The last couple days, I got to attend a gathering in Salem, OR called “A Community Response to Climate Change,” where a group of faith leaders from Oregon came together to talk about our shared interest in and concern about care for the Earth from a faith perspective. Organized by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and the Center for Earth Ethics, and hosted by Claremont School of Theology at Willamette University, this was a great time of gathering with folks who are doing good work, encouraging each other, and growing in our faith and our commitment to work for climate justice. I got to see some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile and connect with new people.
The great thing about the gathering was that it was a mix of pastors and priests, academics, and “lay” people. Everyone is doing amazing and beautiful work! None of it is the same work, and each person is doing something they are uniquely qualified and positioned to do. Seeing each one’s creativity was lovely.
We talked a lot about hope, and how to sustain the work we’re doing–as in, how not to burn out. This is the stuff I’m working on in my research, and lately it’s seemed really timely in the gatherings I’ve been a part of, so that is exciting and makes me feel like my PhD is not (only) in vain! I’m really excited to dig in deeper to the work of climate resiliency in the Willamette Valley with some of these folks, and to offer what I can in terms of spiritual grounding and hope.