2019 Theme Statement

The Spirituality of Ecology: Evolving Meaning in a Changing World.

This planet has been changing drastically due to the influence of humanity's actions and attitudes. We see the destruction of habitat and the introduction of multiple pollutants to the land, sea and air. The effects of Global Climate Change are becoming ever more apparent with the increasing number of natural disasters and extreme weather events. Humanity's impact on the environment is shown by the destruction caused by larger wildfires and more powerful hurricanes. How long can this continue before we understand we must make drastic changes to save ourselves from disaster?

Spiritual ecology calls us to recognize that there is a spiritual facet to issues of conservation, environmentalism and the proper way to care for this planet. There is a need for current conservation work to include spiritual elements. Religion today must also recognize and engage in the ecological issues we face.

The U.S. advisor for climate change, James Speth makes the need for spiritual change clear:

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation.”

We will have two presenters for June 2019, Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow. The Rev. Michael Dowd is a former pastor and sustainable communities organizer, bestselling eco-theologian, and pro-science evangelist. Connie Barlow is an author of popular science books and articles, and developer of The Great Story website. (www.thegreatstory.org) Beginning in 2002, the couples itinerant lifesytle has brought them speaking opportunities in 49 of the United States and provinces along both shores of Canada.

Please join us as we explore this question with guest presenters Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow at the 51st Atlantic Seminar in Theological Education.

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