to de-ice parking
lots. We are concerned about the use of salt and are looking for
alternatives. Any and all suggestions welcome. Please respond
and in the subject line, note "Salty Presbyterian."
Go Big Green
Warren Wilson College ranked as #3 among "green colleges"
The Sierra Club reports that numerous colleges and universities
are "going green." Presbyterian-related Warren Wilson College is
ranked number three on their "Top Ten" list, with this brief
This small Southeast star wears its
environmental ethos on its sleeve and backs it up with a
sustainably managed farm, garden, and forest that provide
food and lumber for the campus; streetlamps that reduce
light pollution; and community service as an integral part
of the curriculum.
Want to save the planet?
Change the message.
Marshall, the founder of the Climate Outreach Information
Network, who blogs on the psychology of climate change at
www.climatedenial.org, has written
a provocative essay in The Guardian, UK.
He urges environmentalists to drop slogans
like "save the planet," and to focus on "intelligent living"
Saving the planet, he says, is too big, too
vague, too negative, when people are looking for positive things
to do, not just things to give up.
So he offers his own personal statement:
"I have embraced a lighter lifestyle
because it is the smart, cool, intelligent and healthy way
to live. I want to live in the present and the real world,
not be tied to an outdated and dangerous 20th-century way of
living. I live this way because I love it, because it makes
me feel good and because it is healthy and gives me freedom.
"I feel that I am setting the pace for the
21st century and I am excited to see people all around me
trying to catch up. If we all work together we can build a
world that is cleaner, fairer and happier and that is what I
want to leave my children."
What do you think?
Send a note with your own response to Marshall’s view,
and we’ll share it here.
Presbyterians for Restoring Creation
announces new Coordinator
San Anselmo, CA – May 14, 2007 – Presbyterians for Restoring Creation—a
nationwide network that responds to the call of the Presbyterian Church, USA
(PCUSA) to care for God’s creation—is pleased to announce that it has named
The Rev. Renee Marie Rico as its new national Coordinator. She replaces
Rebecca Barnes-Davies who was PRCs first Coordinator (September 2001-May
2007), who will be moving on to attend Louisville Seminary in the fall. Rico
will begin her duties on June 1, 2007.
Rico has over 14 years of experience working in environmental issues and
eight years in pastoral ministry. She brings great gifts to the position.
From 1980 to 1994, she was the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Deputy
Director and Branch Chief of the Acid Rain Division in addition to working
as a program analyst in water, toxic chemical and air programs. She played a
major role in setting up and administering the innovative and successful
sulfur dioxide emissions trading program at the US EPA to reduce acid rain,
which is currently being considered as the model for a national program to
reduce carbon emissions that are contributing to climate change.
Rico served as a coordinator for the Interfaith Coalition for Green Planning
and contributed various eco-justice committees in National Capitol, Utah,
Sacramento, and Redwoods Presbyteries. She has served as an interim pastor
in four congregations throughout the West over the last eight years, and on
the Presbyterian national faculty for interim ministry education since 2002.
As she faithfully has served on the Steering Committee of Presbyterians for
Restoring Creation (2003 to present), Rico comes to the position familiar
with and committed to Presbyterians for Restoring Creation’s strong
grassroots network. She has organized many successful regional events for
PRC in the Bay Area over the past few years and has served as worship leader
at national PRC eco-justice conferences. She is currently completing an
interim pastorate at Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church in San Anselmo, CA.
Rico has a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematical Economics from Pomona College
and a Master of Divinity Degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
"On behalf of the entire steering committee we are very excited about the
talents, experience, passion, and spiritual depth Renee will bring," said
Jenny Holmes, Moderator of PRC. "Her knowledge of theology, environmental
policy and environmental education, and organizational savvy will be a vital
asset as PRC expands its role as a leader in caring for creation in a time
when the interest in faith communities is burgeoning.” Vice Moderator Bill
Bowman notes "While we are sad to say goodbye to Rebecca after so many years
of faithful service to PRC, we are very encouraged to have Renee accept. She
will be a tremendous asset to the organization in years to come."
Adds Barnes-Davies, “In this time of global climate change, violent
conflicts over natural resources, and increasing poverty around the world,
Renee will help PRC remain effective, relevant, and faithful to caring for
all God’s creation. I am confident that she will empower, undergird, and
grow this organization to be what God calls it to be now and in the future.”
Rico responds, “I am humbled and thrilled to be doing this work on behalf of
PRC’s amazing members who have faithfully committed to this work, many of
them for over 10 years. We face a time when the intersection of faith,
lifestyles and our care for all of God’s creation has never been more
Conference planned for October
sixth National Eco-Justice Conference of Presbyterians for Restoring
Creation is scheduled at Mo-Ranch Presbyterian Conference Center in Hunt,
Texas, Oct. 25-28. At the conference, participants will explore the themes
of food and energy choices. Speakers and workshop leaders will focus on
several subjects including biblical and theological foundations for
eco-justice, social justice, and scientific and political issues.
Presbyterians for Restoring Creation is an affiliate, grassroots
organization of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Details about the
conference, "Earth Sabbath, Earth Justice: Protecting God’s Gifts of Food
and Fuel," can be found at
Race, Toxic Waste, and Church [4-27-07]
from Eco-Justice Notes, by the Rev. Peter Sawtell,
executive director of Eco-Justice Ministries
In 1987, the Commission for Racial Justice of the United
Church of Christ (UCC) released a report titled Toxic Wastes and Race
in the United States. It was a detailed statistical analysis of census
data, meticulously cross-matched with information on the location of toxic
That report is widely recognized as a foundational
document in the environmental justice movement in the United States, and
in shaping similar efforts around the world. It made the well-documented
assertion that the environmental risk from hazardous waste is more
strongly correlated with race than with economics.
On this 20th anniversary of Toxic Wastes
and Race, an important new report has been issued by the UCC.
Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty: 1987-2007 revisits the
statistical analysis with more sophisticated tools, and finds that "by
better matching the locations of people and hazardous sites, racial and
socioeconomic disparities around the nation's hazardous waste facilities
are found to be far greater than what previous studies have shown."
This new report is available for
free download from the United Church of Christ website. I
highly recommend this new report for your reading and study. The 175 page
document is 6.5 Mb, so plan on a lengthy download time.
on the report, from Peter Sawtell >>
leads us on a new path through Lent
The Rev. Peter Sawtell, the Executive Director of
Eco-Justice Ministries, is posting a very provocative and helpful
exploration of what he calls the four core norms of an eco-justice ethic:
solidarity, sustainability, sufficiency, and participation.
