The U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development

Faith Resources

RATIONALE FOR A FAITH COMMUNITIES SECTION OF THE U.S. PARTNERSHIP

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.

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  • - Seeking to understand the interconnectedness between spirituality and sustainability.

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  • - Tapping the deepest sources of human desire for a peaceful and sustainable future for all living beings.

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  • - Learning to be faithful stewards of Earth.

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  • - Forming relationships within and among faith traditions that serve the common good.

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  • - 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.

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  • Compile and share information on faith practices, stories and resources on sustainability via the web and other means.

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  • 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.

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  • Engage the faith sector with other sectors in advancing ESD initiatives.

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  • 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.

  • Bahá'í Faith

  • Buddhism

  • Christianity

  • Judaism

  • Islam

  • Mormonism

  • Quakerism

  • Unitarian Universalism

The Bahá'ís of the U.S.

With a section devoted to Bahá'í approaches to sustainable development, climate change, and the UN Decade.

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.

One Country

The newsletter of the Bahá'í International Community, featuring articles on environmental conservation and sustainable development. See the October-December '05 issue for a cover story on a Bahá'í-sponsored ESD seminar.

Find Resources for any Religion

  • INTERFAITH ORGANIZATIONS
  • INTERFAITH ARTICLES, PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER RESOURCES

Alliance of Religions and Conservation

ARC is a secular body that helps the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices. We help 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. We now work with 11 major faiths through the key traditions within each faith.

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

Is the largest international multireligious 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.

GreenFaith

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

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 for 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

Encouraging and supporting the work of people of faith on environmental issues

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 35 states and growing, is mobilizing a national religious response to global warming while promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation.

RENEWAL

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 on above link 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

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

Presbyterian Earth Care Program Guide

EEN Creation Care Expands Staff

Soka Gakkai International

Home of the international Buddhist association, including many articles with perspectives on the environment and sustainability.

The Earth Sangha

(a Washington, DC-based nonprofit) is committed to practical environmental action as an expression of the Buddhist way of life. (See Vision Statement). 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).

Green Yoga Association

The Green Yoga Association is a growing circle of Yoga practitioners, teachers and businesses who believe that taking care of the planet is essential to Yoga practice. If humanity is to survive and thrive, we must learn to live in balance with nature. Now is the time to cleanse and heal the earth and to establish a sustainable relationship with the environment for generations to come. Read our Values Statement.

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

(Evangelicals and Scientists United to Protect Creation) -- This site is to serve pastors who are interested in a growing emphasis within the Christian community called "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

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.

The Episcopal Ecological Network

(EpEN) is the main source for environmental and ecological information within the Episcopal Church, USA. The EpEN's mission is to educate, encourage, and facilitate congregations, dioceses, provinces, and the Episcopal Church, USA, toward local, regional, national, and international activities for the stewardship of God's Creation.

Evangelical Environmental Network

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

A Rocha

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

Restoring Eden is a network of people working to become a grassroots movement within the church. As a parachurch ministry, they are dedicated to encouraging faithful stewardship of the natural world as a biblical, moral, and wise value. Restoring Eden's work focuses on nature appreciation, environmental stewardship, and public advocacy.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

USCCB's Environmental Justice Program (EJP), calls Catholics to a deeper respect for God's creation and engages parishes in activites that deal with environmental problems, particularly as they affect the poor.

Web of Creation

Christian source of information and resources on faith-inspired eco-justice

Big Green Jewish Website

connecting Judaism and the environment, is a joint venture by The Noah Project and The Board of Deputies of British Jews.

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

a program of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), is the leading Jewish environmental organization in the United States.

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.

Hazon

works to create a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community -- as a step towards a healthier and more sustainable world for all. The word hazon is Hebrew for "vision."

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

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.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

resources on Environmental Stewardship and Conservation. Topical section includes a background statement and links to additional resources.

Quaker Earthcare Witness

Quaker resources on faith and sustainability, including books, pamphlets, and a video lending library

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."