An interfaith response to climate change
propelled by the moral imperative for immediate and just climate action
in Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan

Join Faith Communities Who Amplify Their Efforts by Working Together

Now is a great time to join in the work of Hope for Creation!

 

 

We are a grassroots effort led by dedicated volunteer representatives of congregations across greater Kalamazoo who have worked together since 2014 to galvanize the local faith community around issues of environmental sustainability and climate justice. Over the last couple of years, Hope for Creation has solidified an organizational structure that includes a planning group, seven working committees and several part-time paid staff. We are also connected with the national Interfaith Power & Light movement as the first regional chapter of its Michigan affiliate.

At our most recent monthly planning meeting, we welcomed Leah Wiste, the Executive Director of Michigan Interfaith Power & Light, who joined us for a conversation about how Hope for Creation’s evolution might serve as a model for chapters in other parts of the state.

As we reflected together on Hope for Creation’s growth, we came up with a list of some central elements that have allowed our work to flourish:

  • Offering a variety of tangible creation care actions our members can take (recycling EPS foam, promoting plant-based recipes, installing E/V chargers, gardening and composting in community, etc.)
  • Including food and fellowship in our efforts, ever mindful of the importance of building meaningful and lasting relationships among our members
  • Educating ourselves about the interconnectedness of environmental and racial justice efforts, and offering our members guidelines for engagement through our relational covenant
  • Supporting green teams that advance each congregation’s mission and values
  • Aligning our faith-based advocacy with secular efforts like the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition
  • Paying staff who set agendas, share meeting notes, organize events, manage our online presence, and lead communication with volunteers.

During her visit, Leah shared with us some ways that Hope for Creation can engage in important advocacy efforts across the state and country. She highlighted the Faith Climate Justice Voter campaign and invited us to sign up as congregational captains in this critical election year. She encouraged us to read and use the Faithful Voter Reflection Guide that includes questions about the defining moral (and ballot) issues of our time: faltering democratic institutions, too much wealth in the hands of a few, damage to the climate, cruel immigration policies that tear families apart, mass incarceration that devastates communities of color, senseless gun violence, and threats to global public health and security.

If you’d like to hear more from Leah, she’ll be speaking in a webinar on “Protecting Our Democracy,” July 14, from 4-5 PM, designed to “inspire and equip you to protect democracy and elections in your community. Together, we can ensure that every American can safely and freely cast their ballot so that every voice is heard and our elections reflect the will of the people.”

We provide volunteers for the City’s quarterly EPS foam recycling effort. Bring your recycling and see us in action on Saturday, July 23, from 10 AM to 1 PM, at Mayor’s Riverfront Park. Look for the big blue RECYCLE mural on the storage trailer!

Save the date for the next event in our Summer 2022 Congregational Garden series! We’ll gather on the afternoon of Saturday, August 27, at the Growing Community Garden on Gull Road, for cooking demonstrations, recipe sharing, and a potluck featuring garden produce. Watch for more information soon on our website and Facebook page.

As we amplify the voices of people of faith and conscience at this critical time for our country and our planet, Hope for Creation would love to welcome your congregation as an organizational member! Joining our efforts is a great way to make public your collective commitment to environmental sustainability and climate justice. Complete the form on our website, or contact us at [email protected] for more details.

With continuing hope for creation,

Joan Hawxhurst, Coordinator of Hope for Creation

https://www.hopeforcreation.net/

 

P.S. Here's a look at some of our recent activities!

Sharing the vision for a Children’s Nature Playscape in downtown Kalamazoo, a project of First Congregational Church, who welcomed us to the playscape construction site as the first stop on our June 18 Congregational Garden Tour.

 

Slowing and filtering driveway runoff is the goal of the Congregation of Moses’ rain garden, which was the third stop on our June 18 Congregational Garden Tour.

 

Hope for Creation’s monthly planning meeting brings together our team of representatives of local congregations for reflection, fellowship, and action planning. We’d love to have you join us!


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  • Tanai Regina Dawson
    published this page in Blog 2022-08-31 16:10:12 -0400