Join us May 16-23 for the 2010 Eco-Stewards Program, where we will delve into the complex environmental issues surrounding mountains, coal, land use, and sustainability in beautiful southern West Virginia. The program is designed for 20-30 year-olds. We will consider how these issues invite us to deepen our relationship with God and with each other — to live more simply, to consume less, and to join in a dynamic Christian movement to care for the earth. The program will examine the faith response to environmental degradation in the West Virginia context. We will explore some of the complexities surrounding mountaintop removal coal mining. We will also listen to stories of the people and the land as we participate in a local restoration project, visit a mountaintop removal site with those who are dedicating their lives to protecting the mountains, join with local pastors in a blessing of the mountains, and converse about the theological underpinnings of land stewardship. We will also take time to breathe deeply and recognize the beauty and wonder of God’s creation as we walk in the woods, float down the New River, and learn about West Virginia’s traditions of living with and from the land.
Our week will conclude with a Christian community gathering at Bluestone Camp & Retreat on the banks of Bluestone Lake, May 21-23. Here we will synthesize and share what we have learned and be commissioned for future eco-stewardship service. This community gathering will allow us to gain strength from and give energy to the Christian earth care movement. Christian sustainable farmer Joel Salatin (featured in Michael Pollan’s best-selling book The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Robert Kenner’s documentary Food, Inc.) will be the keynote speaker for this event. Salatin, a self-proclaimed Christian environmentalist, will share his principles and practices of land stewardship for his Polyface Inc. farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
More about the 2010 Eco-Stewards Program:
How: Fill out an application before April 25. 2010 Eco-Stewards Application
Who: This program will be facilitated by eco-minded Rev. Rob Mark of First Presbyterian Church in Waltham, Massachusetts, by Boston-based environmental journalist Becky Evans, and by Environment and Resources graduate student and local West Virginia river guide Heather Lukacs. The Eco-Stewards Program is a joint mission of the Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC) and the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association (PCCCA).
For Whom: Undergraduate students, graduate students, and young adults in the 20-30 age range who have an interest in connecting their faith and environmental passions.
When: May 16-23, 2010 for the weeklong program, beginning at 6 p.m. on May 16th and ending the morning of May 23rd.
Where: The group will be lodging at Presbyterian churches in southern West Virginia for first 3 nights and will then spend 2 days on the New River. The group will then stay at Bluestone Camp & Retreat Center while taking part in Stewardship of the Land: A Christian Community Gathering, which takes place May 21-23.
Cost: $250 + transportation to West Virginia (all-inclusive of meals, housing, transportation, honoraria). Participants are encouraged to fundraise on their own.