St. Louis EcoFaith Meet-up Aug. 26 at the Schlafly Tap Room

by Steve Lawler

Great things are happening within the St. Louis Interfaith Green Community. People who care about sustainability and environmental responsibility because of their spiritual or religious identity are engaging with public policy issues, composting, solar power, recycling, greening their buildings, urban gardening and more. Temples, ashrams, mosques, religious communities and orders, synagogues, churches and other spiritual communities and their members are increasingly active in changing how we live in relationship to nature, resources, our built environment, healthy food and one another.

On Sunday August 26th in the Eliot Room of Schlafly’s Tap Room from 2 to 4, a first EcoFaith Meet-up will be held as a gathering of resources, to share ideas and have some fun, all while building a green interfaith network. Using a group process called Open Space Technology (OST), this gathering is designed to help people connect with others so that we can make best use of our resources, find collaborative partners and discover new possibilities. St. Louis EcoFaith Meet-up’s single purpose is to provide a space and place for community conversations to support the growth of environmental awareness and action by religious and spiritual people.

In the early 1980’s, Harrison Owen developed OST as a group process in order to determine a way forward while engaging whole groups in collaboration, innovation and problem solving. As an approach, the method invites attendees to bring their interests and ideas to the whole group and then creates a way to find others whose interests connect to one’s own. It is a great way to build connections with other like-minded individuals and groups.

The current plan for St. Louis EcoFaith Meet-up is to hold occasional gatherings, develop a resource sharing web presence and to collaborate with organizations addressing sustainability, environmental and green challenges.

St. Louis EcoFaith Meet-up was developed as a collaboration of Lynda Morrison, a Saint Louis University professor and a Congregational church member, Brenda Butler, a community leader and camp director, and Steve Lawler, an Episcopal priest and organizational psychologist. They wish to thank the USGBC Gateway Chapter, Executive Director Emily Andrews and Board Member Christy Cunningham-Saylor for their great help in getting this initiative up and running. USGBC-Missouri Gateway was inspired to team up with Steve, Lynda and Brenda as they prepare for their October 9 program on Faith-Based Sustainability, which will be free and open to the public.

For more information, please visit www.EcoFaith.info. RSVPs are requested for the August 26 St. Louis EcoFaith Meet-up by e-mail to EcoFaithStL@gmail.com.