Healthy Foods Local Farms Conference

The speakers, topics and meals recently announced for the 15th annual Healthy Foods Local Farms Conference show that this will be a very substantive and enjoyable event.

There are also clear faith community connections to the topics of sustainable farming, health and care for creation. Leaders such as Hank Graddy and Sister Claire McGowan make no secret of their faith commitments. Author Wendell Berry will speak, musician John Gage will sing, and Chefs Christopher Rosier and Kathy Foster will cook.

The Kentucky Council of Churches is one of the sponsors this year, and we encourage attendance. The complete program can be downloaded here.

Call for award nominations

Kentucky Interfaith Power & Light is looking for nominations for their 2014 Kippie awards to be presented at our annual dinner on May 22.  Do you know a faith based community that should be recognized for caring for God’s creation? 
 
There are many ways to care for creation such as making energy efficiency changes in the community building(s), educating members or the public about creation care, or advocating for systemic change, just to name a few.  Please let us know who you think is caring for God’s creation in Kentucky by emailing Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light at info@kentuckyipl.org with the name of the congregation, and contact information or submit the information here   
The deadline for nominations is April 19.

Questions should be addressed to: 
Phyllis Fitzgerald
Chair, Nominations Committee
KY Interfaith Power & Light

 

2011 Award received by Green Chalice's Rev. Carol DevineKCC award (a recycled one!)Previous award winners include the Kentucky Council of Churches in 2010 and the Green Chalice program of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ in 2011.

Ground For Hope Louisville event highlights

On March 8 (Lexington) and 9 (Louisville), 2014, a number of co-sponsors including the Kentucky Council of Churches brought to Kentucky an event called "Ground For Hope."  The speakers and worship leaders connected faith and creation care in a variety of ways. At the March 9 event in Louisville, Marian Taylor took notes using social media and that journal is downloadable here.

A sample "Preach-in" sermon

“Confirm Thy Soul In Self-Control”

Scripture readings: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Matthew 5:21-37

May the words of my mouth & the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O God our rock and our redeemer, Amen.

Isn’t it impressive to see some little plant growing in the crack of a sidewalk? Or maybe you’ve driven by a rock quarry and noticed trees growing on tiny ledges in the midst of sheer rock? Plants inspire us with their determination to live and grow. Some of them, exposed to wind and harsh conditions, get twisted and re-shaped by hardships, but live many years. That is the way the Japanese art of bonsai or small trees was born. The Japanese are moved by the survival, age and beauty of such trees, and they grow trees to imitate them. Four bonsai trees are here today.

Like plants, we too are survivors. We are in awe when we hear stories of our fellow humans surviving in prison camps or natural disasters, or cave and mountain climbing accidents, or a harsh and radical medical treatment. We wonder if our own drive to survive is that strong – and it usually is.

But good life in all the fullness, growth and maturity God intends is not just about survival. It’s also about being shaped, and bearing fruit. It involves choices and limits that are fitting for our lives. The good news is that God has put in place what we need to grow and mature if we’ll only use it. Just as plants have water and sunlight, we have food and shelter and families, and some rules that God has given about how to live well.

February 2014 Newsletter Features Care for Creation Issues

Wish someone would pull together the links you need to know about current legislative proposals, contact your public officials, read Kentucky churches' statements about creation care issues, and learn about upcoming events and study and worship materials for the faith community?

We did it! Please upload our newsletter as a pdf here and enjoy reading it and using its many helpful links!

Kentucky Council of Churches speaks out about the natural gas liquids pipeline issue

December 3, 2013

The Kentucky Council of Churches today released a statement about the controversial effort to transport natural gas liquids through Kentucky by means of one or more underground pipelines. The statement’s introduction says,

“We all, together and as individuals, have a moral duty to assess the impact of the proposed transport system on the health, safety and economic well-being of the people, flora and fauna of Kentucky, as well as present and future impacts on our land and water resources. To do this, we must take time to learn the facts, insist on a comprehensive environmental impact study, and guarantee authoritative oversight of any well-studied plan that may be approved.”

It concludes,

“We ask Kentucky legislators and the governor to create a siting board with oversight authority, and ask the Corps of Engineers and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to require an environmental impact statement in order to protect the public and our sacred water and land.” 

The full document is available at this link.

March and Rally show faith community concern for creation

On June 20th, hundreds of Kentuckians from faith communities turned out to join the visiting Unitarian Universalist Association for their outdoor demonstration of concern for environmental issues.

Not only many congregations but also many organizations were there carrying banners and cheering on speakers such as Wendell Berry and Peter Morales.

The Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light organization served as the principal Kentucky partner for this event and the groups represented in the KCC's Care for Creation unit are indebted to them for helping us communicate with our own members about this opportunity.

The Kentucky Council of Churches was strongly present. In the photo you see the Rev. Doug Fowler helping KCC Executive Director Marian Taylor with our large banner. We also thank Rev. Mary Love who distributed our new bookmarks leading people to our creation care policy statement (see link above right).

