The following post is a contribution from one of our conference participants, Yale alumna Katharine Preston.
As a graduate of both the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (’74) and Andover Newton Divinity School (’00), concentrating in ecology ministry, I look forward with special delight to the upcoming conference.
I offer an expansion of the blog discussions in two directions:
First, I want to reassure others that there are now many, many people out here in the non-academic world that are already working on these concerns on a weekly basis in churches (and synagogues and mosques). I guest preach in small, rural congregations in northern New York. Each time I am encouraged by the response of folks working hard to green their sanctuaries and change their ways of thinking about how humans fit into the greater scheme of God’s creation. Interfaith Power and Light groups, now in 25 states, are just one national effort illustrating this phenomenon. (www.theregenerationproject.org)Second, it seems to me that ecojustice is the primary nexus between ecological and theological concerns, particularly in light of climate change. We are surely invited to notice, love and celebrate the beauties of God’s creation, but for many right now (and for even more to come), it is about survival, not aesthetics. All people of faith are called by their various traditions to care for the poor and marginalized. Working to prevent and mitigate the catastrophic effects of climate change on “the least of these” must become a priority for all of us. So I do hope that we will not relegate our discussion on ecojustice issues simply to one breakout session on Saturday.