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“On my Birthday – 99 Years”
By Catherine de Vinck
(February 20, 2021)

I bow to the North and to the South
to the East and to the West.
I bow to the sky enameled blue
and to the wind-blown traveling clouds.
I bow to the ancestors:
women tracking the bison herd,
men building shelters, making fires.
I bow to the children born and unborn
holding the future hidden in their genes.
I bow to the animals, to the fox trotting in the woods.
I bow to the lion and the whale as well as to the snail
housed in its porcelain shell.
I bow to the light ascending every morning.
I bow to the night, to its dark portals.
I bow to the pale moon ever at work
pulling the tides, mirroring the sun.
I bow to the rain dripping from the roof
feeding the streams released to the sea.
I bow to the stars, to their fiery tremors
held in the immense vastness of space.

I bow to the plants and trees, to the berries and apples.
I bow to all that is open and welcoming:
the calix of flowers, the heart of lovers.
I bow to all my years, past and present.
I bow to death waiting at the corner
ready to take me to new ways of being
to larger territories of exploration.
I bow to the one we call God
unknown to us yet present here and now
in everything we see and feel and touch.
I bow to life in all its histories and shapes.
I bow forever in thanksgiving and love.

We hope this newsletter supports your own work for the
flourishing of the Earth community.
Laudato Si’ Action Platform
On May 25th at the conclusion of Laudato Si’ Week 2021, the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development introduced the Laudato Si' Action Platform. In the spirit of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si,’ this project includes seven sustainability goals to be achieved within seven years. As this EarthBeat article explains, the goals include: adopting renewable energy and achieving carbon neutrality; defending all life; solidarity with Indigenous peoples and vulnerable groups; adopting simpler lifestyles; fostering ecological education and spirituality; advocating for sustainable development; and following ethical investment guidelines, including divestment from fossil fuels and other industries that harm the planet. See news articles about how Catholics celebrated Laudato Si’ Week 2021. Read and sign the “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” petition here. Sign up the newsletter by the Global Catholic Climate Movement here.
Jane Goodall is the 2021 Templeton Prize Laureate

Dr. Jane Goodall has been awarded the 2021 Templeton Prize in acknowledgment of her scientific and spiritual curiosity. Goodall is known around the world for her ground-breaking work in primatology, ethology, and conservation. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and is a UN Messenger of Peace. The Templeton Prize is given to “honor those who harness the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it.” Learn more in this short video and in these articles:

“Dr. Jane Goodall Receives Prestigious 2021 Templeton Prize”

“Finding Faith in the Forest: Dr. Jane Goodall Reflects on ‘the Spiritual Power in Every Living Thing’”

“‘Religion entered into me’: A talk with Jane Goodall, 2021 Templeton Prize winner”
Paul Winter’s Summer Solstice Celebration

Paul Winter’s 26th annual Summer Solstice Celebration will take place virtually on June 19 at 4:30am Eastern Time from the loft of Paul Winter's barn in the hills of northwest Connecticut. The concert will be livestreamed, and the on-demand video recording will be available through August 31. In addition to Paul Winter, the celebration will feature world-renowned cellist Eugene Friesen, Brazilian pianist Henrique Eisenmann, and bassoonist Jeff Boratko. This sunrise concert is a unique musical journey, beginning in total darkness, with the light gradually joining the sounds, to usher in the dawning of the summer, on the longest day of the year. Buy tickets here.
Sunderlal Bahuguna (1927 – 2021)

It is with great sadness that we share news of the death of Sunderlal Bahuguna, one of India’s most influential environmental activists. Sunderlal and his wife Vimla are well-known for their work with the Chipko Movement of the 1970s, which used the strategy of hugging trees to prevent them from being felled by loggers. Inspired deeply by the nonviolence of Gandhi, Bahuguna was a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, known as the Alternative Nobel Prize. For more, read this obituary by George James, author of the book Ecology is Permanent Economy: The Activism and Environmentalism of Sunderlal Bahuguna. See also these obituaries from the Right Livelihood Foundation and the BBC.
Red Road to DC: A Totem Pole Journey

