RATIONALE FOR A FAITH COMMUNITIES SECTION OF THE U.S. PARTNERSHIP
The U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development
FAITH COMMUNITIES DESD OBJECTIVES
UNESCO has identified faith communities as essential partners locally, nationally and internationally in the Decade of ESD. All faiths share a belief in two great responsibilities: to love one another and to care for Creation.
Faith communities have unique contributions to make to the Decade by:
- Reflecting on the vision of the Decade through the framework of their faith tradition.
- Seeking to understand the interconnectedness between spirituality and sustainability.
- Tapping the deepest sources of human desire for a peaceful and sustainable future for all living beings.
- Learning to be faithful stewards of Earth.
- Forming relationships within and among faith traditions that serve the common good.
- Offering opportunities for education, reflection, and action that foster justice and further sustainable development.
Identify all relevant religious organizations and coalitions and encourage their participation in the U.S. Partnership Faith Sector Team.
Compile and share information on faith practices, stories and resources on sustainability via the web and other means.
Encourage and inspire faith groups to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their efforts at integrating sustainable development into education and learning (formal and informal) and to share their success stories through case studies and online resources.
Engage the faith sector with other sectors in advancing ESD initiatives.
Plan an interfaith conference or event at the midpoint of the Decade that showcases and celebrates the contributions of diverse faith communities to ESD.
INITIAL STEERING GROUP
- Peter Adriance (co-chair), Bahá’ís of the U.S.
- Martha Gardner (co-chair), National Council of Churches
- Esther Castain, Soka Gakkai International-USA
- Barbara Lerman-Golomb, Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
- Carol Zinn, Congregations of St. Joseph
The rationale and objectives above were collectively drafted by the above group to assist in the development of the Faith Sector. Your feedback and input is welcome.
The Bahá'ís of the U.S.
The International Environment Forum
a Bahá'í-inspired organization addressing the environment and sustainable development. Of particular interest are its Resource Pages on the DESD, an E-learning Centre on Sustainable Development and these Additional Resources on the Environment and Sustainable Development and climate change.
Find Resources for any Religion
INTERFAITH ARTICLES, PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER RESOURCES
Alliance of Religions and Conservation
ARC was a secular body that helped the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices. ARC helped the religions link with key environmental organizations - creating powerful alliances between faith communities and conservation groups. ARC was founded in 1995 by HRH Prince Philip and worked with 11 major faiths through the key traditions within each faith.
Faith in Place
Faith in Place, based in Chicago, gives religious people the tools to become good stewards of the earth. We partner with religious congregations to promote clean energy & sustainable farming. Since 1999, Faith in Place has partnered with over 500 congregations in Illinois-Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Baha'i and Unitarian. We're also part of the national Interfaith Power & Light campaign.
The Forum on Religion and Ecology
The Forum for Religion and Ecology, housed at Yale University, is the largest international multi-religious project of its kind. With its conferences, publications, and website it is engaged in exploring religious worldviews, texts, and ethics in order to broaden understanding of the complex nature of current environmental concerns. The Forum recognizes that religions need to be in dialogue with other disciplines (e.g., science, ethics, economics, education, public policy, gender) in seeking comprehensive solutions to both global and local environmental problems.
Green Faith is New Jersey 's interfaith coalition for the environment. Founded in 1992, we inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse spiritual backgrounds to rediscover their relationship with the sacred in nature and to restore the earth for future generations.
Greening Sacred Spaces
Greening Sacred Spaces is a practical program developed by Faith & the Common Good (a Canadian interfaith organization) to assist faith communities in their efforts to Renew the Sacred Balance by making their communities more harmonious with the natural world. See our resource kit, with guidebooks, workshops, posters, and the GSS Video, designed to help faith groups reduce greenhouse gases and live more sustainably.
The National Religious Coalition on Creation Care
NRCCC serves God and the health of creation by bringing together the formal environmental policy positions of religious institutions and by communicating those positions to elected officials and government leaders. The NRCCC emphasizes the key policy perspectives on which organized religion is unified. These policy emphases begin in a world view in which God is the Creator of the Earth and all that is in it. This world view implies moral and ethical principles that inform a respectful and restrained perspective on matters of creation care. It further implies human responsibility to care for the earth in a manner that protects its life and vitality, and that preserves the integrity of its natural systems for future generations.
