Earth Spirituality Links
Any list of organizations concerned with earth spirituality is liable to be wide-ranging, not easily categorized, and constantly shifting. Accordingly, the entries below, drawn from a number of website listings, are set forth simply in alphabetical order, with a brief note on purposes, activities, and accomplishments as best they can be discerned from the individual sites. We would, of course, greatly appreciate suggestions from readers. To make a recommendation or to correct errors in the entries please contact the webmaster.
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (www.aceee.org) presents excellent links to current green consumer resources.
AuSable Institute (www.ausable.org), Grand Rapids, Michigan. AuSable Institute of Environmental Studies provides university-level courses with transferable credits in sustainable community-building, environmental education, and restoration. Conducts community and regional conferences and retreats, and outreach services. Programs offered in Mancelona, MI and Coupeville, WA.
Center for Ecozoic Studies (www.ecozoicstudies.org), Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Develops college-level course work and instructional resources based on the writings of Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme. Publishes The Ecozoic Reader.
Churches' Center for Land and People (http://www.op.org), Sinsinawa, Wisconsin. An ecumenical organization of 20 churches and religious groups working for the betterment of rural families and communities in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois through the integration of earth stewardship, community, spirituality, and justice. Conducts conferences and workshops.
Coalition on Environment and Jewish Life (www.coejl.org/index.php), New York, New York. News, statements, action alerts, program activities. The COEJL "deepens the Jewish community's commitment to the stewardship of creation and mobilizes the resources of Jewish life and learning to protect the Earth and all its inhabitants.”
Crown Point Ecology Center (www.crownpt.org), Bath, Ohio. A 10-acre CSA (community supported agriculture) farm owned by the Dominican Sisters that provides youth education in sustainability, community, spirituality, and justice.
Earth and Spirit Council (www.earthandspirit.org), Portland, Oregon. Provides a forum for various religious practices to explore their common connection and commitment to protecting the environment. ESC is one of the few organizations to incorporate indigenous cultures' wisdom about the environment into its work.
EarthCare (www.earthcareonline.org), Chattanooga, Tennessee. A model ecumenical volunteer organization serving churches in the Chattanooga area with regional conferences, youth activities, workshops for clergy, and other activities. Promotes “creation stewardship within the Christian community. . . . Provides a means for fellowship, interaction, and inspiration for Christians concerned with the biblical mandate to be stewards of God's creation.”
Earthcare Connections (www.earthcare.ca), Humboldt, Saskatchewan. A ecumenical learning center and agricultural land conservancy—sponsored by Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, Church of Canada, and Anglican churches—concerned with sustainable agriculture, spirituality, and land stewardship in the Canadian prairie provinces.
Earth Day Liturgy helps: Check out this Episcopal link.
Earth Healing (www.earthhealing.info), Ravenna, Kentucky. The website of the noted environmental scientist, author, and Jesuit priest Al Fritsch, former co-director of Science in the Public Interest in Washington and founder of Appalachian Science in the Public Interest, a model regional faith-oriented environmental organization. The Earth Healing site offers a daily reflection on pertinent subjects related to simple living and, on weekends, homilies and other sacred subjects.
Earth Ministry (www.earthministry.org), Seattle, Washington. Organizes earth-educational programs; works with congregations; publishes a newsletter, books, and instructional material, and maintains a video library. “To help people of faith see more clearly the connections between their faith, their daily lives, and ecological concerns.”
Earth Sangha (www.earthsangha.org),
Fairfax, Virginia. Ways that Buddhists can connect with environmental
concerns from the standpoint of individual health, concentration, ethics,
compassion, and wisdom. Also conducts a model "Native Forest Gardeners”
program in the Washington, D.C., area.
Environmental Library: Endangered Animals (http://www.aaenvironment.com/environment-library-endangered-animals.htm).
Episcopal Ecological Network (http://eenonline.org), Tenafly, New Jersey. Concerns emphasize global warming, energy conservation, biodiversity, and agricultural land management issues. Provides liturgical, ecotheological, and advocacy materials to congregations. A “grassroots network of Episcopalians . . . helping the Episcopal Church in the USA to advocate and articulate protection of the environment and preserving the sanctity of creation.”
Evangelical Environmental Network (www.creationcare.org), Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. Initiatives include “What Would Jesus Drive,” on energy conservation, and “Healthy Families,” on healthful food and improving household environmental quality. Publishes a magazine (Creation Care) and provides useful resources to evangelical congregations including sermons, liturgical materials, and instructional booklets. “We Seek Solutions Grounded in Jesus Christ and the Bible.”
Faith in Place (www.faithinplace.org), Chicago, Illinois. An ecumenical organization with seven “circles” in various suburban areas around Chicago. Among the activities are neighborhood food co-ops, urban agriculture, and light-pollution initiatives. “Drawing from the depths of belief, Faith in Place calls religious and spiritual leaders from throughout the Chicago metropolitan region to gather in dialogue, prayer, and action on issues of environmental sustainability.”