The one for this week, on sufficiency, asks "How much is
enough?" – "one of the central questions for those who seek eco-justice in
The current meditation, on Sufficiency, is entitled
The first meditation, on Solidarity, bears the title
"All In It Together."
The second, on Sustainability, he calls
"Nothing Left for the
The final one, due out in a couple weeks, will deal with
Go to the
archive index of his Eco-Justice Notes to find all these essays (and
many more) listed.
Faith and Eco-Justice Fellowship
NCC offers training and support for faith-based
offered for eco-justice sermon – deadline is March 1
The National Council of Churches seeks to transform the
faith-based eco-justice movement by training and supporting emerging
practitioners engaged in faith-based environmental work. We will nurture and
train this new generation of leadership and aim for diversity and
collaboration. The next fellowship class will begin in the summer of 2007.
During 2004, we developed and implemented a leadership
training program for 20 emerging religious eco-justice practitioners (age
The inaugural retreat was held July 26-28, 2004, at Port
Isobel, Virginia, an education center located next door to Tangier Island,
Tangier Watermen's Stewardship for the Chesapeake (TaSC), an
organization of watermen that implements a Biblically based stewardship plan
for the island.
We will connect fellows with peers representing a broad
array of eco-justice work in order to help build a network of leaders. By
providing training and other learning opportunities, we hope to build a
network of leaders and focus attention on the need for the religious
community to nurture the next generation of environmental leaders.
• Fellows attend a summer retreat.
• Fellows agree to join the network of other fellows.
Benefits of the Fellowship
Participants will have the unique opportunity to gather in
community and foster their own leadership development during their one-year
fellowship. Skills training will include:
• Communication techniques, community organizing
• Spiritual reflections and worship resources
• Education on environmental issues including environmental justice
• Existing faith-based resources
In addition, participants will receive travel compensation
to the July retreat (traveling from points within the United States) as well
as lodging during the three-day event. Meeting expenses, including food and
beverage, will be covered for the summer retreat.
For more information about the Faith & Eco-Justice
Fellowship, contact Cassandra Carmichael at
And also ...
NCC announces eco-sermon
Washington, D.C., January 29, 2007--The National Council
of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) today announced a call for
submissions to its first ever eco-justice sermon writing award as part of
its eco-justice work. The award, which is a celebration of God's creation in
the proclaimed gospel, is open to clergy, lay leaders, and other religious
leaders and entries can focus on a variety of environmental issues such as
sustainability, global warming, wilderness, and water.
"As Christians have the moral responsibility to protect
all of God's creation for current and future generations," said Cassandra
Carmichael, eco-justice program director for the NCC.
"At the Council we strive to provide resources such as our
recently released theological resources to folks in the pews," said
Carmichael. "This sermon award will help highlight the good work going on in
churches across the nation as well as provide sermon starters for worship
The award was announced six months after the release of
"Opening the Letter:
God's Earth is Sacred," a theological resource for
congregations. According to Carmichael, an increasing number of
congregations are preaching on the environment as evidenced by the rising
popularity of the NCC's Earth Day Sunday worship resource.
Sermon submissions should be no longer than 1,500 words.
Deadline is March 1, 2007, and sermons should be sent via email to
information can be found at
The NCC is America's ecumenical voice of 35 Protestant,
Anglican, Orthodox, historic African American and traditional peace
churches with 45 million members in 100,000 congregations in all 50
states. The NCC has focused on ecological justice issues for over the last
NCC Eco-justice contact: Cassandra Carmichael,
email@example.com. NCC News contact: Dan Webster, 212.870.2252,
firstname.lastname@example.org. Latest NCC News at
Now more than ever –
Saving energy is good
for the environment, good for your budget
Here’s one quick listing of possibilities for saving
electricity in your own home – just simple steps like unplugging appliances,
switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, using a programmable thermostat.
You’ve heard these all before, perhaps, but article may remind you to try
some of them.
The article >>
NCC Earth Day Sunday resource is available
The National Council of Churches announces
that its 2006 Earth Day Sunday resource is available for download at
Their announcement continues:
This year, the resource focuses on the just rebuilding
of the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. So many
congregations have been involved in relief and recovery efforts that we
think this is a great way to affirm, honor and add to that ministry!
This resource provides the background information,
sermon notes, bulletin insert, and study questions to plan an Earth Day
Sunday (or any day) worship service.
New Lenten resource on caring for creation
Presbyterians for Restoring Creation has
produced a new resource, "Living in Lent, Caring for Creation." It is a
12-page resource that includes a list of "40 ways to fast and feast for
God's Creation" and a reflection for Lent, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday,
Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Great Vigil of Easter, and Easter Sunday.
It can be downloaded from
For more information, contact: Carolynn Race, Presbyterian
Washington Office, 100 Maryland Ave. NE, Suite 410 Washington, DC 20002.
202-543-1126, fax 202-543-7755. Email
The energy crisis – a
threat to suburbia!?
John Shuck, the pastor of First
Presbyterian Church in Elizabethton, Tennessee, send us an essay recently
characterizing the Theological Task Force report as "Not
Justice, Not Progress, Just the Same Second-Class Status." He sent
another brief note recently reflecting on another concern:
I have another issue. I would dare
to say that other issues pale in comparison with this one. I am facilitating
a study during Lent at my church in which we will watch two documentaries,
"The End of Suburbia" and "The Corporation."
Both of these documentaries, especially
"The End of Suburbia" (since I am a suburbia living kind of guy) were
wake-up calls for me. I am afraid that it will be very soon (perhaps 10-20
years) when we in America experience the end of the world as we know it.
That is the predicted peak of the supply of world oil resources according to
"The End of Suburbia."
Since I saw this documentary a few
weeks ago, I cannot get it out of my mind. Here are some of its insights. If
every inhabitant of Earth consumed at the rate of the average North
American, we would need four planets to sustain our consumption. There is no
political will to change our American way of life which seems to be
unlimited consumption. Consumption is based on an unlimited supply of cheap
oil. The war on terror will never end because it is a war to control oil
supply. Even so, this supply will end.
