Where will God Dwell?

This post was originally published on August 21, 2018 by Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. Dr. Stan Saunders writes: 

This post reflects thoughts on how Christians can prepare and preserve a fitting, earthly place for God to dwell in and around us.

As I write this, my son has just returned from a college internship in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Wilderness Preserve in Alaska.

Many of us may not have heard of Wrangell-St. Elias, which is one our newer National Parks, albeit the largest, comprising an area larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Switzerland (which is not one of our parks!) combined. Continue reading

My Summer as a Sustainability Ambassador

My name is Ben Wilkinson, and I am a rising senior at Dunwoody High School and a member of Dunwoody UMC. In June, I became a Sustainability Ambassador for the City of Atlanta. The Sustainability Ambassador program is a series of six classes, each one dedicated to a specific topic related to environmentalism, including food, power, water, waste, and weather. Each session features one or two speakers who work on projects pertaining both to the class theme and sustainability. For example, the speaker at the fourth class was the designer of forty miles of flood tunnels under Atlanta and specially-designed parks that can flood when needed to prevent dangerous sewer overflows. The second class featured representatives of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates some of the largest hydroelectric dams in the US, and an engineer tasked with designing and deploying windmills off the East Coast. Continue reading

Food Waste: A Social & Eco-Justice Challenge

by Rev. Kate McGregor Mosley, Executive Director of GIPL

Last week found me “cooking down the pantry.” Usually by the end of the month, I’m a bit weary of the grocery lists and the meal prep. I have little energy to run one more errand to the grocery so I whole-heartedly accept the challenge to create meals my fairly patient family will eat from the food that already exists in our home. Like I said, it’s a challenge, and one that I like because it requires some pure creativity on my part. Google has definitely made it easier for me though. These days, you can type in the search bar a random list of key ingredients and a recipe will pop up that could prove useful in feeding a family. Continue reading

Readers Respond to NY Times Climate Change Article

On August 1, 2018, Nathaniel Rich had an article titled “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change” in The New York Times Magazine. Editor Jake Silverstein writes: “This narrative by Nathaniel Rich is a work of history, addressing the 10-year period from 1979 to 1989: the decisive decade when humankind first came to a broad understanding of the causes and dangers of climate change. Complementing the text is a series of aerial photographs and videos, all shot over the past year by George Steinmetz. With support from the Pulitzer Center, this two-part article is based on 18 months of reporting and well over a hundred interviews. It tracks the efforts of a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians to raise the alarm and stave off catastrophe. It will come as a revelation to many readers — an agonizing revelation — to understand how thoroughly they grasped the problem and how close they came to solving it.”

Continue reading

Sightings from the Treehouse: Ecology of Creation

A common theme among many of the previous Sightings blogs is that natural laws (physics, chemistry and biology) govern the planet and universe and that life has evolved from the basic elements released during the Big Bang.  Each organism is part of a population of similar organisms and an ecosystem made up of other plants, animals and inorganic features.  They also evolved from a common ancestor living about 3.5 billion years ago. Continue reading

The Earth is our Mosque

Written by Colin Christopher, this blog was originally posted on August 16, 2018 by Blessed Tomorrow. Blessed Tomorrow is a coalition of diverse religious partners united as faithful stewards of creation. Together, we inspire our communities to take action today on one of the greatest moral challenges of our era — protecting our shared home.

A few weeks ago, award-winning filmmaker Mawish Raza and I made the unlikely journey to Houston in the middle of July to make a film about climate change and the Muslim community. Everyone knows that Houston is hot and humid, but our time there included temperatures rising to 105 degrees. Some of our camera equipment was on the verge of melting. While there, many people mentioned to us that summer temperatures continue to rise year after year Continue reading

Why Did I Become a Green Team Lead?

by Rich Gittens, Green Team Lead for GIPL African American Clergy Engagement Pilot

The short, easy answer is … Valerie Hill-Rawls, who has the very long title of, “GIPL African American Creation Care Environmental Justice Pilot Community Engagement Project Manager.”  Some months ago Valerie made a presentation at my church, Emmanuel Lutheran, and talked quite passionately about a phrase that I’d not heard used before that day. That phrase was, “environmental justice.”  Now, I like to consider myself a fairly articulate guy. I understand “environmental” and I understand “justice” … but I’d not heard them used together.  And while the implication seemed pretty clear, I wasn’t sure. So I raised my hand and I asked.  From then on I was hooked. Continue reading

The Earth is the Lord’s: new policy from the General Assembly

This article was originally posted on July 3, 2018 by the Presbyterian (PCUSA) Mission Agency

Another new policy on engaging with issues of climate change–through preaching, embodying, advocating and proclaiming eco-justice– passed last month by the General Assembly environment committee and then by the General Assembly itself is below. Continue reading

Solar Panels Installed at Bamboo Creek Farm

This article was originally published in the July 31, 2018 Global Growers e-newsletter. 

Representatives from Creative Solar set up solar panels on the farm late June.

With the installation of 28 solar panels at our Bamboo Creek Farm site, Global Growers expects to be the first farm in the metro-Atlanta area to have walk-in coolers partially powered by solar energy. Many thanks goes to the Solarize Decatur-DeKalb Coalition for their support and partnership in this project! 

Bamboo Creek Farm is a 15-acre property that is shared by international farmers who came to this country as refugees from the Chin state of Burma (Myanmar). It operates as an incubator farm program where Global Growers provides access land, resources, and markets to support the development of new farm businesses. “The solar installation is another example of our partner farmers taking the lead on innovative and efficient farming practices,” says Robin Chanin, Executive Director, “Too often, the focus is on helping marginalized farmers get caught up, rather than advancing in key areas like alternative energy systems on the farm.”

Cold storage is one of the most intensive energy users on Global Growers’ farm, but it is an essential component of a fresh market, diversified fruit and vegetable operation making deliveries 4-5 days/week around metro-Atlanta. Bamboo Creek Farm uses a converted shipping container as the primary cold storage facility, along with two smaller units, that together offer three different temperature ranges suited for different products. “This repurposed cold storage unit is mobile and offers us versatility. Whether we unplug it and transport it to another location, or repurpose it into an office or dry storage unit, the cold storage unit works, offers endless possibilities and informs the community on renewable, sustainable farming practices,” says Todd Eittreim, our Farm Operations Manager.

Global Growers continues to push the boundaries of sustainable farm design with low-cost, effective, and replicable infrastructure that will help small farms be more competitive in the local marketplace, while being compliant with food safety standards. In partnership with the USDA and City of Atlanta’s Office of Resiliency, Global Growers will soon publish 3D models in an infrastructure toolkit so that other small farms can more easily build out their own systems.

Learn more about the solar project at: http://www.gipl.org/donated-solar-array-to-benefit-dekalbs-refugee-community/

Learn about opportunities to get involved with Global Growers

Sightings from the Treehouse: Ecotheology Rising

What is ecotheology?  It is a form of theology that focuses on the relationship between religion and nature with a particular emphasis on the ecological destruction underway.  It started as a religious response to the degradation of nature but is also concerned with potential solutions including ecosystem management and environmental justice. Continue reading