Shantha Ready Alonso is the Executive Director of Creation Justice Ministries, an ecumenical Christian organization that represents the creation care and environmental justice policies of 38 Christian communions that serve approximately 100,000 churches and 45 million people in the United States.
Posts By This Author
How Your Church Can Celebrate Earth Day Sunday
Some tried-and-true ideas for Earth Day Sunday celebrations include planning an Earth Day themed worship service, having bulletin inserts or handouts for congregation members, and inviting guest speakers with relevant expertise.
8 Spiritual Treasures: The Public Lands Legacy of President Obama
The Obama administration consistently underwent robust stakeholder engagement surrounding all initiatives, including any potential monument designation. The love that communities show for these new monuments evidences our collective ownership of them as national treasures. I am grateful that the Obama administration’s public lands agenda sent a clear message that diversity and inclusion matter, and I believe future administrations have much to learn from their example. In fact, I am part of a coaltion that is asking President Obama to issue a Presidential Memorandum which would transmit the values of diversity and inclusion to public lands agencies. May the stories enshrined in the national monuments of the Obama years nourish us for struggles in the years to come.
As the National Park Service Turns 100, It’s Time to Diversify
Parks and monuments tell our nation’s stories and shape our collective memory. Our national parks, forests, monuments, and wildlife areas are where we learn, play, and pray. We treasure these places of beauty that reveal the wonders of our Creator. And today, on the centennial celebration of the National Park Service, we must pass on their spiritual and cultural significance from generation to generation.
Unfortunately, many people in the U.S. do not yet find their stories reflected or protected in our system of national public lands. While there are plenty of sites that honor military leaders or white historical figures like Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison, there are far fewer sites that honor Native American, African-American, Latino, Asian-Pacific Islander, or women’s history.
Consider the Bees
Soon, Earth Day events became part of the fabric of our nation’s community life, churches began taking the Sunday service before or after Earth Day to pray, learn, and take action for God’s creation. As one 2006 Fox News article about Earth Day Sunday put it, “The environment has historically taken a back seat to common faith initiatives like the fight against poverty or hunger ... But now, congregations increasingly see a connection between care for God's creation and social issues.”