Agenda

 

Friday, November 8

     
8:30 Breakfast & Registration  
     
9:00 Welcome  
  Land Acknowledgement
& Water Song
Led by Diana WasaAnung'gokwe Seales and Allison Radell.
  Libation Offering We pour libations to awaken our collective ancestors and place their presence-- as well as our own-- into a civil, peaceful and productive environment. Led by Oluwo Ifabayowa Adesanya Awoyade.
     
9:45 Keynote Dialogue  
    Frank Ettawageshik, an internationally-recognized leader on climate, tribal sovereignty and cultural preservation, and Shimekia Nichols, an organizer working on energy equity and democracy in Detroit and Highland Park, share their reflections on their work, finding their moral voices, and how to be an ally in struggles for justice. 

Moderated by Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann.

*This session will be livestreamed on our Facebook page!
     
10:35 Break  
     
10:45 Morning Breakouts  
    1. How Congregations Are Responding to Water Crises in Flint and Detroit

What are the water struggles in Detroit and Flint today? How are congregations and communities stepping up to respond to these profound crises? What obstacles or opposition do they face? We will discuss access to clean water, race and socio-economic status, paying special attention to how basic life resources enhance all of society.

Rev. Greg Timmons, Calvary United Methodist Church (Flint); Rev. Denise Griebler, St. Peter’s Church (Detroit); Moderated by Rev. Roslyn Bouier, Brightmoor Connection Food Pantry (Detroit).

*This session will be livestreamed on our Facebook page!

2. Finding Common Ground and Healing Relationships in a Time of Crisis and Struggle

The Great Lakes Peace Center, in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan, focuses on building positive relationships between the majority culture and the Indigenous Nations in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We will share our stories along with a variety of resources that are helping us build bridges between our two cultures.

A Detroit-based seminary educator will propose a vision for a place-based morality arising from his 35-year experience as a white male in a predominantly black inner city. He will emphasize the necessity of Interfaith work combined with indigenous wisdom gained through millennia of dwelling (relatively) sustainably in place.

Kathy Vanden Boogaard, Deb Nedeau and Bradley Nedeau, all from the Great Lakes Peace Center (Rapid River); and Jim Perkinson, Ecumenical Theological Seminary (Detroit).

3. Revitalizing Religious Community Through Earth Connection

Deep within Jewish and Christian tradition lies a wealth of wisdom about returning to a healthy and reverent relationship with the Earth and each other. Join us for a conversation and experiential learning, as we explore the ways different faith communities are exploring and reconnecting to these Earth-honoring roots, while also taking responsibility for, and trying to bring healing to the ways that local Indigenous and Black communities, as well as the Earth itself, have been abused and exploited. You’ll hear how Wild Church is doing this with the Christian community in the Upper Peninsula and in conversation with Indigenous tribes on whose lands they live, and how Hazon Detroit is working on a similar project within the Jewish community in respectful conversation with Black Detroiters. Bring your coats, as we will go outside, weather permitting, and also your curiosity, experience, and expertise, as we will be conversing, sharing, and drawing from the deep wisdom in the room.

Rev. Lydia Kelsey Bucklin and The Rt. Rev. Rayford Ray, Episcopal Diocese of Northern MI (Marquette); Rabbi Nate DeGroot, Hazon Detroit. 

4. Solar Energy: Stewarding Decentralized Power Generation

This session will explain how houses of worship can fund solar installations that take advantage of federal tax credits by working with investors and using Power Purchase Agreements. We will also discuss why decentralized power generation in Michigan is needed to reduce our carbon footprints and how solar presents a unique opportunity for faith communities to promote environmental stewardship.

Murray Rosenthal and David Lewis, both of Genesis/Temple Beth Emeth (Ann Arbor).

     
11:55 Lunch  
     
1:00 Afternoon Breakouts I  
    1. Listening to Evangelical Voices on Climate and Creation Care 

Evangelicals are often stereotyped as “anti-climate action.” While there is some truth to this generalization, the reality is much more nuanced, complex, and filled with opportunities. Join us for a conversation between BT Irwin, an evangelical Christian, frequent preacher, and Executive Director of Voices for Earth Justice and Prof. Barry Lyons who has been researching evangelical perspectives on climate disruption across the U.S. and South America. They will share a bit about what has contributed to evangelical skepticism about our and then focus on stories and lessons of realization and re-connection towards values of creation care and engagement with climate action.

BT Irwin, Voices for Earth Justice (Detroit); Dr. Barry Lyons, Wayne State University; Moderated by Rabbi Moshe Givental.

*This session will be livestreamed on our Facebook page!

2. Welcoming Strangers: Faith Communities Supporting Immigrants and Asylum Seekers

More and more people are needing to leave their countries to find safe harbor in this era of climate disruption. In this session, we will share stories about how each of our churches have come together: one becoming a Sanctuary congregation and the other supporting an asylum seeker in the Reverend’s home. We’ll share our stories, how and why we’ve come to make these decisions, and explore together what we might learn from these experiences about supporting the growing number of climate refugees who will be seeking safe harbor in the months and years to come.