In the crowd there were many conversations about the biblical and spiritual bases for concern about the harm caused by many human practices affecting nature. It is to be hoped that the size and tenor of this gathering will help the larger public see these issues as part and parcel of being Christian disciples.

New resource from the UCC

The United Church of Christ is now offering a new resource for Care for Creation. The link to learn more is here.

40 Days of Prayer -- A Resource for Creation Care

In a collaboration with a Tennessee organization, the Council is re-distributing prayers for creation care. These prayers are meant to be used between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday. This is a time also -- Kentucky's legislative season -- when deepened public commitment to caring for God's creation can help the faith community move public officials toward improved policies and practices for creation care. 

The first week of prayers is posted here.
The second week of prayers is posted here
The third week of prayers is posted here.
The fourth week of prayers is posted here.
The fifth week of prayers is posted here.
The last prayers are posted here. Thank you for participating!

Each of the compendiums of prayers is introduced with these words: 

The Care for Creation unit of the Kentucky Council of Churches has received permission from the Lindquist Environmental Appalachian Fellowship (www.tnleaf.org) to offer 40 days of prayers that LEAF collected in Tennessee. LEAF is “a Christian fellowship of Tennesseans whose faith leads them to take action for Tennessee’s environment.” We are inspired by the diversity represented by the prayers’ authors and by the commonality we share with Tennesseans concerning mountains, streams and mining. The prayers are not, of course, a substitute for the unanimous voice of the Council expressed in our policy statement “Caring For God’s Earth” available at /council-statements/view-policy-statements/

LEAF posted one prayer daily starting on December 2, 2011. We are re-posting them once a week, for a period that overlaps with much of Kentucky’s legislative season when our elected officials will consider a number of care for creation matters. The prayers sometimes refer to Tennessee or to specific days of the liturgical year, so when we pray we can make the adaptations we need to make. May God use this sharing of prayers to deepen our faith and our commitment to care for God’s creation!

Green Chalice program news

The stewardship of God's magnificent creation is a vital ministry that calls upon all of us to join in and do our parts. Christian Church of Kentucky's Green Chalice has been in the forefront of this movement among Disciples, and has contributed a great deal to the Care for Creation network of the Kentucky Council of Churches.

Its ministry captured the attention of Disciples Home Missions President, the Rev. Dr. Ron Degges. As a result, Disciples Home Missions and the Christian Church In Kentucky have a formed a partnership. CCK's Green Chalice has become the official ministry for the Disciples' stewardship of creation movement through DHM. Rev. Carol Devine, CCK's Green Chalice Coordinator and new Editor of FRTM, will serve both the DHM and CCK staffs as the new "Minister for Green Chalice."

Dr. Degges recognition of the work of CCK's Green Chalice and his desire for DHM to partner with CCK through this ministry is high praise for all their efforts. It is also a tribute to the leadership Rev. Devine has provided Green Chalice. The Rev. Carol Devine

Contact Carol Devine for more information.

Well done, Green Chalice!

Phyllis Fitzgerald chairing the Council’s Care for Creation program unit.

Phyllis FitzgeraldA Catholic, Phyllis has been an environmental educator and activist for more than 30 years, serving in government, corporate, non-profit and school settings. She now works with the Passionists’ Earth and Spirit Institute in Louisville, Kentucky.  She has taught, written, and presented many programs about healthy, sustainable food and family life at The Courier-Journal, WAVE3 TV, community organizations, and other media.  Her goal is to model the joy of sustainable lifestyle for the community, and for her 5 children and their families, including 10 grandchildren.

To connect with the Council’s Care for Creation program group, please contact the Council’s office at kcc@kycouncilofchurches or 859-269-7715

Curriculum available now!

In offices nestling against a ravine near Newburg Road in Louisville, one finds the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center. Last year, Council representatives were there to participate in a conversation about how to make a Catholic curriculum about simplicity more inter-denominational.

The result, "Lent 4.5 Christian Simplicity: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus", is ready for you to peruse and perhaps to purchase. It has six easy to use components.

The premise of this curriculum is that it will serve as "a program of conversion which educates Christian communities on issues of sustainability and social justice from a faith perspective, inspiring them to take practical steps in caring for God's creation by using only their fair share of Earth's resources." The "4.5" in the title refers to the acreage that would support each person's lifestyle if resources were distributed equally -- in contrast to the 22.3 acres on average it takes to support each American's lifestyle.

All you need to know can be found at this web site:
http://www.earthandspiritcenter.org/lent45/

The Council's 2006 policy guiding our Care for Creation group says "We call upon member churches and other faith groups, at every level of their organizations, to enable and to encourage their constituents to engage in serious and sustainable study, reflection and appropriate action based upon the theological issues relating to our human responsibility for the earth as stewards of God's creation." [See Advocacy – Council Statements tab on this site]

May you flourish in simplicity during the Lenten season and beyond!