We presently have no alternative. We
have no desire to find an alternative. We have a narrow window (one that is
closing rapidly) to make some drastic changes (both in the way we live and
in finding alternative sources of energy) yet there is little interest in
I am curious how many Witherspooners
have seen either of these documentaries and if so, what Progressive
Presbyterians could do to to wake people up. But then again, maybe all is
fine and I shouldn't worry.
Can you offer any response to
John’s closing query? Have you seen either of these films? Do you share
his concern? Any ideas about what to do about it?
Just send a note, to be shared here!
Addicted to oil? It’s far deeper than that.
It’s far more serious than the President acknowledged in
his State of the Union address, says Peter Sawtell, Executive Director,
Eco-Justice Ministries. He offers a sharp critique of the president’s way of
framing the problem, saying:
If Mr. Bush was really talking about breaking our
addiction, he wouldn't look to technology for the solution. Any addict on
the long path of recovery has to make very hard changes, and the President
isn't asking us to change much of anything.
He isn't asking anyone to conserve – to drive less, or
to turn down the thermostat. He isn't asking anyone to deal with
efficiency – to improve fuel economy standards for cars, or to insulate
homes. And he certainly isn't asking us to change our national self-image
as an economic powerhouse.
The fact of the matter is, the phrase about our
addiction to oil was a distraction. That unexpected word pushed a very
short section about energy into the news, and made it sound like a
dramatic change in policy. But the fairly minor proposals that Mr. Bush
named have almost nothing to do with breaking an addiction to fossil
whole essay >>
Some evangelicals call for action against global warming,
others refuse [2-8-06]
evangelical Christian leaders have decided to back a major initiative to
fight global warming, saying "millions of people could die in this century
because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors." But
the National Association of Evangelicals has refused to take a stand, in
spite of the urging of some of its members, and in spite of its declaration
last year of an Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility.
The New York
Times reports on the action against global warming >>
An "evangelical mutiny"?
Paul Waldman, a senior fellow at Media Matters for
America, sees this as one example of a growing split among religious
conservatives, particularly between those whose primary loyalty is to the
Republican Party, and the others who are more concerned to be faithful to
their own consciences and convictions. Finally, he suggests, progressive
people of faith must help their evangelical sisters and brothers to see that
"the Republican Party is playing you for a fool" – using them as a political
base, with no real commitment to many of their values.
Is "real nature" separate from (or even free from) human, and vice versa?
Peter Sawtell of Eco-Justice Ministries reflects on those
beautiful nature scenes in his new calendar – and ponders the assumptions
they suggest about nature and humanity. [1-2-06]
In the world of nature calendars -- and the lovely
Sierra Club ones are only one example of the genre -- the full beauty of
nature is ruined if people are present. Within this iconography, "nature"
and humanity occupy completely different realms.
The ongoing debate questions the aesthetic assumption of
the calendars. Is "nature" something that is utterly different from the
human, or should we acknowledge the interconnections between the two? At
its most challenging form, the question asks if it is even misleading to
use language that conceptually separates "human" and "nature." Ethicist
Larry Rasmussen wrote, "We could learn to speak, for example, not of
humanity AND nature, but of humans IN and AS nature. ... We could
acknowledge that humans never rise above nature, never transcend it."
New ecumenical web resource
The National Religious
Partnership for the Environment (NRPE) has created a
new website, which includes profiles of
engagement from faith communities, educational and worship resources, and
information on faith and the environment. [10-21-05]
Pork-laden energy bill concerns environmentalists
As analysts continue to pore over the details of the new omnibus energy bill
Congress approved and President Bush signed last week, many are questioning
the wisdom of providing numerous fossil fuel subsidies to industries that
are making windfall profits. Indeed, Congress has asked for tens of billions
of dollars to help nuclear, oil and coal companies that are hardly ailing as
surging fuel prices throughout the U.S. and abroad generate record earnings.
Read a short
report on emagazine >>
And see a longer article in the Washington Post >>
Legislation dealing with
climate change is now being considered in the Senate’s discussion of the
Here are some helpful pieces to help you speak up effectively
on behalf of the PC(USA)’s longstanding commitment to stewardship of our
environment, including a legislative
alert from the Presbyterian
Washington Office, an update from the Sound Science Initiative of the
Union of Concerned
Scientists, an analysis of
the intense lobbying
going on, and
talking points to use in calls to senators.. [6-21-05]
Waters of Life
Moderator Rick Ufford-Chase
reports on the gathering of Presbyterians for Restoring Creation
He quotes from two major speakers as they challenged the
group "to take seriously God’s call to hallow God’s creation."
Genesis 1, "dominion," and caring for the earth
Peter Sawtell of EcoJustice Ministries has provided a new resource for
preaching on Genesis 1, just in time for its appearance in the lectionary
for Trinity Sunday, May 22. [4-26-05]
passes energy bill with major reliance on fossil fuels
The New York Times provides a fairly extensive report
on the House action, which takes note of some of the complexities involved.
The rise of "Eco-Evangelism" may offer good news for our
Matthew Sleeth, a former emergency room
doctor who now helps lead the eco-evangelism movement, writes of his own
faith journey and of the growing number of evangelicals who see caring for
the creation as part of their responsibility. He notes that for
evangelicals, such concerns must lead them to deal seriously with the
realities of population growth. He says "The choice is simple: We either
need birth control or to forgo the use of medicine to prolong life. It is up
to the individual, society, or religion to choose one or the other."
Read the essay on
AlterNet, or on
Earth Day Turns 35
Celebrate our home
Utne Reader offers lots of good resources
for celebrating Earth Day, which is today, April 22. But it’s never too
late to love Mother Earth!
The environment has taken a backseat to modern living and
not without cost. The temperature is gradually swelling, polar ice caps are
melting, species are dying off, and in many places the water is too polluted
to drink. There is no better time than the present to reverse the tide --
and no better day to begin than Earth Day. Fortunately, for those of us who
need a push and some direction, there's a bevy of resources.
a one-stop shop, where surfers can search for events in their area and learn
how to get involved in community-based campaigns. For family-friendly tips,
Kids Domain offers a
variety of activities, including interactive, online games and songs
inspired by Mother Earth. The
Earth Day Groceries Project
encourages students to decorate paper grocery bags with environmental
Environmental Protection Agency
is pitching in with a heap of resources, including information on how to
support cleaner electricity generation. You can also find out about the
environmental conditions in your community and learn how to help your
employer become more energy efficient. There's even a link to scout out
volunteer opportunities and Earth Day events in
Go there >>
Sharing the Waters of Life
June 9-12, 2005
Presbyterians for Restoring Creation
5th National Eco-Justice Conference
Silver Bay YMCA Center, Silver Bay, NY
the Waters of Life" will gather people from throughout the U.S. to:
biblical and theological foundations for responsible human living in God's
water challenges in relationship to economic and ecological justice,
globally and locally-in your own watershed as well as in the Lake George,
Adirondack, and Hudson River watersheds.
strategies, skills, and opportunities for on-going education and action.
as a gathered community for just public policies. Adopt new five-year
goals and action plan for PRC.
