“Think cosmically and act personally,” urged Dr. Elizabeth Theokritoff in September to the St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary community during a campus-wide initiative on environmental sustainability. The Go Green initiative involves a range of practices from energy conservation to cooperative recycling efforts; all are part of larger city plans to reduce the level of pollutants in Crestwood Lake, in upstate New York, which adjoins the seminary property.
“We cannot just practice the ‘3 Rs’ of the popular ecological movement—‘Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle,’” said Theokritoff in a press release. “Rather, as Orthodox Christians, we practice a fourth, to ‘Rein in’ our appetites. … We have a different agenda [than the popular environmental movement], even though we cooperate with each other. Christians bring revelation to the secular cause. And, in the end, nothing is ‘secular’ any longer, because of the Incarnation of our Lord as ‘cosmic dust’ and because of his Crucifixion under the open sky.”
St. Vladimir’s has also become a corporate member of the Orthodox Fellowship of the Transfiguration, an environmental agency under the umbrella of the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops.