Summit motivates congregations in Earth care efforts
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
On Feb. 1, 160 people representing 47 congregations packed into the Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center in downtown Portland to learn about being better stewards of creation. The goals of Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns’ first “Earth Care Summit” were to connect congregations with community organizations and learn about the various resources available to green congregations, as well as provide inspiration. Representatives from 28 environmental nonprofits, government agencies and local businesses were on hand to share their resources and answer questions.
The event kicked off with tours of the green features of the LEED certified building. This was followed by a keynote address with the Rev. John Pitney, complete with inspirational music. Several congregational case studies were highlighted throughout the evening, and resource professionals from the City of Portland and Tualatin Riverkeepers presented on the importance of watershed stewardship and what congregations can do to be better stewards. The evening concluded with roundtable discussions on a variety of greening topics including sustainable purchasing, community gardens, and worship and creation.
Feedback for the event was positive. One participant said, “I liked the variety of speakers and topics, the inclusion of the folk music, and the yummy, filling feast of food.” Many who attended were interested in follow-up workshops, networking opportunities and a similar event next year, so stay tuned!
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