Celebrate the tenth anniversary of Presbyterians for Restoring Creation,
as well as global accomplishments for environmental justice of the past
decade, through music, dance, arts and worship.
A Planet on the Brink
Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, warns that the price of our
continued failure to protect the earth will be violence and social collapse.
Too often in recent decades, the two big "e" words -
ecology and economy - have been used as though they represented opposing
concerns. ... But this separation or opposition has come to look like a
massive mistake. It has been said that "the economy is a wholly owned
subsidiary of the environment". The earth itself is what ultimately
controls economic activity because it is the source of the materials upon
which economic activity works.
Read his essay in
The Independent UK, or in
resources and calls for action on eco-justice [2-17-05]
Peter Sawtell, Executive Director of Eco-Justice Ministries,
reminds us of the important things being presented to us by the National
Council of Church.
Sign on to GOD'S MANDATE statement
Read and use "God's Earth is
Sacred," a theological statement
Use Earth Day materials for Sunday,
|FASTING FROM VIOLENCE AGAINST
In its material for Week 2 of a
Lenten Fast From Violence, the
National Council of Churches calls on us to join in
"fasting from violence against creation." This might involve concrete
actions to reverse the processes that are leading to global warming, the
depletion of fisheries, shrinking habitat the threatens thousands of
species, the decline in air quality, and more. [2-21-05]
Is your stuff yours? The answer isn't
Conservative arguments again
"takings" clause in Constitution will challenge government's power to act
for the common good
Seeking to limit government seizures,
conservatives take the issue to court. The issue of "takings," or the
government's authority to take private property for legitimate public use
under the law of eminent domain, has been a matter of
concern to the Presbyterian Church, which has affirmed the need for such
authority so that governments can act for the broader public interest in
protecting the environment.
Conservatives will be taking two rather obscure cases to the court, arguing
that the "takings" clause in the 5th Amendment to the Constitution "is meant
to protect property owners and should be used to strike down regulations
that interfere with the profit of an individual or corporation. That might
mean regulations allowing the government to take your house ---- or
environmental regulations that are costly to businesses or health and safety
standards that businesses find onerous. Even minimum-wage laws could be
deemed unacceptable under this theory."
Kyoto Protocol goes into effect - and can provide economic
With the implementation of the Kyoto
Protocol for action against the emissions that are causing global warming,
Worldwatch sees new economic opportunities as nations shift to new energy
technologies, and living standards improve. The US, of course, is
staying out of it all.
Read the story on the
Theologians warn of
'false gospel' on the environment; call Christians to repent of sins
In an effort to refute what they call a
"false gospel" and to change destructive attitudes and actions concerning
the environment, a group of theologians, convened by the National Council of
Churches USA, has released an open letter calling on Christians to repent of
"our social and ecological sins" and to reject teachings that suggest humans
are "called" to exploit the Earth without care for how our behavior impacts
the rest of God's creation.
There is no tomorrow
Many friends have urged us to link to Bill Moyers' remarks
upon receiving the Global Environmental Citizen Award from the Center for
Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. Arguing that
evangelical Christians and their views now dominate the political scene in
Washington, he warns that their expectations of the impending apocalypse (as
expressed most widely in Timothy LaHaye's "Left Behind" series) lead to
their passionate support of Israel as the best way to bring on the return of
Christ. And these views also lead to a careless attitude toward the
environment - since God will take care of it all anyway.
Moyers until recently hosted the weekly public affairs
series "NOW with Bill Moyers" on PBS. This article is adapted from AlterNet,
where it first appeared. It has now been published in a slightly edited
version in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It's good stuff, if you're
looking for something more to be seriously concerned about.
Nations ranked as protectors of the environment
Guess what? We're not Number 1!
Researchers at Yale and Columbia
Universities announced the results of their second "index of environmental
sustainability," produced in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.
Finland, Norway and Uruguay held the top three spots in the ranking, while
the United States ranked 45th of the 146 countries studied, behind such
countries as Japan, Botswana and the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, and
most of Western Europe. The lowest-ranking country was North Korea, with
Haiti, Taiwan, Iraq and Kuwait ranking near the bottom.
The study is reported in the
New York Times, and the story is also posted on
The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World's Water
Alfred Davies reviews a book
that outlines that crisis building as private corporations gain ownership
and distribution rights over more and more of the world's water.
Have you wondered about the use of investments for
responsible social purposes?
ConocoPhillips drops out of Arctic Power
lobbying group, influenced by shareholder
Use it to fight mercury pollution.
Greenpeace and TrueMajority would like you to share some
of your hair. They are collecting hair samples to be tested for mercury
exposure, as a way of creating awareness and providing scientific data to
support stronger public health protections in place of the weaker ones
proposed by the Bush administration.
Click here to
order a test kit for yourself. One little catch: They are asking people
to give $25 for the cost of testing their own hair. But you'll get a report
telling you if you have dangerous mercury levels in your body - and what
steps you can take to lower them safely. [8-18-04]
But a pastor says "I don't have time to deal with that stuff."
Peter Sawtell of Eco-Justice Ministries offers
some practical wisdom for the weary pastor.
An overture to stabilize
the world's population
Overture 04-48 calls on the
Presbyterian Church to update its policies on population and environmental
issues to deal with the new challenges of the 21st century.
William Gibson and Willem Bodisco Massink provide
a brief background paper
on the reasons behind the overture.
Clergy and religious
leaders invited to support the Climate
[from the Eco-Justice Programs of the National Council of Churches]
Sunday is April 25. Presbyterian congregations across the
nation will join other Christians this weekend in giving thanks for the
wonders of creation on Earth Day Sunday. There will be worship
experiences, educational programs and other activities emphasizing
opportunity to reflect on the gift of God's creation and what we need to
do to protect it," said the Rev. Bill Somplatsky-Jarman, associate for the
PC(USA)'s Environmental Justice Office.
