The United Religions Initiative hosts ‘Faith and Climate Change’ workshop April 18

WHAT: An interfaith panel and workshop session presented by the United Religions Initiative of Henderson County exploring how six faith traditions can inform our actions on behalf of the planet — locally, regionally and globally. The morning panelists are the Rev. Byron Ballard, Rabbi Philip Bentley, the Rev. Randall Boggs, Kitty Herriott, the Rev. Robert Lundquist and Sam Wazan. David Weintraub, executive director of Hendersonville’s Center for Cultural Preservation will also have a special, free program.

WHEN: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday, April 18

WHERE: First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1735 Fifth Ave. W., Hendersonville

WHY: Henderson County URI recognizes climate change as a moral and cultural issue as much as it is a scientific or technical one, and it sees a common theme throughout many faith traditions that mandates humans to nurture and care for each other and the environment.

“It is absolutely clear to me that God is the God of all creation,” says Melissa Melum of the group’s coordinating committee. She points to Genesis 1 and 2 as “clearly revealing God’s love and blessing of every element of creation as it unfolds.”

When it comes to addressing climate change, Mellum notes that one of the biggest challenges facing humanity  is the sheer scale of the problem and feeling disempowered and helpless to make a difference in one’s own day-to-day choices. That’s why Henderson County URI chose the theme “Inspiration and Empowerment” for the upcoming program — to provide attendees with a sense of solidarity and hope, and to provide clear-cut ways that we can take action every day.

“I think major change [will happen] in the form of a chorus [where] every voice added to that chorus makes it stronger and louder and more effective,” Mellum says. “All major social movements are grounded in the concerns and the actions of the people.”

After the morning interfaith panel, the afternoon program will consist of “empowerment” classes in the following breakout groups: The Sustainable Home, The Backyard Wildlife Refuge, Home-Grown Food and Community/Faith Group Activities.

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About Jordan Foltz
Exploring the subtle and esoteric aspects of what drives and inspires people to take action— including religion, spirituality, ethics, and aesthetics.

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