The History of Eco-Justice Ministries
Eco-Justice Ministries was incorporated in August, 2000. In our more than 10 years of leadership, we worked with many individuals and institutions, on a variety of projects and issues.
|Staff, Students and Interns|
Rev. Peter Sawtell – Executive Director, 2000-|
Mary Wood – Iliff Field Ed, 2001
Mark Schofield – Leslie University, 2002
Pam Faro – Iliff Field Ed, 2002
Alicia Forde – Iliff Field Ed (with Sierra Club), 2002-3
Amy Smith – Iliff Field Ed, 2004-5|
Vicki Hesse – 2006-7
Kasey McCaslin – Regis University 2007
Brian Ray James – Outreach Coordinator, 2008
Rev. Jann Halloran – Outreach Director, 2009
|Major Events and Projects|
- Regional conference on climate change – 2001
participation with the National Council of Churches and the Colorado Council of Churches
- Earth Day Worship services in the Denver area – 2001, 2002, 2003
- Crossing the Chasm workshops – 2003-4
A series of leadership training workshops to improve communication for social change
- Peter Sawtell was adjunct faculty at the Iliff School of Theology – 2004
Teaching Eco-Justice and Social Transformation
- Eco-Curriculum Reviews – 2004 and ongoing, with a major update in 2010
Creation of an extensive reviews of religious environmental curricula, prepared by 40 volunteer reviewers and available on our website
- Faculty at Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM – 2004
Peter Sawtell was part of the teaching team for The Liberty Bell Has a Crack in It
- Preaching on Genesis 1 – 2005
A series of training workshops and resources for clergy, with materials posted on our website
- Co-Sponsorship of a regional conference with National Council of Churches 2005
Tending the Garden, Cultivating the Commons: Faith-Based Approaches to Shared Environmental Challenges
- An Inconvenient Truth – 2006
Eco-Justice Ministries developed a study guide for churches
- People of Faith Step It Up – 2007
We were the lead agency in planning a Denver event as part of a national movement calling for action on global warming
- Faculty at Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM – 2008
Peter Sawtell taught the course, Prophetic Ministry in an Eco-Justice Frame
- Greening Your Church cluster sessions – 2008
This expansion of our cluster program had two series of workshops (late summer, and November), each held at five Front Range locations. The materials created for these sessions form the basis for our current Greening Your Church emphasis and resources.
- 350Denver – 2009
Eco-Justice Ministries was the lead agency in coordinating dozens of Denver-area events as part of a global movement for urgent action on climate change. Our leadership included vigorous outreach to religious groups.
|Lectures and Keynote Presentations|
|Peter Sawtell has delivered countless sermons, classes and presentations at churches and community groups. This list highlights his major presentations to larger groups.
- The Dieting Sumo Wrestler -- lecture at Ft. Lewis College, Durango, CO, 2004
- Thou Shalt Not Exploit What God Has Made -- keynote presentation, Arizona Ecumenical Council, 2005
- Keynote speaker and worship leader -- Wyoming Association of Churches, Lander, WY, 2005
- The Challenges for Churches in Addressing Today's Environmental Crisis -- keynote presentation and preacher, New Hampshire Conference Annual Meeting, UCC, 2006
- Voices for the Voiceless: Advocacy for God's Creation -- presentation at ELCA Legislative Day, Rocky Mountain Synod, Denver, CO, 2007
- Touch the Earth Lightly -- keynote presentation, Connecticut Conference Annual Meeting, UCC, 2007
- Is Our Vision Up to the Challenge? -- keynote presentation, "On Sacred Ground" conference, Lander, WY, 2007
- Earthkeeping – Beyond our Enlightened Self-Interest -- lecture, Village University, Kansas City, KS, 2007
- The Book of Acts -- keynote presentation, "On Sacred Ground" conference, Casper, WY, 2008
- Community lecture and workshop series -- United Church of Santa Fe, NM, 2008
- Why People of Faith Must Address the Ecology Crisis -- lecture, Village University, Kansas City, KS 2008
- Theologian in Residence -- United Church of Christ Congregational, Ames, IA, 2010
|Movement-building and Collaboration|
|Eco-Justice Ministries has often been involved in projects that reach beyond our own agency, constituency and issues to build up strong movements for social change among churches.
- National United Church of Christ Environment & Energy Task Force, 2001-2009
Peter Sawtell was involved 2001-2005 in the advocacy and planning that led to the creation of the Task Force, and served as a member of the Task Force 2005-2009.
- Colorado Interfaith Power & Light, from 2004
Eco-Justice Ministries was actively involved in the formation of the Colorado affiliate of this national agency.
- Religious Environmental Leaders Group, esp. 2004 & 2007
Eco-Justice Ministries led this initiative that fostered planning and cooperation among our peers in the US faith-based environmental movement
- Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education, esp. 2006-8
Eco-Justice Ministries engaged in collaboration and shared programming with a network of professional environmental educators
- Colorado Confession, 2006-7
We were very active in an ecumenical project for progressive faith and ethics, and an actively engaged Christianity.
- We Believe Colorado, 2008
We highlighted environmental concerns as part of our participation in this interfaith project related to election issues
- Green Jobs Interfaith Coalition, 2009
We were on the leadership team for a Denver-area coalition involving religious leaders, environmental organizations, businesses and government representatives
- Colorado Caring for Creation Conference, 2009-
We are involved in planning for a broadly ecumenical conference on Christian faith and the environment.
|Public Witness & Legislative Advocacy|
|Eco-Justice Ministries has placed a much stronger emphasis on programming for churches than on political advocacy, but political topics have been an ongoing part of our work. Eco-Justice Notes and our e-mail action alerts have often highlighted issues of pending legislation or state and federal rules. At various times, we have been significantly involved in specific campaigns.
- FastTacks & Amendment 37 – 2004 ballot intitiatives
We worked with churches in the Denver area to support the FastTracks initiative to expand mass transit, and with churches across Colorado to support renewable energy programs.
- Climate Stewardship Act – 2005
Working in cooperation with the National Council of Churches, we recruited religious leaders in Colorado to lobby US Senators in support of the Climate Stewardship Act.
- Endangered Species Act – 2005-8
In cooperation with The Noah Alliance, we mobilized our constituency in support of the Endangered Species Act in 2005-6, and helped publicize and circulate the Irreplaceable Wild photo exhibit in 2008.
- StepItUp (2007) and 350 (2009)
Eco-Justice Ministries provided strong leadership in the Denver area by organizing acts of public witness for action on climate change. We also called on our extended constituency to participate in these two days of mobilization for the national and international climate movement.
Eco-Justice Ministries * 400 S Williams St, Denver, CO 80209 * 303.715.3873
Home Page: www.eco-justice.org *