If you’re worried about the future health of our planet, you’re not alone. But worry is not a strategy for progress and neither is waiting for answers or action from Washington. A group of west Michigan residents grabbed the reins of change long ago. They regularly share their healthy planet insights with each other and the public based on back-yard experience. The group gathers from 11:15am until noon every Sunday from Feb 8 through May 3 (except Easter) at Hope Reformed Church at Burton St. and 2210 Kalamazoo Ave in Grand Rapids.
Inspired by Vern Hoffman, one of the founders of The Micah Center (www.TheMicahCenter.org), which is dedicated to furthering social justice, hosts the series. He attributes the idea to a book he urges everyone to read, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,” by Naomi Kline.
Hoffman, former pastor of the Hope Church, is a sprightly 80 year old known for his passion and tireless work on behalf of sustainable and just social initiatives. He titled the Sunday series Our Changing Climate and Positive Earthkeeping Response and gathered a number of friends, colleagues, and experts from the region to present simple 7 minute long “show and tells” on topics close to their hearts: Lou Haveman on going solar, Martie Jager doing her best to divest from companies indifferent to climate change, Frank Lynn sharing the benefits of a home garden, and Jim Muller on cleaning up Plaster Creek, one of the most polluted in Michigan, and creating your own personal watershed.
The series reflects the intersection of spiritual stewardship and climate change initiatives that some refer to as “Creation Care.” Vern says he wanted the series to start with a focus on individual efforts before broadening to a regional and then global view. Topics for the rest of the series include:
Part I: Living Green
Sunday, February 15 Home Insulation – Phil Boogaart & John Kuiper
Sunday, February 22 (Living Your) Concern for the Environment – various presenters
Part II: The Church
Sunday, March 1 The Greening of American Congregations – Cybelle Shattack
Sunday, March 8 Caretakers of the Earth – Steve Bouma-Prediger
Sunday, March 15 What’s Happened at Hope Church, Holland? Peter Boogaart
Part III: Local/Regional Issues & Efforts
Sunday, March 22 Grand Rapids and its Environment – GR Mayor George Heartwell
Sunday, March 29 The Restoration of Plaster Creek – David Warners
Sunday, April 5 Easter Sunday – No Presentation
Sunday, April 12 Urban Transportation – Dave Bulkowski & Andy DeBraber
Part IV: Global Concerns
Sunday, April 19 The Groaning Creation – Steve Bouma-Prediger
Sunday, April 26 Environmental Stewardship in the Third World – Kyle Schaap
Sunday, May 3 Employment Opportunities in Green Technology – Lou Haveman