This year's Earth Day theme focuses on
air quality. [4-22-04]
Faith & Eco-Justice Fellowship offered by
received from the
Presbyterian Washington Office
Offered by the National Council of
Churches, the Fellowship Program seeks to transform the faith-based
eco-justice movement by training and supporting emerging practitioners
engaged in faith-based environmental work. The program aims to nurture and
train a new generation of leadership (age 22-40).
Deadline: May 15, 2004
Details: Participants will attend a
two-day retreat (July 26-29) and a one-day retreat in May 2005 for
skills-building, issue training, and collaboration.
To learn more and get application
Questions? Contact Cassandra Carmichael,
eco-justice program director, National Council of Churches, 110 Maryland
Ave, NE, Ste. 108, Washington, DC 20002. (202) 544-2350 ext. 27.
Cleaning up power plant pollution
is still a matter of hot debate
General Assembly called on Presbyterians to become informed on the health
hazards of massive pollution generated by the nation's coal-fired power
plants. It also urged that the government enforce and improve clean-air
A March 15 article in the Washington
Post shows some of the complexity of this issue, specifically in
relation to dealing with mercury pollution.
ACSWP names energy-policy team
The Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) has named a
committee to revise the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s policy on energy --
the first such effort in more than 20 years.
The Presbytery of Lackawanna recently
passed an overture to the General Assembly, calling on the church, the
government, and individuals to work toward stabilizing and then reducing
the global population, as a vital means of stewardship of God's creation.
|April 25 is
Earth Day Sunday.
Earth Day Sunday resources are now available at
http://www.webofcreation.org/ncc/. Click on "Link here. Earth Day
2004 Materials." [2-18-04]
Keeping an eye on Bush's stealth attacks on the environment
accurate and timely information on the Bush Administration's assault on
our environment and public health.
The site's creators say "We are dedicated to expanding
media coverage and public awareness of the many vital environmental and
public health issues affected by the administration's anti-environmental
agenda, which consistently places the interests of corporate donors above
the public good."
BushGreenwatch is a project of
Environmental Media Services, a
nonprofit communications clearinghouse, with support from
the online advocacy group.
"Greentrade" - an alternative to globalization's attacks on the
Free Trade Area
of the Americas are pursuing policies that threaten
existing environmental protections and give vast new powers to
corporations - all through secret negotiations.
Friends of the Earth offers a variety of good resources, background
papers, and more, on these critical issues.
After the big blackout ... what about energy?
TomPaine.com is an
excellent source for news and opinion with a progressive perspective. They
have just posted a very helpful list of resources on the energy crisis
that didn't just happen last week. They call it
An Energy Solutions Reader
An Ounce of Precaution may equal
a pound of environmental cures [8-16-03]
In June, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 8-2
to adopt the Precautionary Principle, consolidating the city's
environmental laws into a single code to "create and maintain a healthy,
viable Bay Area environment for current and future generations," reports
Rachel's Environment and Health News.
According to the Environmental Research Foundation web
site, the principle is the result of a two-year study of how to most
effectively integrate city and county environmental policies. The study's
|Every citizen has an inherent right to "live healthy,
fulfilling. and dignified lives," with access to clean air, water,
earth, and food. |
|Environmentally harmful activities have historically
been identified only after people and the environment have been harmed.
To effectively repair the damage, the city must "[move] beyond finding
cures for environmental ills to preventing the ills before they do
|Citizens are equal partners in decisions affecting
their environment. |
The five elements needed for the Precautionary Principle
to succeed are
summarized on Utne's Webwatch.
the full article in Rachel's Environment and Health News.
So what about all
Peter Sawtell, Executive
Director of Eco-Justice Ministries, reflects on the emerging "pattern of
lies" from the Administration in Washington – those used to justify the
invasion of Iraq, as well as those being trotted out to justify the
continual downgrading of environmental protections.
Participants sought for
new PC(USA) team to revise church's policy on energy
The Advisory Committee on Social Witness
Policy (ACSWP) invites nominations of people to serve on a new resolution
team charged with revising the denominational policy on energy.
mandate for this work comes from an action taken by the 214th General
Assembly (2002) (See Item 12-06 cited below).
If you know of persons who have expertise
on this subject, please encourage them to
complete the Nomination Form and
send it to the attention of Belinda Curry,
email@example.com, by June
Justice conference sponsored by National Council of Churches,
will take place June 20-23 in Seattle. Theme of "Sustainable Living in
Global World" will focus on sustainability, globalization, and economics,
along with other topics such as energy stewardship, lifestyle/consumerism,
and environmental justice. There will be a special youth and young adult
'EARTH DAY SUNDAY 2003:
WATERS OF LIFE'
Presbyterian Washington Office provides good material for Earth Day Sunday,
April 27, 2003. [3-15-03]
Day Worth It? [2-25-03]
Peter Sawtell, Executive Director of
Eco-Justice Ministries, notes that Earth Day this year falls on April 22,
just two days after Easter - (or just before Orthodox Easter on April 27.
But it's still an important observance, he says -- and points to resources
for this year's emphasis on WATER.
Churches go green
Many congregations are
seeking ways to make their buildings more energy efficient - both as an
expression of their stewardship of the environment, and to save money.
Science Monitor article describes specific efforts, and points to
sources of information and financial help.
For information about how to encourage energy efficiency at
your church, contact the PC(USA)'s
Enough for Everyone Program, and its
Electric Stewardship project.
|Higher fuel costs will offer challenges
and teachable moments to congregations [1-9-03]
The Rev. Bruce Gillette, of First Presbyterian Church, Pitman NJ,
sends this observation and suggests resources for the rising cost of
need to be concerned with the January 8th news headline "Consumers
Brace for Higher Heat, Fuel Costs." The Reuters story reported
"If temperatures remain normal the rest of this winter, the Energy
Information Administration said home heating bills will be up 43 percent
for heating oil, 34 percent for natural gas and 12 percent for
electricity compared to last winter. The heating bills that consumers
will have to pay are much higher than the agency predicted several weeks
ago." See the whole report online.
increases for energy can impact church budgets two ways. First, more
church funds will be needed to heat church buildings. Second, church
members will be paying more to heat their own homes and drive their cars
which will limit the funds they can give to support their churches.
