Came across this article and thought it was interesting. Would love to hear what people think in regards to being more “green” towards the Earth, does it apply ot your faith, teachings etc.
Here is an excerpt of the article…to read the whole article…
HACKENSACK, N.J. — Fletcher Harper is an Episcopal priest who preaches to Jews, Catholics, Baptists and any other congregation who’ll offer him the pulpit.
He’s trying to convert them — but not in the usual religious way.
Harper wants to convince the faithful that being a servant of God also means being a steward of the earth. Or, to put it another way, being a good Christian, Jew, Muslim or Buddhist also means being “green.”
“When it comes to the environment, we think religious congregations should lead by example,” said Harper, executive director of a group known as GreenFaith.
GreenFaith wants churches to install solar panels and adopt windmills. It wants churchgoers to take stock of their own gas-guzzling and resource-wasting ways and to speak out against what it calls “environmental racism” — instances when polluting industries seek to locate in poor communities that lack political clout. It tells churchgoers to fight for those communities much the way they might feel a duty to work in a soup kitchen for the hungry.
GreenFaith’s message is that taking care of the planet is a moral calling rooted in the traditions and beliefs of most religions.
How successful the group will be at bringing together many faiths remains to be seen. Harper said he has not yet persuaded any Orthodox Jewish, Evangelical Christian or Muslim groups to join.
Some religious groups prefer to form political advocacy organizations within their own faiths, while others have resisted participating in environmental causes because they disagree with the population-control positions some advocacy groups take, Kearns said.
Harper has discovered that his group must carefully navigate the rules of different congregations. Church rules at St Anthony’s Orthodox Church in Bergenfield, N.J., for example, would not allow Harper to give his usual sermon from St Anthony’s pulpit, said Robin Robinson, a trustee on the church council. But the church has conducted an energy audit of its building and will install solar panels this summer, after discussions with GreenFaith and a solar-energy company.
St. Anthony’s is one of 25 area sanctuaries getting solar panels in a program GreenFaith calls “Lighting the Way.” GreenFaith also offers grants to congregations to conduct energy audits and encourages others to “adopt a windmill” by buying power from a company offering renewable energy. It explains ways houses of worship can soften their ecological footprint — everything from installing a water-conserving bank in their toilets to avoiding chemicals when fertilizing their lawns.
On a recent Sunday, Harper led the first of three sessions at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Teaneck, N.J. He read from the Bible’s story of creation — where God entrusts the earth to man — and then asked members to reflect on times when they felt a connection to God while enjoying nature.
GreenFaith appeals to the faithful who might be turned off by more political environmental groups.
-By Colleen Diskin The Record (Bergen County, N.J.)