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Creation Justice Summit: Our kinship with Oregon’s sacred waters

January 30, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 4:15 pm

$10 – $20
Jeff Merkley 2 1
Senator Jeff Merkley

The eighth Creation Justice Summit (formerly the Earth Care Summit) will bring together people of faith and goodwill from across Oregon to learn, connect and develop a shared vision for creation justice in 2021.

Titled “Our Kinship with Oregon’s Sacred Waters,” the summit will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Columbia River Watershed Pastoral Letter and explore the faith community’s role in caring for our watersheds. Participants are encouraged to gather water from your local waterway to have present during the summit (e.g., go dip a jar of water out of your nearest creek, river, lake or ocean).

Presented by EMO’s Creation Justice and Oregon Interfaith Power & Light (OIPL), the virtual event will feature plenary sessions from inspiring presenters and workshops focused on organizing, advocacy, activism and education. Senator Jeff Merkley will give the closing address.

See schedule below or download the complete schedule. View bios of panelists and workshop speakers.

REGISTER: $20 general, $10 students, scholarships available.

Opening Session (1 – 1:15 p.m.)
> Welcome by Cherice Bock.
> Water in the Qur’an by Imam Abdulah Polovina.
> Prayer of Confession and Thanksgiving for the Gift of Water by The Rev. Linda Jaramillo.
> “Draw Water in Joy” by Rabbi Benjamin Barnett.

Plenary Panel (1:15 – 2:15 p.m.)
“The Columbia River Watershed Pastoral Letter at Twenty: Reflections and Recommitment.”
Moderator: The Rev. Mark Brocker. Panelists: Fr. Chuck Lienert; Wilbur Slockish, Jr.; and Sr. Joan Brown.

Workshops (2:25 – 3:25 p.m.)

    • Organizing Green Teams and Regional Circles, led by Cherice Bock and The Rev. John Pitney. Wondering how to build or strengthen a green team in your faith community, or how to connect with other people of faith around the state also working on caring for this planet with love and justice? This workshop will offer practical tips for organizing a group in your faith community, connecting with others across the state through Green Circles, and setting goals for greenhouse gas reduction, education, advocacy and other aspects of working toward a more sustainable world with people of faith.
    • Faith-based Climate Advocacy in the 2021 Legislative Session, led by Aaron Salzman. Changing our public policies can have the biggest potential impact on collective ability to live sustainably, so speaking up about just and sustainable policy changes is an important aspect of creation justice. Become familiar with some of the climate and environmental policy priorities EMO and Oregon Interfaith Power & Light are advocating for during the 2021 Oregon Legislative Session. Learn more about these policies and consider a faith-based response from your faith tradition. Find out how to get involved in climate and environmental policy advocacy with EMO/OIPL.
    • Creation Justice in Worship and Community Life, led by The Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin. Receive resources and ideas for incorporating creation justice elements into your worship services, liturgies, and faith community events.
    • Water Is Life: Activism in Oregon, with moderator Richenda Fairhurst; panelists Cozcacuauhtli Itzpapaloatl Tracy Molina, Don and Alona Steinke, and Patty Hine. “Water is life” is a phrase many of us can connect with in various religious and spiritual traditions, and it has been used by Indigenous environmental and climate activists — “water protectors” — as they work to block fossil fuel pipelines from crossing Native lands and the waterways we all share. Four panelists will share their experiences of environmental activism in Oregon, the Pacific Northwest and beyond as Indigenous water protectors, allies and people of faith upholding our kinship with Turtle Island’s sacred waters.
    • Watershed Care & Faith Communities, led by Dr. Steven Kolmes. The Columbia River Watershed Pastoral Letter, which we are discussing and commemorating in the opening plenary panel, refers to a broad regional watershed many of us in Oregon live in, but what is a watershed? How does it function, and what is the role of faith communities in caring for it? Learn from Dr. Kolmes about the basics of watersheds, what environmental and climate issues to be aware of in your watershed, and groups your faith community might consider partnering with as you’re engaging in watershed care.

Closing Session (3:30 – 4:15 p.m.)
> Climate Policy Update for the 2021 Oregon Legislative Session, by Britton Conroy.
> Keynote Address by US Senator Jeff Merkley.
> Closing Interfaith Prayer and Blessing of Oregon’s Waters, by Imam Abdulah Polovina, Rabbi Benjamin Barnett, The Rev. Linda Jaramillo, and Navneet Kaur.


January 30, 2021
1:00 pm - 4:15 pm
$10 – $20
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Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
(503) 221-1054
View Organizer Website