Faith Events Archive

Past events of note in the Faith Sector are listed below. For more recent events see the Faith Resources page.

2012 

October 1, 2012 - Short Video Captures Spirit of Sustainability Education Program for 11-14 year olds at Bahá'í Schools -Themes of environmental stewardship and justice are getting attention in the U.S. Bahá'í community, due in no small part to a session being held at the Bahá'í schools called, "Environmental Stewards: Champions of Justice!"  Developed over the last three years,  the program deeply engages junior youth - ages 11-14 -  in exploring both the wonders of the created world and their relationship with it, with special emphasis on the Bahá'í teachings and how they relate to modern-day issues. As a result, a short video has been produced that shares some of the excitement and learning taking place in the program.(More background...) 

September 13, 2012 (Washington, DC) -- More than 150 representatives of diverse faith and interfaith organizations took part in a conference "Greening America's Congregations through Energy Efficiency: A Call to Action" Sponsored by the White House office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, the meeting launched a new phase for EPA's EnergyStar for Congregations "Portfolio Manager" tool. Find out more in this article, published in the Huffington Post, by Peter Adriance:  The Power of Interfaith Collaboration: Linking Energy Conservation and Faith Communities

ShiloFebruary 8, 2012 - Canfei Nesharim is proud to launch a Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment, in partnership with Jewcology.com, and supported by several sponsors.  New materials will be released approximately every 3 weeks between Tu b'Shevat 5772 and Tu b'Shevat 5773.  The 18 topics covered will include short and long articles, a study guide, podcast and short video for sharing. They will be a significant contribution to the field of Torah-environment learning.

2011 

Jr. Youth at a July 2011 Green Acre Baha'i school program created costumes for an activity on environmental stewardship.July 22-27, 2011 - Sustainable Development Academy at Baha'i school connects faith with environmental stewardship and justice - An important part of the "Sustainable Development Academy" for junior youth held at Green Acre Baha'i School in July 2011 was the study of Baha'i Writings on the environment and social justice. The interactive lessons helped the 52 young people in their pre- and early teens to make a connection between the spiritual and material dimensions of life

Greg HitzhusenJune 7, 2011 - Religion, Environmental Ethics, and Climate Change (Webinar - 63 Minutes) - The world's religions are seriously engaging in work to address ecological and social concerns related to climate change. How are faith communities responding to climate concerns, and what do their ethical and moral perspectives add to scientific approaches to climate change? This webinar provides information about: History, trends, and tensions in faith community response to climate change; Religious teachings and moral imperatives about climate change and environmental stewardship; Engaged projects within faith communities as examples of response in action. (Thanks to Greg Hitzhusen, Board Chair of Ohio Interfaith Power and Light for this webinar)

February 14, 2011 - The Evangelical Environmental Network has hired Ben Lowe, activist and author of Green Revolution: Coming Together to Care for Creation, as its new Director of Young Adult Ministries.  Ben's work will include integrating creation care into diverse student programs that do not typically include creation care; working together with others to develop and promote an interdisciplinary creation care curriculum; and supporting and networking with other creation care groups to develop sustainability coordinator staff positions on Christian Campuses.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) is inviting faith leaders from across the country to give sermons and reflections on global warming the weekend of February 11-13, 2011. As the date approaches, IPL will be offering a variety of resources to those who register. Click on above link for more info and/or to register.

2010 

August 24, 2010 - From The Atlantic - "Ground Zero Mosque and the Greening of Faith" "With their intention to seek LEED certification, [the Ground Zero Mosque] planners join a growing cadre of religious leaders and communities dedicated to creating green spaces of worship, education, and leisure. In Chicago, a mosque has installed solar panels to heat water for 20,000 weekly worshippers to perform ablution. In Salt Lake City, the new church history library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has garnered a LEED Silver certification. And in Wilmette, Illinois, the Baha'i Visitor's Center is obtaining permits to install a cistern to collect rainwater for irrigation." Read full article: The Ground Zero Mosque and the Greening of Faith.

August 2, 2010 - Odyssey Networks' "Faith at the Gulf", a series of on-the-ground video profiles of local faith leaders responding to the spiritual crisis in the coastal communities of Mississippi wrought by the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, continues this week.  In the fourth of this series of five video reports, Rev. Roberts focuses on the role of individuals as stewards of the earth and the role that faith must play in changing behavior in order to protect the environment.

July 20, 2010 - Brilliant Star magazine, published for children ages 8-12 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States, received a 2010 APEX Award of Excellence for Green Writing. The Green Writing category focuses on topics such as conservation, energy, the environment, and climate change. The award honors the March/April 2009 issue of Brilliant Star, entitled "Caring for Our Planet," produced in observance of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Since 2005, six issues have been published in recognition of the UNDESD, and there are plans for future issues. (See press release...)

Earth Care Congregations logoJuly 1, 2010 - Environmental Stewardship Program Initiated by the Presbyterian Church (USA) See Press Release. The program has been introduced, "to encourage churches to care for God's earth and to honor churches that have committed to this important mission." To become an Earth Care Congregation churches affirm the Earth Care Pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into all facets of their church life and complete projects and activities in the fields of worship, education, facilities, and outreach. See Earth Care Congregations: A Guide to Greening Presbyterian Churches

2009

Baha'isDecember 17, 2009 - Climate ethics featured at Copenhagen conference. The ethical dimensions of climate change were a prominent part of the discourse at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, say members of the Baha'i delegation. [Read more...]

 

November 18, 2009 - Interfaith Voices, the nation's leading religion news magazine on public radio, features a program on Religion's Role in the Climate Solution. From ending slavery to launching civil rights, people of faith have long been mobilizers of great social change.  This week, a Jew, a Muslim and a Christian explain why religion is the missing link in confronting another justice issue: climate change. [Link to Podcast...]

November 16, 2009 - New online course explores scientific and spiritual dimensions of climate change  - An online study course on the Scientific and Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Change has just been made available by the International Environment Forum (IEF), a Baha'i-inspired organization addressing environment and sustainable development.  Imparting a sweeping overview of both the scientific and spiritual dimensions of the issue, the free course is intended to inspire a range of appropriate actions at the grassroots level.  The new course draws upon the Baha'i writings as well as the sacred scriptures of other religions, in addition to the latest scientific research. People of all faiths are encouraged to form groups to study the materials together. [Read more...]

October 27, 2009 - New York - Baha'is Join Global Plan for "generational change" on climate change" - The Bahá'í International Community today announced that it has become a partner in a United Nations-sponsored program to promote "generational change" to address climate change and environmental sustainability. The program, which is co-sponsored by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) and the United Nations Development Programme, seeks to promote lifestyle changes that will help slow global warming and other environmental problems during a seven-year period from 2010 to 2017. [Read more...] 

October 7-8, 2009 - State College, PA - The Rock Ethics Institute and the Jewish Studies Program at Penn State U. will convene a conference on "Stewardship or Sacrifice? Religion and the Ethics of Climate Change." The conference will be held at the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on Penn State's University Park campus. The purpose of the conference is to explore the role of religion in helping solve the climate change crisis. [Read More...]  

September 10, 2009 - Chicago, IL - Jews go green as Rosh Hashanah marks planet's `birthday'  NEWS FEATURE (Religion News Service) - From the Garden of Eden to modern community-supported organic gardens, Jews are returning to their biblical call "to till and to tend" the earth. Spurred by the popularity of environmental movements across denominations and the demands of the economic recession, Jewish leaders are transforming ancient concepts and observances-including Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and the "Birthday of the World" that starts on Sept. 18-into a religious basis for sustainability. (Read more...) 

August 13-16, 2009 - Washington, DC -- "Environments" is theme of the 13th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum, a Bahá'í-inspired organization addresssing the environment and sustainable development (see below).  Keynote speakers included: Arthur Dahl, on Transforming Environments from the Inside Out; Peter Adriance, on The Essential Role of Religion in Fostering a Sustainable World; and [Quaker] Peter Brown, on Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy. for session reports, PowerPoints, photos and more, please visit the conference blog 

The August 2009 issue of Sustainability: the Journal of Record featured a roundtable discussion entitled, "Greening the Flock: How Should Religious Institutions Foster Sustainability?"*.  Peter Adriance, NGO Liaison for the Baha'is of the U.S., moderated the discussion with nine other leaders in the field: William Aiken (Sokka Gakkai International-USA Buddhist Association); Peter G. Brown (Moral Economy Project - Quaker); Cassandra Carmichael (National Council of Churches); Nicola Coddington (NY Interfaith Power and Light); Rabbi Fred Dobb (Reform Judaism); Rachel Novick (Office of Sustainability, Notre Dame University); Fr. John Rausch (Catholic Committee of Appalachia); Rabbi Daniel Swartz (Reform Judaism); and John Wood (Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies). The discussion touched on the role of religion in fostering sustainability, the level of guidance provided by religious texts, the dynamic balance between practical and spiritual elements, the relationship between science and religion, and how religions can contribute to sustainability efforts on college campuses.

(* Reproduced by permission from Sustainability:  The Journal of Record, August 2009, www.liebertpub.com/sus)

July 20, 2009 - Fifty Ways to Help Save the Earth --On Your Own or with Your Church The green movement has taken root among Christians, with individuals, churches, denominations, and other groups embracing eco-justice as a vital part of discipleship. 50 Ways to Help Save the Earth: How You and Your Church Can Make a Difference (Westminster John Knox Press) by environmental activist Rebecca Barnes-Davies makes clear the connection between caring for the earth and living one's faith.  [Read more...] 

