Profile: Sara Ward







Sara Ward, Executive Director of Ohio Interfaith Power & Light since August of 2011, is one of its original steering committee members and previously served as the Advocacy Chair of the Board. She is a recipient of the 2013 Living Faith Award and is a Green Faith Fellow, a comprehensive education and training program to prepare lay and ordained leaders from diverse religious traditions for environmental leadership.   ….More about Sara

Profile: Jessica Shimberg


Jessica K. Shimberg, joined the board of Ohio Interfaith Power and Light in 2014 as a natural progression within her “rabbinistry.”  A lifelong learner, advocate, and partner with the earth, Jessica has long been associated with Jewish organizations that offer environmental education and advocacy and assist Jews in recognizing Judaism’s sacred relationship with the environment.  She is fond of noting that before we were a “People of the Book,” we were a People of the Land – the Hebrew word for man (adam) shares its root (aleph-dalet-mem) with the word for earth/land (adamah).  And although very comfortable in sacred indoor spaces, she feels most connected to the Divine Source of Life when among the trees or in the desert southwest… More about Jessica

Profile: Jim Rogers



An A.B.  graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and J.D. graduate of George Washington University, Jim Rogers has a varied background working in law and the non-profit and for-profit sectors, with notable tours as a Legal Aid Attorney, lobbyist and public relations staff for the ACLU of Ohio, and a program reviewer for United Way of Greater Cincinnati…

Though a life-long Christian, Jim is a committed ecumenist, believing that we will be able to address the environmental crisis and other challenges of our time only when we unite the forces of the world’s great religions… More about Jim

Profile: Jared Howard






Jared Howard is a 3rd year Master of Divinity student at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and Pastoral Intern at Peace Lutheran Church in Gahanna, Ohio. At Trinity, Jared is actively involved in the Eco Justice and Spirituality group, SEEDS (Sustaining Earth and Environment Daily and Sustainably), serving as a Student Intern… More about Jared

Profile: Rev. Frank Edmands

Born in Massachusetts, Frank fell in love with Creation wandering the woods and exploring the beaches of Onset and Buzzards Bays, fishing and sailing.  As a sonar technician in the US Navy, deep ocean sounds, chirps, clicks, and whale songs introduced him to marine science and oceanography…  Father Edmands has served primarily in parish ministry in upstate NY, PA and Ohio for the past twenty-one years and has enjoyed being a chaplain, assistant coach and teacher of Biology, General Chemistry and Religious Studies for three years at Trinity Pawling, Pawling NY (a boys boarding school) for three years… More about Rev. Frank

Profile: Rev. Deborah Conklin




The Rev. Deborah Conklin is pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, Bowling Green Ohio and is the Executive Director of a transitional housing program for homeless women recovery from chemical dependency. Her advocacy work began in 1988 working for the Toledo Metropolitan Mission where she led an Employment Readiness and Placement project for AfricanAmerican young men, the highest unemployed population in most communities… More about Deborah

Profile: Jason Cervenec


Jason Cervenec is the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Byrd Polar Research Center. Jason earned his M.Ed. in secondary science education and B.S. in biology from The Ohio State University.  He taught science for 11 years in a public high school, including the courses biology, Advanced Placement biology, natural systems science, and physical science… More about Jason

Profile: Rev. Pat Watkins

Serving At: Ministry with God’s Renewed Creation

The Rev. Pat Watkins is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. He is guiding a new, globally-focused United Methodist Ministry with God’s Renewed Creation, based at Global Ministries and also closely related to the Council of Bishops.

Pat’s work has its roots in the Virginia Annual Conference. It is being given a global context in which to work with agencies, annual conferences, bishops, congregations, and ecumenical partners in relation to environmental issues. It builds on a theology that recognizes that care for creation is a fundamental aspect of Christian mission.

The Ministry with God’s Renewed Creation, which has its roots in the Virginia Annual Conference, is being given a global context in which to work with agencies, annual conferences, bishops, congregations, and ecumenical partners in relation to environmental issues. It builds on a theology that recognizes that care for creation is a fundamental aspect of Christian mission.

Pat is a clergy member of the Virginia Conference. He and his wife, the Rev. Denise Honeycutt, were missionaries in Nigeria from 1995 to 1998 and he was a Church and Community Worker missionary in Virginia from 2009 through 2013. He was earlier affiliated with interfaith organizations in Virginia.

A lifelong United Methodist, Pat says that the church has been the catalyst through which his faith journey and call to mission service have taken place. He was strongly influenced as a young person by participation in the United Methodist Youth Fellowship and a church-related Boy Scouts program. While serving as a missionary in Nigeria, he became deeply interested in the relation between faith and God’s creation. While faith has traditionally looked at relationship with God and relationships with other people, he began to see a relationship between faith and the created order. He says: “I am convinced that my faith can and must embrace a ministry that calls for the care and healing of God’s creation.”

He reports that the 2009 document “God’s Renewed Creation” from the United Methodist Council of Bishops informed his call to mission. He had earlier taken courses in environmental science at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Pat received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, in 1979, and a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University Divinity School in 1986.

Speaking of his mission focus, Pat tells this story from his service in Nigeria: “Nigeria has a rainy and a dry season each year. Our trips to the city to buy supplies had to occur during the dry season because it was physically impossible to get in and out of our village during the rainy season. We were forced to live more connected to the cycles of the earth than ever before. Not only did I learn that I could tolerate such an existence, I began to feel as if there was something really wonderful about it, something even sacred. As a result, I began to ask myself a very basic question: “Is there a connection between my faith as a Christian and this feeling of a relationship to the earth?’” His answer is “yes.”