Religion and the environment come together Aug. 15 with an interfaith outreach event called “Take Me To The River: Caring for Creation Starts at Home.”
The event will be held on August 15, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the St. Clare Church in Renehan Hall. Representatives from six different faith communities will be attending, including Native Americans.
They will be discussing water in faith traditions, the history and ecology of the Santa Clara River and current issues facing the river. It is a free event, open to the public. Guests can learn about the Native American lifestyle, the history of the river before and after the Spanish, how the drought is affecting the Santa Clara River and what they can do to help preserve the Santa Clara River. Officials are using many religions to help people gain an understanding of the Santa Clara river and why they should care for it.
The outreach focuses on helping people understand the environment of the river and caring for it by teaching about caring for creation. Using religion to help many form a connection with the Santa Clara River. They hope to preserve the ecosystem and keep the river clean and safe for the plants and animals that call it home.
“Our river is much like the River Jordon in the Holy Land that is the birthplace of three major desert religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam”, said Lynne Plambeck, who attends local Unitarian Universalist services. “Low rainfall and a Mediterranean climate create similar water supply and water quality tensions. But unlike the Jordon, where five often warring countries make sustainability difficult, we have the opportunity to care for our river and ensure its gifts for future generations.”
Another member of the Interfaith Planning Committee, Wendy Langhans, said, “I have found that becoming familiar with the ecology of our Santa Clara River watershed has given me new insight when studying the Bible. My hope is that the people attending this Symposium will become aware of the connections between ecology and Scripture, so that they, too, may gain new insights.”
“All faith traditions honor God’s creation and the natural gifts that have been given to us for our well-being and survival. The Santa Clara River is an example of such a gift. It is the last remaining free-flowing river in Southern California and home to many rare plants and animals. To fully honor this gift, we must understand what it is that we have been given. This symposium strives to create connections between the faith and environmental communities by exploring together the rich spiritual traditions, ecology and history of the Santa Clara River Watershed.” states a press release provided by the Santa Clara River Interfaith Planning Committee
The keynote speaker will be Charlene Spretnak, who is an author of many books including Green Politics: The Global Promise; The Spiritual Dimension of Green Politics; States of Grace; The Resurgence of the Real, Missing Mary, and Relational Reality. Named one of the “100 Eco-Heroes of All Time” by the British Government Environmental Department, Spretnak will be speaking about “Religion, Ecology, and the Relational Awakening.”