2017 Richmond, VA Program


WHO: Young adults (age 20-30) who care about faith and the environment

WHAT: Community-building, Eco-faith exploration, Place-based learning, Vocational discernment, Creative worship, Outdoor recreation, Reading discussions, Simple living, etc.

WHERE: Richmond, Virginia

WHEN: June 5-10, 2017

General Trip Itinerary:

  • Visit Richmond, Charlottesville and surrounding communities to get an upstream and downstream perspective of the James River and its watershed.
  • Meet farmers, conservationists, faith leaders, and scholars from around the James River Watershed, including Dr. Willis Jenkins, Professor of Religion, Ethics and Environment at the University of Virginia; Rev. Alex Evans of Second Presbyterian Church of Richmond, and Bobby Whitescarver – a farmer, conservationist, writer and educator.
  • Recreate in the James River and its banks by kayak, bike or on foot.
  • Discuss readings from Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice, edited by author and activist theologian Ched Myers
  • Take an investigative tour of a Virginia power plant
  • Retreat and reflect at Camp Hanover retreat center in Mechanicsville, Va.
  • Use storytelling techniques to explore and share our personal Eco-Faith Journeys
Participants will benefit from this program in the following ways:
  • Spending time with other like minded folks in their 20s who are passionate about the environment and faith.
  • Being mentored by older adults who have professional experience and passions at this same intersection.
  • Learning from locals through place-based experiential education about the themes of watershed stewardship/ discipleship, climate justice and eco-theology.
  • Spending time reflecting on one’s own personal vocational discernment.
  • Crafting one’s own “Eco-Faith Journey” as both a spiritual exercise and a future professional organizing/ communication tool.
  • Engaging in creative spiritual experiences rooted in Celtic Christianity and contemporary culture.
  • Cultivating hope, recreating in nature, and practicing joy!

Application Deadline: Just a few spots left! Get in touch with us soon if you are still interested. You can contact us at ecostewardsprogram@gmail.com Download application here.

Cost: Participants are responsible for the $375 program fee (includes meals, housing, transportation, honoraria) and must also pay their own travel costs to and from Richmond, Virginia. (Participants are encouraged to fundraise on their own. Need-based scholarships are available; for more info contact ecostewardsprogram@gmail.com)

Meet Our Program Leaders!

Rev. Rob Mark serves as a Presbyterian pastor at Church of the Covenant in downtown Boston, and has coordinated the Eco-Stewards Program since its inception in 2006, leading programs in California, New Jersey, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Vermont, Oregon, Florida and Washington. In November 2016, he responded to a call from indigenous leaders to join 500 clergy from around the country in a historic witness of solidarity at Standing Rock. Rob is passionate about grassroots programs like the Eco-Stewards Program that affect lasting change. He also likes coffee, ultimate Frisbee, stringed instruments and the joy of stewarding his 3-year-old son Rowen who is named after a Scottish tree.

Kathleen Murphy is from the great city of Richmond, Virginia where she works for the Center for Healthy Communities at Virginia Poverty Law Center. She currently attends Second Presbyterian Church and has become active with their young adult group. When she’s not working she loves to cook, garden, spend time outside, and go to various festivals and events around Richmond. She is an alum of the Eco-Stewards Seattle Program and the Boston Food Justice YAV Program.

Alex Haney is a graduate of James Madison University and has taught all kinds of nature-related things at camps in Virginia, Massachusetts, Arkansas, and Tennessee.  He loves being able to call the Appalachian region his home for its rich culture and history. He currently works as a solar panel installer with a construction company in Central Virginia and describes himself a rookie guitar player who gets excited about wild edible and medicinal plants. He is an alum of the Eco-Stewards Seattle Program and the Boston Food Justice YAV Program.

Colleen Earp serves the Presbytery of  The James as the Director of Youth, Environment, and Service Ministries at Camp Hanover, and is an M.Div. student at Union Presbyterian Seminary. She is a geographer with interests in natural resource conservation and education.  Colleen lives in Richmond, VA with her spouse and two cats, but will always love her home state, New Jersey, more than anyone else in the world possibly could. She is an alum of Eco-Stewards Gainesville and of the YAV Program in New Orleans.

Vickie Machado is a third generation South Floridian. While pursuing her masters, she lived and worked at the Gainesville Catholic Worker house and later helped to host the EcoStewards Gainesville trip. Upon graduation, she worked as a an environmental organizer, pushing for a ban on fracking. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Florida, studying Religion & Nature. Vickie is still passionate about water issues and loves being in the ocean. She is an alum of the Eco-Stewards Montana, Boston/Vermont and Portland programs and served as a program leader for Eco-Steward Seattle.

Becky W. Evans is a New England Presbyterian with a passion for storytelling. She’s worked as an environmental reporter for The Standard-Times of New Bedford, Mass., a communications writing professor at Boston University, and an ESL instructor for adult immigrants at the Community Learning Center in Cambridge. Currently, she serves as a food justice educator for the Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer Program. She loves her role as storytelling mentor and communications coordinator for The Eco-Stewards Program.

Rev. Liz Leavitt is a Presbyterian minister and lover of the earth currently living and serving in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. Liz has also served churches in Massachusetts and Oregon and served as an adjunct professor of religion. Liz is originally from Portland, OR. She will be providing “remote support” for the Richmond trip as she stays in Hawaii to steward her newborn son.

PROMOTION: Help spread the word about Eco-Stewards Richmond 2017  by downloading our awesome poster and sharing it with young adults in your midst, on social media or on bulletin boards! Richmond 2017 Poster

QUESTIONS? Email us at ecostewardsprogram@gmail.com


8 thoughts on “2017 Richmond, VA Program

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