Franciscan Earth Literacy Center (http://tiffinfranciscans.org/get-involved/franciscan-earth-lit-center/), Tiffin, Ohio. A program of the Sisters of St. Francis who own 500 acres of rural farmland. On-site educational activities for, largely, elementary school children, focus on permaculture, passive solar, and wind generation. “The center is an environmental education center and demonstration facility designed to promote the appreciation of nature and encourage sustainable living practices.”
Genesis Farm (www.genesisfarm.org), Blairstown, New Jersey. A 226-acre farm operated by the Dominican Sisters since 1980. Conducts residential and non-residential programs on earth stewardship, including an accredited masters-level course in Earth Literacy. Co-founder Miriam MacGillis, OP, writes, “We're at a moment where there are no guarantees as to the Earth’s future. It's a question of our own critical choices. And I think what we're deeply in need of is a transforming vision. . . . A vision that opens the future up to hope.”
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America: Environment (www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/environment), New York, New York. Provides statements and other materials of use to Orthodox congregations. “The Orthodox Church shares the sensitivity and the concern of those who are distressed about the increasing burden on the natural environment due to human abuse, which the Church names as sin, and for which it calls all human beings to repentance.”
GreenFaith (www.greenfaith.org), Trenton, New Jersey. A regional interfaith organization whose “Sustainable Sanctuaries” program helps participating congregations, selected through a competitive application process for resource assistance, model environmentally sustainable behavior to their members and communities and become centers of religious-environmental activism. Another project, “Lighting the Way,” is placing solar panel installations on 25 faith-based sites around New Jersey. The “Covenant for Sustainability"” project encourages congregations to make a commitment toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions in support of a state-level initiative in New Jersey.
Green Mountain Monastery (www.greenmountainmonastery.org) Fr. Thomas Berry Sanctuary, Greensboro, VT. Our Mission as Sisters of Green Mountain Monastery: We are a 21st century monastery in the Catholic monastic tradition. We are participating in bringing this ancient monastic tradition into its cosmological / planetary phase by understanding ourselves within the larger context of the Universe Story. Through contemplative prayer, scholarship, cultivation of the arts and direct experience with the natural world we activate those deep religious sensitivities needed to help guide and energize our way into the future as a single sacred community of life.
GreenSpirit is a network of people who celebrate the human spirit in the context of our place in the natural world and Earth's own evolutionary journey. Our radical vision brings together scientific rigor, artistic and creative expression, passionate social action, the wisdom of many spiritual traditions and an ecocentric worldview.http://www.greenspirit.org.uk/
Cincinnati, Ohio. A 16-acre nature preserve near downtown, offering
educational programs for young people and workshops, discussing courses,
and conferences for adults. Associated with the EarthSpirit Rising conferences, q.v.
Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns (http://www.emoregon.org/earth_concerns.php), Portland, Oregon. A well-developed statewide program of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. Undertakes information and education projects with churches and other organizations on food sustainability, watersheds and biodiversity, energy and global warming, and “greening congregations.” Publishes Eco Ministry News and Eco Notes.
and Light: The Regeneration Program (www.theregenerationproject.org),
San Francisco, California. This major, church-based program was started
in San Francisco by a single Episcopal church, in order to conserve energy
and combat global warming. The ecumenical program now has coordinators
in some two dozen states plus the District of Columbia and undertake a
variety of faith-based educational and political advocacy projects.
Mennonite Creation Care Network (mennocreationcare.org), Wolf Lake, Indiana. Encourages North American churches to discover links between created beings and God, to confess the harm we have caused the natural world and our neighbors, and to act faithfully to restore the earth.
Morningstar Retreat Center (www.morningstarretreatcenter.net), LeRoy, Michigan. Located in central Michigan, the center has 165 acres and 5 semi-rustic cabins, for those seeking insights into an eco-spiritual life. Started in 1982 “to encourage women to value their unique experience of the Divine.”
National Catholic Rural Life Conference (www.ncrlc.com), Des Moines, Iowa. Serves as a prophetic voice for America's countryside, acts as a catalyst and convener for social justice, and develops support services for rural communities. Publishes Catholic Rural Life magazine and conducts effective legislative advocacy on agriculture and rural life. “Human beings are meant to be responsible stewards of creation, and indeed we can say that we work in harmony with God as co-creators.”
National Religious Partnership for the Environment (www.nrpe.org), Amherst, Massachusetts. The partnership includes the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches U.S.A., the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and the Evangelical Environmental Network. Develops resource materials for congregations, case histories, leadership training, and promotional services. Among the founders are Joan Brown Campbell, former head of the NCC; Paul Gorman, executive director; James Parks Morton, Dean Emeritus of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine; and Al Gore, former Vice President of the U.S.
North American Coalition for Christianity and Ecology (www.nacce.org), Brooklyn, New York. This ecumenical organization, founded in 1987, sponsors major national and international conferences, advocates for the environment, and publishes Earthkeeping News. “Because we have seen the degradation and the need for Christians to take up revolutionary creativity, society-transforming repentance, it is our purpose through NACCE to articulate the ecological dimension present in Christianity; assist every church to become a witness to Christian ecological understanding and action; help every Christian to become an ecologist; and work with people of all faith traditions to develop a global ethic as a basis for a just and sustainable society on earth.”
