Bringing such personal values into discussions, especially when advocating for public policies, can sometimes seem awkward or uncomfortable. After all, this nation rightly guards the “wall” separating matters of church and state.
But surely there is room in the public forum to connect environmental conservation to the deeply held earth stewardship values of many faiths, perhaps of all faiths. Such is the intent of “Living Waters: An Interfaith Summit” to be held next month in Richmond, Va.
Sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in partnership with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Conservation Network, Caretakers of God’s Creation, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, the Office of Justice + Peace, and Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, the summit will investigate where faith and conservation intersect.
Later in roundtable and panel discussions, speakers and listeners alike will examine ways the faith and conservation communities can collaborate and facilitate richer, more relevant conversations by working together. The goals:
• To reconnect with the wonder of water.
• To explore how sacred texts from different faiths call us to be stewards of our waters.
• To examine how environmental health and interfaith communities can work together toward a common goal of restoring local rivers, streams, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.
• To discover resources to inspire our congregations and communities to move forward to protect and restore our waterways by implementing the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.
• To build connections across faiths to sustain advocacy for living waters.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
(Photo: © Krista Schlyer/iLCP)