need to be emphasizing energy conservation as part of our faithful
discipleship in caring for God's creation. Our overuse of energy is a
major cause of global warming and air/water/ground pollution with many
resulting health problems. Energy conservation can save on our church's
fuel budget line items so these funds can be to benefit for missions or
underpaid church staff.
ecumenical think-tank Alban Institute's congregational resources web
site and the U.S. Department of Energy both recommend the Interfaith
Coalition for Energy (ICE): ICE has many practical (often inexpensive) ways that churches can save
on their energy bills. ICE publications include how to do an energy
audit, conservation tips, how to calculate the real costs of building
use by outside groups, and much more. Readers will find recommendations
based on scientific studies done, such as the little impact of cold
sanctuaries on pipe organs and whether it helps to run sanctuary ceiling
fans when the heat is on (fans don't keep rooms warmer - they only
create indoor "wind chill") You can contact Andrew Rudin, ICE
Project Coordinator, at 7217 Oak Ave., Melrose Park, PA 19027 Phone:
215/ 635-1122 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ecumenical web site for environmental stewardship for online resources
for worship, education, congregational and personal life styles is http://www.webofcreation.org
these resources with other churches in your community, online friends
and church governing bodies.
|Reductions sought in
Criticizing Bush, Senators McCain and Lieberman
would set deadlines [1-9-03]
an update from the Washington Post on current efforts in
Congress to press for more responsible action on greenhouse gases. A
number of senators want to seek mandatory limits on carbon dioxide and
other heat-trapping gases, while the administration continues to oppose
such action, wanting only voluntary measures - and those only after
"more study." A number of Republicans are looking for stronger
action, as well.
|Bush tolerance of air
pollution will be challenged in Senate
The Presbyterian Washington Office notes that Senators
McCain and Lieberman plan to unveil a plan this week to require all U.S.
power plants and industries to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide
and other greenhouse gases, setting the stage for a conflict with the
Bush administration and the new chairman of the Senate Environment and
Public Works Committee.
report is in The Washington Post.
Center for a New American Dream says "Urge AAA to end its 'don't
ask, don't tell' lobbying policy [12-17-02]
While the good old reliable AAA may probably rescued
lots of us, it appears that this powerful national organization is using
our dues money for extensive lobbying at national, state, and local
levels -- mostly for more highways, less public transit, less regulation
of motor vehicle emissions, and so on.
But there are things we can do to call them to account
in the name of ecojustice.
|Repentance and Sin -
and a newspaper's
illustration of them both
The Rev. Bruce Gillette has sent an interesting reflection on next
Sunday's text on John the Baptist, and a contemporary call for
repentance in the face of global warming - a call which the Bush
administration is greeting with a call for more study.
ecumenical and evangelical, urge auto makers to work
for fuel-efficient cars [11-21-02]
Concerned about fuel efficiency and those big ol'
SUVs? But not to worry: Chevy's
Or maybe that's to worry more? [11-21-02]
Chevrolet has hitched their current advertising
campaign to the star of evangelical Christianity, with a tour featuring
16 evangelical concerts beginning in Atlanta on Nov. 1, and ending in
Detroit on Nov. 23.
Presbytery and TAMFS Michigan speak out against the exploitation of
question of "takings" [11-5-02]
The 214th General Assembly in Columbus approved an
overture from Baltimore Presbytery, asking for a study on the issue of
The issue is complex, and it is especially complex -
and important - for the PC(USA) right now.
(1) Churches are often concerned about zoning and
historic regulations, regarding any obstacles as an offense to religious
freedom. As a result they inadvertently join the "property
rights" ideologues who regard any regulation as a
"taking" which ought to be compensated under the Fifth
(2) The 2000 General Assembly, acting out of sympathy
and unaware of broader consequences, approved a Commissioners'
Resolution on the Klamath Basin controversy but in the process asserted
that "taking water rights is taking private property." This
was out of keeping with the General Assembly's longstanding support of
environmental regulations, rejecting the simplistic argument that they
constitute a "taking."
We offer three short looks at this issue.
Bob Stivers, of
Presbyterians for Restoring Creation, reported on the action of the 214th
General Assembly, examining the way it responded to an action by the 213th
Assembly dealing with a water crisis in the Klamath Basin.
Witherspoon Issues Analyst, examines the way in which churches are being
drawn into the campaign against "takings," in the name of
"freedom of religion" and of their own institutional
Stated Clerk of Baltimore Presbytery, has worked with the presbytery
committee that wrote the 2002 overture. He traces some of the
complexities of the "takings" issue, as individual interests
and rights come in conflict with community needs and interests.
Do you have thoughts on the
Please send a note and we'll share you views here.
The "World Summit" in
Observations from environmentalists
We're seeing lots of reports from Johannesburg these
days, and your Witherspoon web site makes no pretence of outdoing them
But you may find it helpful to see events at the World
Summit through a few "alternative eyes" -- observers from
environmental and other civil society organizations.
you're following reports on the World Summit on Sustainable Development,
you may find these three resources helpful for yourself, or for
interpreting the event to others.
These suggestions come from Peter Sawtell, Executive
Director of Eco-Justice Ministries
fires and "national security" -- Extraordinary events
don't provide a good basis for public policy
Environmentalist Peter Sawtell sees this sensible idea
as a reason for questioning Pres. Bush's new policies on opening our
forests for commercial cutting, and on the Administration's plans for
long-term infringements on civil rights, justified by 9/11.
Simple Ways to Preserve our EcoSystem this
The founders of the EcoMall,
Tom Kay and Marianne Schnall, offer suggestions for earth-friendly
back-to-school shopping as well as activities for youngsters, educators
and parents seeking to make a difference in the health of our planet
especially at the start of each new school year.
the President ignores climate change, others around the country are
paying attention and taking action.
Web magazine Grist offers a roundtable gathering of
information on the ways many people are finding to deal with the threat
of global warming and climate change: local networks enacting local
climate change initiatives, corporations cutting greenhouse gas
emissions, and schools building "green" dorms.
Among other good things, Katherine
Ellison, an author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, examines
the origins and implications of the trend toward local climate change
initiatives. She notes the increasing strength of "religious
activism on climate issues," as shown by the letter signed by more
than 1,200 religious leaders last February, calling on U.S. senators to
enact "specific measures to curb climate change."
She quotes Paul Gorman, director of the New York-based
National Religious Partnership for the Environment: "In this case,
the religious community has been led by science. And this is very
noteworthy, considering that these two communities have been so deeply
at odds in the past."
