Stories of Change

Picture courtesy of livingthechange.net

Stories of Change is a compilation of people from all different religions who have chosen to “live the change.” This page, from Living the Change, showcases inspiring stories of people and the changes they have made with a short description and video for each person. To read more on the Stories of Change, click here.

The Giving Tree: Fighting Climate Change and Strengthening Communities in Nicaragua

Picture courtesy of crs.org

The Giving Tree: Fighting Climate Change and Strengthening Communities in Nicaragua is an initiative from Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere with one of the worst rates of deforestation in the region. CRS is engaging rural Nicaraguans, who have an average employment income of $3/day, in planting 310,000 indigenous trees in land on or near their small farms. These trees will remove from the atmosphere approximately 67,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, over their full lives. Farmers will be paid annually for a 10-year period to maintain and nurture these trees, and additional investment will be made in the communities.To read more on The Giving Tree and the work that CRS is doing, click here.

Building Regional Food Hubs: A Conference Connecting Healthy Food, Farms, and Communities

Picture courtesy of mtso.edu

Building Regional Food Hubs: A Conference Connecting Healthy Food, Farms, and Communities is an event dedicated to the life and work of Patrick Kaufman on Friday, November 9th in Delaware, Ohio. Attendees will learn from food system projects across Ohio, including in the Mansfield and Columbus area, and connect with food system practitioners from around the state. There will be a group of speakers including: Anna Haas, Local Food Connection in Cincinnati, Ohio,  Piper Fernwey, Bon Appétit Management Company, Leslie Schaller, Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACENet), and Casey Hoy, The Ohio State University Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT).  The registration fee is free for students and $10 for others. To learn more or register for the event, click here.

Beyond the Steeple: New Life in Texas

Picture courtesy of
elca.org/

Beyond the Steeple: New Life in Texas is a video on New Life Lutheran Church in Dripping Springs, Texas. Every Sunday, rain or shine, they hold their worship outdoors under the live oaks on their property. The short video shows an average Sunday at the church and also talks to members about their experience attending a church with no building. Pastor Kara Stewart stated, “I love that in order to come to worship I need to know what’s going on in the world, like the actual creation world not just world events; that we pay attention to what the land will be experiencing when we’re here.” To watch the video on New Life Lutheran Church, click here.

Food Security: Dream of Feeding Hundreds Comes True

Brother Paul Kennedy, member of the Dominican Order, grew up in Cincinnati with a dream of running a restaurant. Today, he is fulfilling that dream in an unexpected way; every weekday, he is in charge of feeding the physical and spiritual hunger of more than 300 people at the Holy Family Soup Kitchen in Columbus. Brother Paul stated that, “What always was important to me about the restaurant business was the chance to communicate with people as much as the chance to feed them. But regardless of what I did, every job I’ve had in the past was focused on service to people. Here at the soup kitchen, I get the chance to do the kind of work I wanted to while growing up, while at the same time getting to know the people we serve and developing a rapport with them.” To read more on Brother Paul Kennedy and the Holy Family Soup Kitchen, click here.

German Church aims to be CO2 Neutral by 2050

Picture courtesy of lutheranworld.org

Helena Funk, the COP23 delegate from Germany, comes from the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Northern Germany where their goal is to be carbon neutral by 2050. She discusses her personal experiences as a theology student and how she got involved with climate justice. Helena is one of ten young adults from the European and Asian regions that form the Lutheran World Federation delegation to the COP23 climate conference in Bonn, Germany. To read more, click here.

One Tree at a Time

EELCO youth clear church grounds where new trees will be planted. Photo: Cedrick Y. Kitwa

Picture courtesy of lutheranworld.org

Cedrick Yumba Kitwa, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Congo delegate for the 22nd UN Conference on Climate Change (COP22), reached out to young people to launch a reforestation and environmental education project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over the span of 14 months, they planted 71 trees and created a park with a variety of plants. Kitwa said they are driven by their desire “to see sustainable development and safeguard the creation. We want to see the church involved in climate action because we are suffering very much from climate change already.” To read more on this program, click here.

When Water Comes to Life

Bringing water and life to the Turkana people at Nakururum and Lokwamur in Kenya. #WorldWaterDay Photo: ALWS / H. Wikstrom

Picture courtesy of lutheranworld.org

Australian Lutheran World Service Community Action Manager Jonathan Krause reflects on the importance of providing clean water. Krause describes the importance of clean water in communities like Nakururum in Kenya where the lack of clean, safe water can be life threatening. The Lutheran World Federation states that across the world, three children die from impacts of dirty water every sixty seconds, and that is why they work to provide water in places like South Sudan, Cambodia and Nakururum. To read more or watch a video about the work that LWF does to provide clean water, click here.

Irish Bishops Announce Bill to make Ireland First Government to Divest from Fossil Fuels

Picture courtesy of religionnews.com

The Irish Catholic Bishops Conference announced it would divest from fossil fuels hours before the arrival of Pope Francis. The bishops move means withdrawing investments in 200 oil and gas companies within five years. The bill was introduced in the Irish Parliament requiring the country’s sovereign wealth fund to divest from all fossil fuels, and if the Irish bill passes, it will make Ireland the first government to divest from fossil fuels. To read more, click here.

Divest and Reinvest Central

Divest and Reinvest Now logo

Picture courtesy of greenfaith.org

GreenFaith has created a list of known religious efforts to divest from fossil fuels. The list includes religious groups that have: divested their own funds, committed to never investing in fossil fuels, passed or considered national or local resolutions, focused on reinvestment, or taken divestment or reinvestment on pension funds. There is a key that provides further detail on the action of each religious group. To read more, click here.