June 1, 2009 - Washington, DC -- Faith-inspired Stewardship Celebrated at Interfaith Bridge-Builders Award Ceremony - Faith Sector Team co-chair and US Partnership board secretary, Peter Adriance, was awarded the Fifth Annual Bridge Builders' Award by the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington (D.C.) for his ‘passionate commitment to inter-religious care of the earth'. Prior to the award ceremony, Adriance participated in a round-table discussion with three other awardees of Buddhist, Jewish and Christian affiliations discussing the fundamental values and scriptures that inspire the environmental ideals of their respective faiths. Adriance has served as the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States' NGO Liaison for Sustainable Development since 1990. [Read more...]

April 30, 2009 - Evanston, Ill. - Houses of God go green -- When it rained, water filled the basement a foot high, flooding the preschool room at least once a year. The air conditioner wouldn't work in two rooms at the same time. The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation desperately needed a new synagogue. As members planned their new building, they decided it should reflect the belief, shared by many faiths, that God calls them to be responsible stewards of the Earth.  They decided to go green from the ground up. [Read more...]

January 31, 2009 - New York -- Greening Reform Judaism Initiative Launched -- Website has Information for Congregations & Individuals -- The Reform Jewish Movement today launched Greening Reform Judaism, a comprehensive web resource on greening and other environmental issues for use by its 900 congregations and their members across the United States and Canada.

 January 22, 2009 - Pittsburgh, PA -- Is Global Warming a Spiritual Question? (21 Religious Leaders Say YES) - In the new book, Love God, Heal Earth: 21 Leading Religious Voices Speak Out on Our Sacred Duty to Protect the Environment, the Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham brings together 21 highly regarded spiritual leaders from diverse faiths to make the case for environmental stewardship and show how their faith communities are tackling the issue of religion and environment.  [Read more...]

2008 

September 24, 2008 - Evanston, IL -- JRC Awarded Platinum-Level LEED Certification! -- The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation's new synagogue in Evanston has been awarded LEED Certification at the Platinum Level by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) - the highest level of certification for green architecture...JRC is now the very first house of worship in the world to receive this designation! [Go on a virtual tour, learn more. link to green building resources...]

July 22, 2008 -- "Diverse groups coalesce to protect environment" By RICHARD CIZIK AND TRIP VAN NOPPEN, GUEST COLUMNISTS, Seattle PI -- "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves," says Proverbs 31:8. Scripture and teachings throughout the world call us to act with caring and justice for the vulnerable. Today "vulnerable" includes the Earth -- and people, plants and animals threatened by climate change. [Read more...] 

July 10, 2008 -- "Unitarians Go Green With New Booklet" --The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. John is on a mission to help St. John get greener by publishing a booklet called Smart Guide to Island Housekeeping.  "We're trying to build community interest in a sustainable lifestyle," editor Gail Karlsson said...While new and long-term island residents are the target audience, the booklet has information that applies in all locations. [Read more...]

July  9, 2008 -- "Green Monastery Planned" -- A Middleton religious group plans to build a $6 million monastery that will have a zero-carbon footprint and meet the highest environmental and energy-efficiency standards...."It is completely consistent with part of our mission to care for the Earth," Liotus said. [Sorry, the link to more of this story is no longer active]

June 20, 2008 (Anouar Majid) -- "Two Faiths, One Planet" -- "A remarkable event took place in Washington this week. The National Association of Evangelicals hosted a delegation of six Moroccans...to discuss the pressing problem of the environment and the "future of our planet." ...Christians and Muslims alike are called upon to care for God's creation...if Christians and Muslims cannot come together to do something about environmental degradation, both communities will have, in essence, forfeited their missions, if not abdicated their faiths altogether..." [Read more]

2007 

October 12-14, 2007 -- "Responding to Climate Change: Scientific Realities, Spiritual Imperatives" -- The 11th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum (IEF), a Bahá'í-inspired organization, explored the relationship between ethical and spiritual principles and the practical actions of individuals and communities facing global environmental change, at its annual conference in Ottawa. This was the fourth of its annual conferences the organization has devoted to themes of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Visit IEF's website for a report on the conference, including links to videos of talks and presentation materials. 

September 22-23, 2007 -- Faith Groups Explore Opportunities for Regional Collaboration -- An interfaith sustainability conference in southern Maine and New Hampshire was held in collaboration with the U.S. Partnership. The event, entitled, "Better Together: Fostering Interfaith Collaboration for Sustainability" focused on opportunities for collaboration among faith communities in the Piscataqua (Greater Portsmouth) Region. See event documents: Event flyer (PDF); Press release (MS Word document); Final Conference report (MS Word document).