The National Religious Partnership for the Environment
The Regeneration Project and the Interfaith Power and Light campaign
Helps people of faith recognize and fulfill their responsibility for the stewardship of creation. Specifically, the Interfaith Power and Light campaign, with affiliates in states throughout the country, is mobilizing a national religious response to climate change while promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation.
Is the first feature-length documentary to capture the breadth and vitality of America's religious-environmental movement. In rural communities, suburbs and cities, people of faith are rolling up their sleeves in practical and far-reaching ways. Offering a profound message of hope, RENEWAL shows individuals and communities driven by the deepest source of inspiration - their spiritual and religious convictions - being called to re-examine what it means to be human and how we live on this planet.
Greening the Flock: How Should Religious Institutions Foster Sustainability?
Is a report on a round table discussion among faith leaders which appeared in the August 2009 issue of Sustainability: the Journal of Record PeterAdriance, NGO Liaison for the Baha'is of the U.S., moderated the discussion with nine other leaders in the field: William Aiken (Sokka Gakkai International-USA Buddhist Association); Peter G. Brown (Moral Economy Project - Quaker); Cassandra Carmichael(National Council of Churches); Nicola Coddington (NY Interfaith Power and Light); Rabbi Fred Dobb (Reform Judaism); Rachel Novick (Office of Sustainability, Notre Dame University); Fr. John Rausch (Catholic Committee of Appalachia); Rabbi Daniel Swartz(Reform Judaism); and John Wood (Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies). The discussion touched on the role of religion in fostering sustainability, the level of guidance provided by religious texts, the dynamic balance between practical and spiritual elements, the relationship between science and religion, and how religions can contribute to sustainability efforts on college campuses. Click here for a PDF of the article (Reproduced by permission from Sustainability: The Journal of Record, August 2009, www.liebertpub.com/sus)
Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change
The nurturing and respect for Life is a central doctrine of all faiths on Earth. Yet today we are endangering life on Earth with dangerous levels of greenhouse gas emissions. These gases are destabilizing the global climate system, heating the Earth, acidifying the oceans, and putting both humanity and all living creatures at unacceptable risk..." (Click here to read full declaration and see list of endorsers.)
Faith in Action: Communities of Faith Bring Hope for the Planet
An inspiring report by the Sierra Club, highlights one exceptional faithbased environmental initiative from each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, "Faith in Action" demonstrates the breadth, depth and diversity of spiritually motivated grassroots efforts to protect the planet.Text
Toward a New Consciousness: Values to Sustain Human and Natural Communities
This document summarizes the findings of a conference convened by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in October, 2007. Fifty-seven leaders from the sciences, humanities, communications, policy, philanthropy, business and the creative arts gathered in Aspen, Colorado to identify the shifts in core human values and ethics required to support a more sustainable relationship with the natural world and articulate directions to help catalyze this transition. (Thanks to the Forum on Religion and Ecology for this info.)
Invoking the Spirit: Religion and Spirituality in the Quest for a Sustainable World
(Worldwatch Paper 164) by Gary Gardner, explores the power of the link between religious teachings and sustainable development (Download free PDF or order print version)
Faith-based Organizations and Education for Sustainability
Is a report on a UNESCO-sponsored workshop held in March 2007 that brought together experts from Bahá'i, Buddhist, Christian, Gandhian, Hindu, Jewish, Indigenous, and Islamic traditions to explore "how the strengths and perspectives of faith-based organizations can be mobilized in the service of education for sustainability.
Can Religion Save the Environment?
Was the E Magazine cover story, November/December 2002
Soka Gakkai International
The Earth Sangha
Earth Sangha, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit, is committed to practical environmental action as an expression of the Buddhist way of life. In addition to restoration and meditation activities, the Sangha hosts occasional retreats and discussions about what it means to live in a responsible way. It sees Green Buddhism as a natural expression of the Dharma (the formal Buddhist teachings).
Zen Environmental Studies Institute
The Zen Environmental Studies Institute is a not-for-profit religious corporation that exists to provide training, education and practice of Zen Buddhism and its relationship to the environment. It sponsors and conducts workshops, training and research on the environment and the teachings of the insentient.