The House of Tears Carvers of Lummi Nation will transport a 24-foot Totem Pole from Washington State to Washington D.C. This project, titled “Red Road to DC: A Totem Pole Journey for the Protection of Sacred Places,” honors, unites, and empowers communities working to protect sacred places. On May 24, Bellingham, Washington held an interfaith blessing ceremony for the Totem Pole. In the spirit of Fratelli Tutti, using statements from Laudato Si,’ Assumption Church’s Care for Creation Ministry held a brief public prayer service and then walked together to join the blessing ceremony. Learn more and view photos here.
UNEP’s Faith for Earth Webinar:
“Restoring the Planet: Faith Drives Urgent Action”

On June 3 at 9am EDT, UNEP’s Faith for Earth initiative will co-host a webinar about the role of dialogue and religious actors in the protection of the environment. It will be led by indigenous activists, religious leaders, and environmental experts as they discuss ways to embrace an ethical and spiritual responsibility to protect and restore our planet. Join Joyce Msuya, UNEP’s Deputy Executive Director, in conversation about how faith leaders and faith based organizations are critical stakeholders in meeting global environment targets and the Sustainable Development Goals; Dr. Vandana Shiva, on innovative and faith-based food systems; Rabbi Ellen Bernstein, on the ways in which Shomrei Adamah advocates for environmental stewardship as the first national Jewish environment organization; Lucy Mulenkei, on ecosystem management and the role of indigenous communities in Kenya; and Dr. Musonda Mumba, on how religious actors can participate in meaning advocacy for people and the planet. Learn more about the event here.
FORE Spotlights & Forum Blog

Last month in our weekly video/podcast series, FORE Spotlights, our host Sam Mickey spoke with David Haberman in a 2-part interview about his new book, Understanding Climate Change through Religious Lifeworlds, and with Robin Veldman in a 2-part interview about Evangelical perspectives on Climate Change. You can watch all of the videos here, and the audio versions are available here.

Highlights in the blog last month included information on numerous events, including Laudato Si’ Week 2021. We are happy to report that the FORE Spotlights series was named by Pretty Progressive as one of the best environmental podcasts of 2021.
Upcoming Events

“Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times”
Yale University Online Classes with Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
You may audit the courses free of charge and sign up at anytime.

“Laudato Si' Animators”
Free online course by the Global Catholic Climate Movement

“EcoSattva Training”
An online course for aspiring EcoSattvas

“Greening Your Church”
Free online mini-course with Norman Lévesque by Creation Care School

“The Black Church & The Environmental Age”
Online course by Green the Church

June 3, 2021
“Faith + Food Dialogues: Empowering Local Communities”
Hosted by the Faith and Food Coalition
Convened by the Center for Earth Ethics for the United Nations Food Systems Summit

June 9, 2021
“Eco Sanga”
Monthly online gathering at 6pm EDT
Hosted by the Sacred Ecology Forum

Green Sabbath Project: June Gatherings (online)
Tzeporah Berman: June 11 at 12pm EDT
Rabbi Gila Caine: June 25 at 12pm EDT

June 12, 2021
American Teilhard Association Annual Meeting
Online event at 12:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
Theme: “Teilhard de Chardin: Hope in the Future”
Cynthia Bourgeault will speak about “Teilhard de Chardin: The Sphere of the Person.”
Short presentations will also be given by Louis Savary, Marie Josèphe Conchon, and Marie Bayon de la Tour.

June 17, 2021
“Animist Imaginaries and Environmental Activism”
Online event with Timothy Stacey at 12pm PDT
Hosted by University of Victoria

June 17-18, 2021
“Toward a New Way of Being with Plants”
Free online conference at 1-5pm CDT

June 23 - July 28, 2021
Online Reading Group: The Depth of our Belonging: Mysticism, Physics and Healing, by Mary Conrow Coelho
Wednesday evenings for 6 weeks at 7:00-8:30pm EDT

Wild Christ, Wild Earth, Wild Self Weekend Intensives
June 24-26, 2021 with Joanna Macy & Terry Semens-Bucher
August 19-21, 2021 with John Philip Newell
Hosted by Seminary of the Wild

June 25, 2021
“The Humanities in Deep Time”
Online conference hosted by Torch: The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities

July 7-28, 2021
“Sacred Groves: Cultivating Spiritual Practice with Trees and Forests”
Workshop with Jason Brown, PhD
Wednesdays at 6-8pm PDT

July 15-17, 2021
“Rethinking Theology in the Anthropocene”
International Online Conference
Organized by the University of Bonn and the European Research Network: “Transcending Species – Transforming Religion”

For more event listings, visit the calendar on our website.
Call for Papers

“Storying climes of the Himalaya, Andes, and Arctic: Anthropogenic water bodies, multispecies vulnerability, and sustainable living”

An online publishing workshop
Event date: October 9-15, 2021
Submission deadline: June 25, 2021

New Publications

New Books:

Understanding Climate Change through Religious Lifeworlds
Edited by David L. Haberman. Indiana University Press, 2021.

