Religion and Development in Tanzania

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For the month of June, I will be interviewing different religious denominations in the village of Marwa in Tanzania. There are a total of five different denominations within this rural village: Pentecost, Lutheran, Muslim, Seventh-day Adventist, and Catholic. The purpose of these interviews is to ultimately help the OSU Maji Marwa project learn more about the people of Marwa in order to offer them the best possible assistance. This is also a personal research project.

My original plan was not to make a post about each of these interviews. However, after interviewing in a few of the denominations, I changed my mind. I first spoke with the Pentecost ya Umoja Marwa church, which translates to Pentecost Church of Unity in Marwa. I first met the pastor, Mbatiani, and he radiated light. We do not speak the same language, but I could feel the love his smile radiated. After interviewing him and a few of the parishioners, they asked me if I could share their message of love with my friends in America, so I asked them if they would like me to make a post and they very excitedly agreed. So, I thought I would make one post about this specific church and their views on the relationship between sustainable community development and their religion.

Subsequently, after interviewing the Masji min auwarami, which translates to Mosque of Muslim Unity, and the Marwa Seventh-Day Adventist church, I have decided to write a post about each of the different denominations I interview.

I am inspired by the positivity and love that the religious leaders and parishioners have towards me, a complete stranger from across the world who does not even speak their language. I think that it would be unfair for me not to share these messages, and so with the blessing of my collaborators, I will be posting small descriptions of my conversations along with pictures and videos I have taken along the way.

Start 2018 by Speaking up for God’s Creation

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Young Evangelicals for Climate Action posted an article on how to speak up for God’s creation. The article focuses on The Clean Power Plan and how to effectively speak up to stop the repeal and replace of the plan. To read the entire article, click here.

Wade in the Water

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Wade in the Water is a worship resource from the New Community Project. It calls for the stewardship of water and is a 20 minute worship service, including a hymn, about water as a precious resource. To read or download Wade in the Water, click here.

Making an Impact Through the Water Heater

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Setting the temperature on your water heater is an easy and efficient way to lower the bill and to save energy. Blessed Tomorrow has provided a guide that describes how to implement this in your congregation and overall tips on how to lower the water heating bill. To read more, click here.

Catholic Relief Services Hurricane Relief

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Catholic Relief Services has created a way to help areas, especially in the Caribbean, recover from the disasters of the recent hurricanes. They have been working on providing shelter, clean water, and critical supplies to families that have been affected. To see all of their work and how to donate, click here.

The Critical Role of Water in Understanding Global Warming and Climate Change

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The Critical Role of Water in Understanding Global Warming and Climate Change is an article by the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network to help people better understand the importance of water. It focuses on the science of water and how that plays a role in global warming, especially pertaining to the oceans. To read the entire article, click here.

The Global Center for Indigenous Leadership and Lifeways (GCILL)

The Global Center for Indigenous Leadership and Lifeways (GCILL) is an informal umbrella created to support short-term and long-term projects that educate and inform people about indigenous ways of knowing and wisdom for modern times—spirituality that raises human consciousness and harmonious relationship with Mother Earth. The focus of the GCILL has evolved over time first focusing on public speaking by sharing the message of wisdomkeepers (including the work of Ilarion “Larry” Merculieff), helping others and Mother Earth. They then focused on speaking engagements in order to help people create programs to discuss good dialogue surrounding difficult issues. They hope to become their own 501c3 non-profit organization.

Here are GCILL’s current focus areas:





Environmental Justice Resources

Organizations and their resources for Environmental Justice:This post provides links to a number of environmental resources.


Color of Change is a racial justice organization that help individuals effectively respond to injustice in the world around us. Color of Change was launched September 1, 2005 three weeks after Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast and the Bush administration’s failed response shocks the nation, James Rucker and Van Jones email roughly 1,000 friends asking them to pledge to make sure all Americans are represented, served, and protected–regardless of race or class.

New York Times Article: A Question of Environmental Racism in Flint

Environmetal Racism and Flint Water Crisis

“Environmental Racism” is a term coined in the 1980s by Benjamin Chavis, a civil rights activist. On February 18, 2016, Rev. Fletcher Harper, Rev. Lawrence Jennings and Rev. Dr. Melanie L. Harris gave a presentation: Flint, Environmental Racism and the Black Church, which talks about the history of environmental racism and religion, the Flint Michigan water crisis, and literature on African American Environmental History. The PDF presentation can be viewed here