A Note to Readers
Southern Maryland County Considers Opening 150,000 Acres to Development

Faith Can Move Mountains; Can It Save the Bay?

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For many, the stewardship of natural resources is more than an issue of environmental or economic policy. It’s a matter of personal faith. It’s an ethical and moral imperative.

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.

The all-day November 19 event will bring together interfaith, conservation, science, and public policy leaders to share their wisdom and insights. Among others, speakers will include Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin, chair of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake; Tayloe Murphy, former Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources; Dr. Carl Hershner, director of the Center for Coastal Resources Management at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science; and Delegate Lee Ware, member of the Virginia House of Delegates.

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.

If that sounds stimulating and inspiring, click here for more information and here to register for the “Living Waters” summit. We hope to see you there.

Chuck Epes

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

(Photo: © Krista Schlyer/iLCP) 

Comments

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Yes it is definitely a moral imperative. Unfortunately the "evil" forces are stacked heavily against those of us who hold our natural resources sacred. Charles County is a perfect example of how the Special Interests are holding hostage the taxpayers and residents of the county as they pursue their moneyed agenda of buildout.

I hear you, Cheryl. They talk about "property rights" and "development rights" ... but how about responsibility to the other human beings around them?

Chuck,
The answer to your question is Yes!
Creation is groaning for proper stewardship.We were given this planet with a command from God to be good stewards of the resources that they may be a blessing to generation after generation. That applied then and now and in the future. There are plenty of examples of biblical principals on how to manage our resource that we may live in abundance! Unfortunately most don't care anymore about what the creator has said and the results of this attitude are prevalent in our environment.
I yearn for the experience found in Ezekiel 47:6-12.
I truly think and pray that we don't have to wait to see, but can provide now for our children's children the perfect experience that God intended for us here.
Can I get an Amen

Amen, Jack. Thanks for your beautifully expressed note. I hope you'll consider attending the Faith Summit and share your thoughts in person.
Chuck

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