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

Hope for Creation’s event planning and coordination occurs primarily at monthly Planning Committee meetings.  That’s where participants find support, networking, and company in our concerns, where ideas get shared and refined, where our task teams report and solicit assistance, and where our various efforts find their beginnings.  Membership in this group is very loose and informal; anyone who shows up will have a place at the table and a voice in the conversation.  Our organizational commitment is to make decisions by consensus.  The Planning Committee meets monthly on the third Thursday in the evening.  If you are interested in attending sometime, please email [email protected] for time and location.


2024 begins with some major transitions, as both our coordinator and our communications assistant have moved on to other pursuits after excellent service to the organization. We currently operate with an interim coordinator, Rev. Ruth Moerdyk, and an ad hoc Executive Team overseeing financial and personnel matters.


Hope for Creation has also received a grant from the Fetzer Fund of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.  This enables us to begin searching for a part-time Executive Director to help us continue growing in community, programming, and effectiveness.  This position should be filled by late spring. 


In the meantime, our designated leadership includes:


Ruth Moerdyk, Interim Coordinator  

My first memory of singling myself out as an environmental activist goes back to elementary school; I have a vivid memory of being ridiculed for writing a poem about pollution. Since then I have dedicated time and energy to several peace and social justice efforts, participated in anti-racism training and conflict resolution training, received a certificate in spiritual direction, and earned BA, MA, and MDiv degrees. 

In recent years I have become increasingly dedicated to addressing climate change in whatever ways seem available to me.  Hope for Creation has helped grow my awareness, knowledge, support, community, and commitment to ongoing efforts to tackle practical, political, and spiritual aspects of the climate crisis.


Steve Bertman, Executive Team 

Steve is a professor of chemistry at Western Michigan University and is a member of Temple B'Nai Israel in Kalamazoo.  He teaches several courses related to ecology and environmental sciences, including a class in regenerative agriculture.  Steve has been active in Hope for Creation since its founding and is also a member of Kalamazoo's Electric Association.


Cybelle Shattuck, Executive Team 

My life and work focus on the intersection of religion and environmentalism. At Western Michigan University I hold a joint position in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the Department of Comparative Religion.  My research focuses on earth care activities in US faith communities, and I dedicate my life to climate action and the need for a just transition to a sustainable society that supports the health and well-being of all people. 

Among other things, Hope for Creation sustains me when the magnitude of the climate crisis seems overwhelming.  My efforts can seem so small, but fellowship with people who share a vision of a just, healthy, and sustainable community gives me the courage to keep going.


Susanne Rose, Executive Team

(No photo yet)

Susanne is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Kalamazoo, MI, and has worked extensively helping with legal and financial aspects of environmental organizations, especially the Little Traverse Conservancy, a northern Michigan Land Trust.


David Reinhold, Executive Team

(no photo yet) 

Dave is a retired professor from the physics department of Western Michigan University and is a member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Portage, MI. As a member of Prince of Peace, he has been active in community gardening efforts and is a long-time advocate for environmental protection and restoration.