Ellison adds, "Indeed, not since the
anti-Apartheid movement have so many priests and rabbis so concertedly
urged their congregants to take political action, and nothing else
demonstrates so clearly that global warming has become a mainstream
Grist also leads you to lots of other good things,
One local religious initiative is seen in the work of
the Rev. Sally Bingham, a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of California,
serves as environmental minister at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and
Regeneration Project . Check out their web site, which greets the
visitor with "Welcome to Episcopal Power and Light and the
And an excellent collection of links provides
background information on climate change and efforts to combat it. -
including a Smithsonian Institution site with vast stores of information
(and lots of graphics, too)
Thanks to http://utne.com/webwatch/
for leading us to this resource.
For Restoring Creation conference points the way to energy
"The world is good. The world is a gift. The
world is a responsibility," said Carl Pope, executive director of
the Sierra Club as he spoke to 180 delegates at Linfield College in
McMinnville, Oregon, for last week's conference (July 10-14, 2002) on
the theme "Earth's Energy, God's Light," sponsored by
the Presbyterians For Restoring Creation.
|The Bush response to global warming -- a
faith-based response [6-8-02]
Bush administration has recently submitted its "Climate Action
Report 2002" to the United Nations. For the first time, this
administration acknowledges the phenomenon of global warming, and the
link between human activities and the rise in temperature of the
atmosphere and the oceans. The report goes on to suggest an interesting
response: Get used to it! And let any changes we make be voluntary.
We've been looking for some comment from the faith
communities, and Peter Sawtell, Executive Director of Eco-Justice
Ministries, has offered a thoughtful response, concluding, "I can
think of no other term than 'foolishness' to describe the ludicrous US
policy which knowingly increases our damage to the Earth's climate, and
then proposes enormous and complex, but very partial, steps to try and
adapt to the climate change we are causing.
hymn celebrating our Creator God has been written by Carolyn
Winfrey Gillette, and sent to us by her husband, Bruce Gillette.
With its theme of God's creative action, he suggests that it would be
appropriate for use on Sunday, May 26th, with the
lectionary's texts of Genesis 1:1-2:4 and Psalm 8.
And speaking of Creation, the Rev. Bruce Gillette
(spouse of the author of the hymn) suggests that a recent column by New
York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman provides a very current
comment on our president’s failure of imagination. The President, says
Friedman, has failed to imagine the good that might have come out of the
nation’s struggles with the terrorism of September 11. A real leader
could have built on the unity of the nation to move us toward greater
conservation of energy, enlisting young people in the work that will
And, notes Gillette, the churches have generally been
as lacking in imagination for a new level of stewardship of the
out the full article in the New York Times.
|A major oil
company shows that Pres. Bush can stop worrying about the economic costs of measures
to prevent global warming
full story is in TomPaine.com
Pres. Bush and his oil-industry friends have been
arguing the energy efficiency is not needed, because the threat of
global warming is not "scientifically proven." They also argue
that the measures needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would be
damaging to the US economy. So the administration has refused to
participate in the Kyoto treaty, has rejected measures to improve the
fuel efficiency of autos, and so on.
Now comes along the chief executive of a major global
energy company, John Browne of BP, telling us the his company's pl\an to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels below those of 1990 by 2010 -
a plan announced five years ago - has already been realized, at no net
cost to the company.
While BP has achieved this with no government support
(something Mr. Bush would no doubt appreciate and want everyone else to
emulate), Browne argues that if changes in the energy industry are to
the scale this is needed, "we need the help of governments" to
provide incentives. He adds that the Kyoto treaty provides the basis for
the needed guidelines.
Seth Dunn, a Research Associate at the Worldwatch
Institute in Washington, DC., offers this as a case study for Pres.
Bush in TomPaine.com
resources are available for Earth Day Sunday (April 21), and for Rural Life
Sunday (April 28). [3-23-02]
|This Year Make Earth Day, April 22nd, A Family Affair
& Activities for Celebrating Earth Day are offered by the EcoMall
one of the oldest and largest portals for environmental shopping.
Peter Sawtell of Eco-Justice Ministries ponders the
problem of heresy, which happens "when partial truths are elevated
to the status of absolute truths." And today's big heresy, he
suggests, is the idea of personal freedom. It was the key argument in
the US Senate against tighter standards for fuel economy in US vehicles
-- including even SUVs and vans. The assumption was that Congress had no
right to tell Americans what kind of cars they could drive.
Says Sawtell: "Freedom is one of the core values
for the United States. But we have encountered heresy when that value is
lifted up as an absolute truth."
|The UCC Justice and Peace
Action Network has sent a helpful bulletin with information on energy
policy issues being discussed in the US Senate -- along with
suggestions for action. [3-13-02]
|Religious leaders speak out on energy
Science Monitor presents an impressive survey of the religious
voices reminding the U. S. Senate of the "moral obligations"
involved in their deliberations on energy policy.
the religious leaders take a line clearly at odds with the Bush
administration: They favor more conservation and renewable energy
sources, plus a 'substantial' increase in vehicle fuel economy; they
oppose more oil drilling, especially in wilderness areas. Referring to
the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where President Bush wants to
drill for oil, the religious leaders say, 'Conservation is a morally
superior alternative to drilling in such places.'"
Eco-Justice Ministries offers worship resources for
Earth Day 2002 [3/6/02]
These resources are built around the theme
"Having All Things In Common," and are based on one of the
Revised Common Lectionary texts for Sunday, April 21.
They are now available on the Eco-Justice Ministries
Executive Director, Eco-Justice
for God's Creation: Making the World Safe for Children" is the
theme of resources offered by the National Council of Churches for
congregational observances of Earth Day Sunday (April 21, 2002).
|Peter Sawtell of
Eco-Justice Ministries offers provocative thoughts on what
it means to be really loving -- and extending that love to all
creatures. And loving ourselves enough that we don't need drugs
like Botox to make ourselves lovable. [2-18-02]
message of Enron: Diversify! [1-19-02]
Peter Sawtell of Eco-Justice Ministries sees a lesson in the crash of
Enron, and especially the harsh consequences for employees whose pension
funds were invested largely in Enron stock: Diversity is a good thing!