Theology and Climate Change
By Paul Tyson. Routledge, 2021.

Climate, Catastrophe, and Faith: How Changes in Climate Drive Religious Upheaval
By Philip Jenkins. Oxford University Press, 2021.

What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be?
Edited by John Hausdoerffer, Brooke Parry Hecht, Melissa K. Nelson, and Katherine Kassouf Cummings. University of Chicago Press, 2021.

Transformative Learning: Reflections on 30 Years of Head, Heart, and Hands at Schumacher College
Edited by Satish Kumar and Pavel Cenkl. New Society Publishers, 2021.

New Journal Articles and Book Review:

“Voicing Rivers through Ontopoetics: A Co-operative Inquiry”
By Jacqueline Kurio and Peter Reason. River Research and Applications. May 19, 2021.

“COP and the Cloth: Quantitatively and Normatively Assessing Religious NGO Participation at the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”
By David Krantz. Sci 3, no. 2: 24. May 10, 2021.

Book Review by Christiana Zenner of Elizabeth McAnally’s Loving Water Across Religions: Contributions to an Integral Water Ethic. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 15, no. 1 (2021): 134–136.

New Videos:

American Climate Leadership Summit
10th Annual Summit hosted by ecoAmerica. April 27-29, 2021

New Statement, Project, and Resource:

“Our Climate Commitment to Net-Zero Emissions”
United Methodist Church. April 16, 2021.

Sacred Natural Sites in Japan

Certified Cool Congregation
Interfaith Power & Light

News Articles:

“Vatican helps get water to hospitals in the ‘Global South’”
By Loup Besmond de Senneville. La Croix International. EarthBeat. May 31, 2021.

“Artist paints icons of endangered species to ‘foster ecological conversion’”
By Barbara Fraser. EarthBeat. May 21, 2021.

“The next 100 days for environmental justice in Wisconsin”
By Huda Alkaff. WisPolitics. May 20, 2021.

“Inside the campaign to divest the Catholic Church from fossil fuels”
By Brian Roewe. EarthBeat. May 19, 2021.

“At the Center of All Things is Interdependence”
By Dekila Chungyalpa. Center for Humans & Nature. May 17, 2021.

“How an Indigenous Scientist Studies Global Change”
By Tara Lohan. The Revelator. May 12, 2021.

“A plant-based diet is about much more than not harming animals”
By Mat McDermott. Religion News Service. EarthBeat. May 1, 2021.

“Continuing challenge for people of faith: turning climate concern into action”
By Barbara Fraser. EarthBeat. April 30, 2021.

Interfaith Rainforest Initiative Bulletin
April 2021.

For more articles, see the News page of the Forum site.
Job Openings & Student Opportunities

Executive Director
(Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light, MA, USA)

Managing Director
(Natural Dharma Fellowship / Wonderwell, Springfield, NH, USA)

Lecturer, Environmental Science/Studies
(Baylor University, Department of Environmental Science, Waco, TX, USA)

Executive Director
(Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light, MA, USA)

Executive Director
(Creation Justice Ministries, Washington, DC, USA)

Job Openings at Green Churches Network
(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Job Openings at EcoAmerica

Religion & Environment Story Project (RESP) Fellowship
(Boston University, Boston, MA, USA)

Landhaus Fellowship Program
(The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and
Society and Herrmannsdorfer Landwerkstätten)

Fellowships for Activists Fighting for Environmental and Social Justice

Academic Authors Faculty Community House
(Washington, DC, USA)

Find more details on these job openings and student opportunities.

The Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology informs and inspires people to preserve, protect, and restore the Earth community. The religions of the world transmit ecological and justice perspectives in their scriptures, rituals, and contemplative practices as well as in their moral and ethical commitments. We seek to identify those perspectives in the service of finding collaborative solutions to our global environmental crises. Learn more about our mission and vision. 

Newsletter Editor: Elizabeth McAnally, PhD
Copyright © 2021 Yale Forum on Religion & Ecology, All rights reserved.

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