My name is Courtney Godwin, and I am a Religion and Social Justice major about to begin my third year at Agnes Scott College. Growing up, I spent much of my time outdoors, whether it was in the backyard with my sister or camping and hiking with my family. My parents both inspired a love of nature in me from an early age which has stayed with me. This zeal for nature was a catalyst for my minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Continue reading
In 2017, GIPL was pleased to provide a seed grant through our Four Directions Fund to Georgia Mountain Unitarian Universalist Church. One of ten grant recipients, Georgia Mountain UUC has a vibrant Green ministry that engages people within and beyond the four walls of the church. This past year, the congregation collaborated with several local organizations to tackle an environmental issue close to their hearts. Continue reading
Photo courtesy of Chris Donaghue
When I first discovered Thomas Berry, world religion scholar and renowned author, my eyes opened wide as I felt a void being filled. Over the past 50 years, scientific findings about the creation of the universe, earth, life and consciousness have provided answers about our origins. Thomas Berry’s work culminated in the call for a new creation story, one based on scientific fact and not just faith. He urges us to move from a scientific-technological focus to one based on ecological principles; one founded on recognizing the intrinsic value of nature. The whole planet is one complex ecosystem all working in harmony and self-supporting, thus enabling the earth to maintain conditions suitable for life and its evolution. James Lovelock calls this the Gaia Theory. Everything is interconnected. Berry felt the old creation story for Christians, Genesis, served its purpose through history, but new scientific discoveries beg for a new creation story. Continue reading
Forming a relationship with GIPL has become a solid ground in introducing me to the importance and practice of Creation Care. With the mission to partner with religious congregations becoming more sustainable in their practices and use of resources, GIPL offers a great understanding in what it means to engage God’s people in the importance of going green! Being fresh out of college, this is an area of ministry I aspire to follow in my vocational calling.
With a family background involved in the National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, I adopted a passion for environmentalism at a young age. Thus, when it came time to consider what I wanted to be ‘when I grow up,’ I favored the idea of sustainable development as a career path and chose to attend Georgia Southern University for their leading, awarded efforts in sustainability. Continue reading
by Esme Murdock, Ph.D.
I am a scholar who researches environmental justice, African American/African Diasporic, and Indigenous environmental philosophies. How I came to be a scholar is a story written by my desire to understand myself as a black woman living on Indigenous lands in a settler colony and how to move through the world in a way that keeps me, and others whole. This is a long and unfinished story, but I will share part of it with you; a narrative brimming with the presence, memory, land, water, and peoples I call my relations. Continue reading
GIPL partner, Roswell Community Masjid, celebrated a Green Field Day on April 28th as a part of their larger Earth Day celebrations. The event was open to the community and promoted sustainability through recycling and providing reusable water bottles. We are grateful for this reflection from RCM member Lubna Merchant:
We have been taught to believe that “If a Muslim plants a tree or sow’s seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.” (Bukhari) Continue reading
Are houses of worship prepared for the current and coming natural disasters caused by climate change? If not, they need to be. During 2017, the faith community was in the heart of the hurricanes in the east and the wildfires in the west. They provided comfort and support to their ravaged congregants and local communities. They need to be prepared to do more and not be lulled into complacency by lack of awareness or political bent. Continue reading
Our guest blogger today, Seema Ahmed, is a member of the West Cobb Islamic Center in Marietta, Georgia, sharing her practices during Ramadan that inform her commitments to Earth care.
Ramadan, which begins Thursday, is the holy month in which Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. This is a month where one can evaluate where they are in life and how to be a better person, while strengthening their relationship with God. It is also a reminder to count your blessings and to give charity to those in need. Continue reading
A reflection by Valerie Rawls
African-Americans developed what in modern terms might be regarded an environmental ethos long before the environmental justice movement, before the civil rights movement, and before they were emancipated and had citizenship rights conferred upon them.
– Mart A. Stewart, To Love the Wind and the Rain
Since 1987, the environmental justice movement has been trying to address inequalities that are the result of human settlement, industrial contamination, and unsustainable development. The United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice (CRJ) published a decisive report exposing the gross disregard for people of color as toxic waste landfills were sited in their communities throughout the nation. Toxic Waste and Race in the United States proved to be a critical foundation for the environmental justice movement that continues today. Continue reading
Earth Day 2018 was April 22, and we are thrilled that so many of you celebrated! GIPL invited congregations and houses of faith to share their plans for their Earth Day Celebrations. Over the coming weeks, the GIPL team will be sharing a few of those stories. The youth of Roswell Community Masjid reflect below on the interfaith Earth Day commemoration they hosted this year. Continue reading