Prairiewoods (www.prairiewoods.org), Hiawatha, Iowa. A Franciscan retreat center on 70 areas emphasizing spirituality with care for the earth.
Church (USA): Environmental Justice Office (http://www.pcusa.org/environment),
Louisville, Kentucky. Produces and distributes materials for congregations;
coordinates “Restoring Creation Enablers,” who work with
presbyteries; conducts training sessions and seminars, and participates
in interfaith global warming initiatives. The PCUSA also maintains a
Washington Office (http://pcusa.org/washington/issuenet/enviro.htm)
which sends news bulletins to a voluntary listserv and works with other
denominations and religious organizations on policy matters.
Presbyterians for Earth Care (www.presbyearthcare.org/), San Anselmo, California. A member-based, grassroots, 501c3 non-profit organization operating primarily in the Presbyterian Church (USA) but also in ecumenical circles. Produces a quarterly newsletter for members, participates in the PCUSA General Assembly, and hosts national conferences for eco-justice training.
Quaker Earthcare Witness (www.quakerearthcare.org), Burlington, Vermont. Conducts denominational programs relating to sustainability, population, native concerns, and policy advocacy. Encourages Friends to “explore the spiritual roots of humanity's relationship to the Earth [and] seek a transformation in attitudes toward the Earth and all living beings.”
Religion and Environment Initiative (http://rei.uchicago.edu), Chicago, Illinois. A University of Chicago program that encourages scholarly dialogue about issues of religion and environment, sponsors educational events and service activities, compiles and distribute a Resource Handbook on Religion and the Environment, and maintains an informational web site.
Religious Campaign for Forest Conservation (http://www.ecostewards.org), Santa Rosa, California. An activist program, led by Fred Krueger, to preserve forests and other natural resources through direct, in person, appeals to Members of Congress and by organizing on-site witnessing at threatened lands, such as Otero Mesa in New Mexico. Krueger also directs an associated program called “Opening the Book of Nature.”
Sacred Earth Network (www.sacredearthnetwork.org), Petersham, New Hampshire. An interfaith organization advancing the insights of native peoples. Offers workshops, an “indigenous peoples exchange,” and expeditions.
Sophia Center, Holy Names University (www.hnu.edu/sophia), Oakland, California. Offers graduate studies relating to the “new cosmology” and earth spirituality, with a number of well-known theologians and religious leaders.
Teva Learning Center Shomrei Adamah Program (www.tevacenter.org), New York, New York. Serves students in Eastern seaboard cities on energy flow, cycles, bio-diversity, and interdependence. “Students also explore the relevance of the Jewish concepts of Bal Tashchit (the biblical injunction against wasteful behavior) and Tikkun Olam (healing the world) in light of current environmental problems.”
Think Like A Bee (thinklikeabee.org/) “We are a grass-roots, community-based education and advocacy organization dedicated to increased public awareness of and protection for native and honeybees as critical pollinators—the workhorses of our food system. Honoring New Mexico’s land based heritage and food tradition, we collaborate with civic organizations, faith communities, government, agriculture, schools and indigenous groups to preserve pollinator habitat and teach the next generation how to care for bees and all pollinators”
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth (www.uuministryforearth.org), Lyme, New Hampshire. Provides information services on environmental issues and, through its “Green Sanctuary” program instructional materials for participating congregations on worship and celebration, religious education, environmental justice, and sustainable living. The program implements the UUA's Seventh Principle: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
Web of Creation (www.webofcreation.org), Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, Illinois. Provides congregational resources, denominational activities, and links to other programs. Of special interest to theology students.
Web of Life Ecology Center www.biglaurel.org), Kermit, West Virginia. A retreat center and summer camp (ages 8-12) concerned with eco-spirituality and practical ways of living gently on the land.
Whidbey Institute: Chinook Center (www.whidbeyinstitute.org), Clinton, Washington. Organized to “cultivate creative leadership for earth, spirit, and the human future,” the institute operates a conference and retreat center on Whidbey Island near Seattle with overnight facilities for 30 people and daytime capacity for groups of 150. The property includes 70 acres of meadows, gardens, wetlands, forest, and trails.
White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a
ministry of the Sisters of Providence of St.Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana,
exists to foster a way of living that recognizes the interdependence of
all creation. Grounded in an understanding of Providence Spirituality
as hope and healing, the center offers leadership and education in the
preservation, restoration and reverent use of all natural resources.
Wisdom University (http://www.wisdomuniversity.org/), Oakland, California. Founded by noted theologian Matthew Fox, the university offers D.Min. and other degrees and certificates in the wisdom tradition, with emphasis on the new cosmology ( “universe story”), the medieval mystics, and “deep ecumenism.”
World Clock: keep track of current population, energy use, other global statistics.