In the economy, in the church, in nature.
|Interfaith web network launched to deal
with climate change [1-17-02]
A broad coalition of faith groups has joined to create
a new web-based advocacy network focused on issues of climate change:
the Interfaith Climate Change Network. It will provide practical help on
conservation and stewardship of creation, as well as information to help
people influence legislators and policy-makers. The network is
co-sponsored by the National Council of Churches' Eco-Justice Working
Group and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life.
|Peter Sawtell, Executive
Director of Eco-Justice Ministries, offers a meditation
on grace as lying "at the heart of the Christian faith."
This grace is not simply a matter of individualistic "divine
forgiveness," but is a life-style which allows space for healing -
in personal lives, in an economic system, in our relationship with
nature. So we must build into our systems "some leeway and
resources that allow options for forgiveness and new beginnings."
|The National Council of
Churches has issued a Christmastide statement
on environmental justice, in which they affirm:
"We believe that the American religious community
is ready to lead a new abolition movement - to abolish unsustainable
ecological and economic practices and to create a new economy and
society based on stewardship, conservation and renewable
a revelation from the Gentiles points us toward new openness to
learning from other faiths and from environmental scientists.
by Peter Sawtell, Executive Director, Eco-Justice
|O Tannenbaum - O
Peter Sawtell, Executive Director of Eco-Justice
Ministries, recently sent these thoughts
on Christmas trees. He may sound a bit like the Grinch, but he
offers helpful insights on the ways our "simple" actions are
intertwined with economic and environmental realities - and
Peter Sawtell, the Executive Director of Eco-Justice
Ministries, offers some constructive thoughts about the uses of guilt as
a motivator for good causes -- and seeks alternatives.
a really big addiction?
Peter Sawtell of Eco-Justice Ministries recently posted a
thought-provoking look at America's biggest addiction: Energy. And, he
says, it's time for a big-time intervention. [8-16-01]
Restoring Creation urges people to contact representatives in Washington
regarding the flawed energy
legislation now coming up for debate [8-2-01]
energy plan heading for Congressional debate. Presbyterians
for Restoring Creation urges communicating with congress people.
Action Network -- an activist environmental group -- is being
challenged by the conservative Frontier Freedom Foundation (FFF) -
heavily supported by tobacco, oil, and timber money. [7-25-01]
Wade, a founder of Presbyterians for Restoring Creation, has died
while hiking in the Colorado Rockies [6-5-01]
The Rev. John Wade, one of the founders of Presbyterians for Restoring
Creation, died May 16 in a fall while hiking in the Colorado Rockies.
Wade, 81, was a former chair of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Sierra
Club. During his life in the outdoors, Wade climbed 32 of the 54
Colorado Rockies peaks that rise 14,000 feet or more. A Colorado native,
he served one pastorate in Utah before spending the rest of his career
in his home state.
He is survived by two sons, one in Massachusetts and the other in
Pennsylvania. His wife, Marian, died in 1995.
From Presbyterian News Service, 5-June-2001
Conference speaks up for those threatened by US policies and global
Witherspoooners Harold Barton and Brian Christofferson
attended the Eco-Justice Conference which was held last week in
Washington, DC., sponsored and planned by the National Council of
Churches. As their first report on this important event, they have
forwarded the latest issue of the e-list "Eco-Justice
Peter Sawtell, Executive Director of Eco-Justice
Ministries, recounts the day of lobbying on Capitol Hill by 350
conference participants. They visited legislators on behalf of the
Gwich'in people and the caribou herd that will be devastated by oil
drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; the people of
Bangladesh, who will be among the most impacted victims of global
warming; future generations, whose needs and interest are not adequately
considered in short-sighted energy policies.
"We dared to remind our Senators and
Representatives," he writes, "of the notion of sacrifice, and
we called upon them to provide leadership of the sort that carries
Check out the full
The Eco-Justice conference also discussed the
loss of coral reefs as a major threat to the globe - and suggested
dealing with this issue both as a policy issue and (more accessibly) as
a matter for prayer in congregations. [6-2-01]
to ecojustice web sites
The Rev. Dr. Janet Adair Hansen, a member of the
Steering Committee of Presbyterians for Restoring Creation, and the
editor of their newsletter and web page, sent a note in early March to
the Ecunet meeting called "Ecunet for Ecology," in which she
mentioned a couple web sites worth visiting for information on
environmental concerns. Here's the gist of what she said:
Most mainline denominations have groups similar to PRC,
and connect through the Eco-Justice Workgroup of the National Council of
Churches, while the conservatives have their counterpart through
"Evangelical Environmental Network."
EcoJustice Group has a website which includes some postings for
Earth Day 2001 worship resources. They are also sponsoring a
training conference in Washington DC in May for those interested in
advocacy from a faith perspective (you need your denomination's
backing to go).
The Presbyterians for Restoring
Creation website is currently sponsored by Bill Somplatsky-Jarman of
our Environmental Justice Office.
If you are interested in being alerted to issues in
Washington related to Ecology and the Environment, our PCUSA Washington
Office has a list serv you can sign up for. To subscribe by e-mail send
a message to "email@example.com" and in the message
area put the single word "subscribe".
Or you can go on the web to the PCUSA
Washington Office page to sign up for whatever lists you want.
are called to restoring God's creation, and to acting for the preservation
of biodiversity, in an overture from The Presbytery of Susquehanna
Jersey pastor Bruce Gillette writes from # 1 Superfund cleanup site,
urges action for the creation
Arsenic is one current concern [5-1-01]
|Check out a report on
how the faith-based environmental movement seems to be gaining
strength in the US, partly in reaction to President Bush's
withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol. [4-11-01]
Some blogs worth visiting
Mitch Trigger, PVJ's
Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where
Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and
views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both
personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!
You can post your own news and views,
or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.
for Life" website
Long-time and stimulating blogger John Shuck,
a Presbyterian minister currently
serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton,
Tenn., writes about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized
and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and
Click here for his blog posts.
Click here for podcasts of his radio program, which "explores
the intersection of religion, social justice and public life."
John Harris’ Summit to
Theological and philosophical
reflections on everything between summit to shore, including
kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology,
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New York City and the Queens
neighborhood of Ridgewood -- by a progressive New York City
Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the Witherspoon
board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian Church in
Voices of Sophia blog
Heather Reichgott, who has created
this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:
After fifteen years of scholarship
and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the
voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy,
students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers
and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God
in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God
through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through
articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and
Got more blogs to recommend?
send a note, and we'll see what we can do!