Creation Care for Pastors
Climate Change an Evangelical Call To Action - This site is to serve pastors who are interested in a growing emphasis within the Christian community on the need to address Climate Change as part of "Creation Care": applying biblical principles of stewardship to the environment we share with all living things -- "all creatures great and small" including humanity.
Earth Ministry's mission is to inspire and mobilize the Christian community to play a leadership role in building a just and sustainable future. They work in partnership with congregations and individuals to practically respond to this great moral challenge through education, individual and congregational lifestyle choices, and organizing for social change through environmental advocacy.
Evangelical Environmental Network
This network is a Christ-centered ministry formed out of recognition that "environmental" problems are fundamentally spiritual. Its Creation Care magazine provides biblically informed and timely articles.
National Council of the Churches of Christ Eco-Justice Programs
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - Environmental Justice Office
develops and distributes faith-based environmental resources, and supports education, leadership development and environmental ministries; hosts study seminars for Presbyterians on the environmental concerns of particular regions; and participates in regional, inter-faith Global Climate Change Campaigns in cooperation with the World Council of Churches; See also Earth Care Congregations: A Guide to Greening Presbyterian Churches
To equip people with the biblical and scientific understanding needed to effectively steward the Earth, A Rocha provides a variety of Christian-based education programs and resources at the project and national levels.
Restoring Eden was a network of people working to become a grassroots movement within the church. As a parachurch ministry, they were dedicated to encouraging faithful stewardship of the natural world as a biblical, moral, and wise value. Restoring Eden's work focused on nature appreciation, environmental stewardship, and public advocacy. The founder passed away in 2020.
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
USCCB called Catholics to a deeper respect for God's creation and engages parishes in activities that deal with environmental problems, particularly as they affect the poor. Search the main site for topics related to environmental justice and climate change.
Canfei Nesharim seeks to educate both those in the Orthodox Jewish community and those in the wider Jewish community about the relationship between traditional Jewish sources and modern environmental issues and to promote an ongoing dialogue about our Torah mandated responsibility to protect the environment.
COEJL Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
Greening Reform Judaism
Greening Reform Judaism endeavors to promote an awareness of environmental considerations and environmentally responsible acts by integrating Jewish values, learning and actions that promote shomrai adamah - protection and renewal of the world.
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
At Isabella Freedman, we believe that environmental stewardship is a primary ethical obligation. With our planet's ability to support life diminishing, a great change in our stewardship of the earth is required more now than ever before... Read more about our Center for Environment and Sustainability including ADAMAH (a Jewish Environmental Fellowship) and the Teva Learning Center.
Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences
IFEES - [From the site:] "Our home planet Earth is undergoing rapid and sustained destruction of its eco-systems...giving rise to unacceptable levels of pollution, increasing damage to human habitations and ultimately threatening world-wide population disruption. Muslims... can contribute much to the thinking that is vital to re-evaluate the future direction of the human community and save its home for itself and other life forms...IFEES has established itself as perhaps the only internationally recognized body articulating the Islamic position on these matters..."
The Eco Muslim ™ (Blog)
"The eco muslim is part of the Eco Jihad™, a greener struggle to make this world that tiny bit purer to live in... A Jihad is a Muslim's struggle of self-improvement..." "An eco-jihad TM is the effort to preserve what's natural around us, to value resources no matter where they emerge from and to struggle to improve the quality of life for others." This site contains copyrighted articles which may be shared with credit; econews and events; and product reviews.
Green Muslims in the District
Green Muslims in the District is a network of Muslims in the District of Columbia (and surrounding areas) working proactively to help our communities understand and implement sustainable and eco-conscious ways of living while relating it to our deen, and a holistic world-view.
Quaker Earthcare Witness
The Quaker Institute of the Future
(QIF) launched the Moral Economy Project (MEP) in 2005 to address Friends' concerns about the human prospect in a world of unbridled growth and increasing ecological degradation. The central effort of MEP has been the drafting of a book, Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy, on how to work toward a moral economy. The book was published in February 2009 and is now available from Berrett-Koehler Publishers; click here to order it on-line.
UU Ministry for Earth
Focuses on the theological, spiritual and ethical implications of human behaviors that affect the health and sustainability of the living Earth. It originated a Green Sanctuary Program that "provides the framework for congregations to begin specific projects and activities that lead to recognition as a Green Sanctuary."