Faith Groups, Environmentalists Teaming Up

Feb 6, 2014 | State Press Clips

Clean air and a stable climate were considered in the context of faith and spiritual practice Jan. 27 as 300 people gathered at First Christian Church in Portland for the annual Earth Care Summit.

The evening of talks and workshops convened what once would have been an unusual mix — church leaders, business owners and environmental activists.

“We are movement builders, are we not?” asked David Leslie, executive director of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. Leslie says people of faith and environmentalists have become allies. He announced a concrete sign: The Ecumenical Ministries board has divested from fossil fuel companies.

The summit was organized by Ecumenical Ministries’ environmental arms: Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns and Oregon Interfaith Power & Light. On the list of co-sponsors was the Office of Life, Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese of Portland, St. Juan Diego Parish and Neil Kelly Company, a building renovator.

The annual gathering had record attendance, including Jews, Muslims, Christians and Buddhists.

“We pray for the healing of the earth,” said the Rev. Amy Piatt, senior minister at First Christian. “We confess that we often put our own interests first.”

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