"The earth is what we all have in common."  - Wendell Berry

I am very excited and honored to be the new director of Hope for Creation. Interim coordinator Ruth Moedyk very graciously introduced me in the May newsletter. I would like to thank Ruth for her support and the leadership at Hope for Creation for the warm welcome as I transition into this role. 

I am about to celebrate 18 years living and working at Peace House in Kalamazoo's Eastside neighborhood  -- 18 years of building relationships and creating a greenspace where neighborhood kids play. I love people and I love nature. As I take over the leadership realm at Hope for Creation, I plan to emphasize the connection between the climate crisis and the real-life impact it has on people, including those in our area. 

I also want to highlight the ways in which each of us, regardless of neighborhood, faith practice, race or religion, can connect with the beauty around us to find wonder, awe and inspiration. When we discover the earth's beauty we are compelled to put our faith into action as earth healers. Individually, we can start to educate ourselves and makes changes; collectively, we can make a lasting impact. 

As I begin this work, my top priority is learning from all of you - building relationships, visiting congregations and "green teams," seeing what has been accomplished and finding out what additional support is needed. I plan to update the website and create a "resource hub" for environmental work. I want to expand our member congregations and work to grow in diversity. My vision is that Hope for Creation can expand and become a model for faith-based environmental grassroots organizing.

This newly envisioned monthly e-newsletter will offer the following:

  • A list of upcoming events 
  • Highlights of our work in the Kalamazoo area
  • Short passages, quotes or prayers that serve to inspire us and give us hope
  • Some monthly features highlighting local greenspaces and plant-based recipes. 

I envision this e-newsletter as a collective enterprise. Please feel free to share events, ideas, success stories, and your favorite greenspaces and recipes!

June has been a beautiful month here in southwest Michigan. Rain has been abundant and we are surrounded by green. Gardens are taking off, native plants are growing deeper roots, and hopefully everyone is finding some time to be in the wild. As we grapple with the daily headlines about climate change, let us enjoy the miracle of our amazing planet and the people who inhabit it. We'll need this foundation for the work ahead.