Rev. Julie Brock, Community Unitarian Universalists in Brighton; Rev. Jill Zundel, Central United Methodist Church (Detroit). Moderated by Rev. John Schleicher (Grand Ledge).

3. Mawadisidiwag: They Visit Each Other

This session will explore the science of power by utilizing the ancestral technology of visiting and the art of community organizing. We aim to deepen connections among social change workers present at the conference who use culture and arts strategies in our communities and congregations. This will be an interconnected, interactive session where we put our selves and our communities/ congregations in the same time and space to reflect on the cultures we are enmeshed in and generate new possibilities.

Sacramento Knoxx, The Aadizookaan (Detroit); Owolabí William Copeland, Collective Wisdom Detroit.

4. Taking on Climate Locally: How Michigan Communities are Reducing their Carbon Footprints

It's easy to feel overwhelmed about global climate disruption. But in Michigan, communities are organizing to reduce their greenhouse gas pollution. In Northern Michigan, recycling leaders are turning food waste into compost and ramping up recycling efforts. They're also working with city leaders in Petoskey and Traverse City to set goals for generating 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. In Western Michigan, 40 congregations are working to reduce their carbon footprints and be better stewards of the earth through the Climate Witness Project, a grass-roots effort to set up creation care teams. These teams combine worship, education, advocacy and energy stewardship. Learn and get inspiration from what congregations and communities -- large and small -- are doing.

Steve Mulder, Climate Witness Project (Grand Rapids); Lindsey Walker, Emmet County Recycling (Harbor Springs). Moderated by Jim Detjen, Edgewood United Church (E. Lansing). 

     
2:00 Break  
     
2:15 Afternoon Breakouts II  
   

1. The Poor People’s Campaign: Non-Violent Direct Action as Spiritual Practice

The Poor People’s Campaign—organized by the Rev. Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1968 and revived last year—is using mass mobilization and non-violent direct action (also known as civil disobedience) to bring about a more just and moral society, including a focus on environmental degradation and water justice. The speakers will discuss the history of the Poor People’s Campaign, their involvement in the 40 days of action that took place in 2018 (in particular the direct actions at MDEQ and Detroit’s Q Line and the ensuing legal consequences), and the everyday conditions that prompt the Campaign’s urgent call for moral revival.

Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann (Detroit), Rev. Kevin Johnson (Detroit), and Nicole Hill, Work for Me, DTE campaign (Highland Park). 

*This session will be livestreamed on our Facebook page!

2. Soil and Humility: Reflections on Agriculture and Community

Join Nikki and Naim as they examine the roles we play in cultivating food and community. Our speakers and audience will explore how land, food, spirituality, and humility inform how we approach healing and moral leadership.

Naim Edwards, Michigan State University Extension (Detroit); Rev. Nikki Seger, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and Community Garden (Lansing).

3. Stories, Spirit, and Struggle on this Sacred Ground

Join the lead editors and directors of Geez magazine for some time reflecting upon the stories and places that have formed the work we do and our cry for climate justice. Drawing from Geez's recent issue and study guide on Climate Justice, this workshop will create space for writing and art to individually and collectively tend to our spirits, share our stories, and build toward deeper struggle.

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann, Lucia Wylie-Eggert, and Kateri Boucher, all from Geez Magazine (Detroit).

4. Grounding Our Work in Shared Gratitude, Grief, and Vision

This session will draw on Joanna Macy's Work That Reconnects to create ritual space for folks to share the impacts of doing the hard work of facing environmental and climate disruption. We'll set the ritual space by honoring our ancestors and sharing gratitude. This will bring us to the heart, so that we can honor the grief, fear, anger, etc. which naturally arise in the process of doing justice work. Having honored engaged with both gratitude and pain, we'll then have our hearts and eyes open enough to explore hope and vision.

Rabbi Moshe Givental (West Bloomfield).

5. Let's create this collective voice of moral leadership across our state! Who's in?

A contemplative conversation about our longings for everyone and everything to thrive and our desire to show up in new ways to heal and repair injustices. Let's explore what might be possible from a Michigan IPL initiative that includes leaders from across Michigan. Do you feel called to this work? 

Facilitated by Jackson Koeppel, Soulardarity (Highland Park); and Rev. Deb Hansen (Levering). 

     
3:25 Closing  
  Closing Remarks  
  Sun Drumming  
    After a long day of learning and sharing with one another, this drumming experience will unwind and energize our minds and bodies while re-centering ourselves in this shared space. Folks of all ages, skill levels and abilities are invited to channel their conference experiences and energy into a whole-group, intentional heliocentric rhythm ensemble. Led by Judith Sheldon and Issa Abramaleem. 
     
4:05 Adjournment  
     


Saturday, November 9

     
1-4pm Detroit Environmental Justice Tour Justin Onwenu and Theresa Landrum will lead a bus tour of Michigan's most polluted zip code: 48217. Details here. 
     

 

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