Interfaith Earth Healing Initiative & EPA Great Lakes Challenge praised by Bishop Thomas Skrenes: “Every day is Earth Day”

EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge: Lutheran Bishop Thomas A. Skrenes says – “We are all environmentalists” & “Every day is Earth Day”


Lutheran Bishop Thomas A. Skrenes praises interfaith success of the EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge

(Marquette, Michigan) – A Lutheran Bishop who has participated in interfaith Earth Day recycling projects for four years in a row said.

“Celebrate – what a great day Earth Day has been 2008,” said Lutheran Bishop Thomas A. Skrenes of the Northern Great Lakes Synod (NGLS) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). “The Earth Healing Initiative has been a great success this year.”

“Congratulations Earth Healers – you’ve done it, it has been a success,” Bishop Skrenes said. “The EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge has been a great success.”

“Computers have been recycled, pharmaceuticals have been brought together for proper disposal,” Skrenes said. “We are hearing reports from all over the Midwest about wonderful things that are happening.”

“Pharmacological waste – more than a million pills – and all kinds of poundage of equipment and computer materials that are surplus that will not pollute the beautiful Great Lakes over the next years because of the success of this challenge.”

“Congratulations to those members of the faith communities and others who have been a part of this,” Skrenes said. “It has been a great day, a great week, a great Earth day 2008.”

“What a great opportunity it has been to be part of the ecumenical work and interfaith work of assisting others to see the environmental concerns set before us,” said Bishop Skrenes of Marquette, Michigan.

“We are all environmentalists,” Skrenes said. “Everybody is an environmentalist because all of us want clean air to breathe, all of us want clean drinking water. We all enjoy the outdoors and nature.”

“So every single one of us – no matter our political understandings are – no matter where we are on the liberal and conservative line – no matter what we think of any of the big issues facing the world today – all of us can agree that it is in all of our interests.”

The interfaith protecting of the environment “is an honoring of the God that made us, that we can be part of this movement to preserve to reuse to recycle – to make a difference,” Skrenes said.

“We call that the environmental movement,” Skrenes said. “Sometimes all kinds of political forces connect to that but yet all of us agree that we can all certainly conserve and save and bring back – and then give to the next generation what has been given to us.”

With hundreds of thousands of people participating across eight states in the Midwest and Northeast, Bishop Skrenes said interfaith environment projects like the EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge will help ensure a better future for all humans.

“It is a sign of great significance that people can join hands and work together,” Skrenes said. “So celebrate – it is a good day for the environment and it is a good day for all of us together.”

Bishop Skrenes thanked the EPA, faith communities and “people of goodwill throughout the upper Midwest who have been a part of this work.”

“Thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency for their help and assistance in all of this work,” Bishop Skrenes said. “The EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge has been a part of the lives and will be a part of the future of this whole area.”

“It is a wonderful opportunity to begin to look at what it is that we hold in common,” Skrenes said. “What we hold in common is this wonderful Great Lakes basin.”

“This is a wonderful place with lakes and streams and forests everywhere in the Midwest, and the great plains and the great fields,” Skrenes said. “We have been a part of saving some of this and making a difference – that’s what it is all about making a difference.”

“The faith communities do that each and every day in so many ways, this is just one more way. People of faith have bonded together and are working together to make a difference in the world.”

“When we are working together as different believing communities great things can happen,” Skrenes said.

“Sometimes we become so focused on what divides us, what disconnects us, what separates us – and there are important things that sometimes do that – but yet we can all have loyalty and allegiance to this world that has been our home and this part of the world that we have been blessed with by God.”

“God has given us the privilege of living here in the midst of these lakes and in the midst of all of this beautiful nature,” Skrenes said.

“When people of faith, whether they be of Christian traditions or of other traditions, gather together to work on what connects us. One of those things that connects us is respect and awe for the creation that surrounds us.”

“We are part of a movement together in these early years of the Twenty-first (21st) Century to save what has been given to us by the generations before us and what God has provided to us,” Skrenes said.

“When you can have people of all traditions working together – wonderful things can happen. People joining hands and making things happen. A spectacular success was this initiative. Thanks be to God for that – and thanks be to all the people that made this possible.”

Bishop Skrenes is one of the original nine faith leaders who signed the Earth Keeper Covenant in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in 2004 that lead to many interfaith projects

Background: Earth Healing Initiative and the Michigan Earth Keeper Initiative

The Cedar Tree Institute (CTI) co-founded the interfaith Earth Keeper Initiative in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that works closely with ten faith traditions on a wide range of environment projects that include college students, at-risk teens, American Indian tribes and others.
.
The CTI Interfaith Earth Healing Initiative is developing the same relationship with the same faith communities in northern Michigan and others across the Great lakes.

The faith communities include Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Methodist Church, Unitarian Universalist, Baha’i, Jewish, The Religious Society of Friends (commonly known as the Quakers) and Zen Buddhist.

Springtime, Earth Day, the Great Lakes challenge and similar events are a renewal, Skrenes said.

“Now in the springtime – what a better time of year there is than spring I can not imagine. Springtime when the trees are just blossoming and the flowers are coming up and the spring rains – to be reminded of what a great God we have who has provided all this to us.”

“So it is our privilege then to do this ministry to do this work together. “Every day is Earth Day – every day is an environmental concern day,” Skrenes said.

Related Links:

Interfaith Earth Healing Initiative
http://www.EarthHealingInitiative.org

906-401-0109

EPA Region 5 Office in Chicago, Illinois
http://www.epa.gov/region5

Cedar Tree Institute
http://www.CedarTreeInstitute.org

The Lake Superior Interfaith Communication Network
http://www.lakesuperiorinterfaith.com

ELCA Northern Great Lakes Synod
http://www.nglsynod.org

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
8765 W. Higgins Road
Chicago, IL
60631

1-800-638-3522
(aka 1-800-NET-ELCA)

1-773-380-2700
Fax: 1-773-380-1465

ELCA Website:
http://www.elca.org
Ecumenical:
http://www.elca.org/ecumenical

Earth 911:
http://earth911.org/blog/2008

Interfaith graphics by Justice St. Rain (Baha’i Community) of Interfaith Resources – Special Ideas website:
http://www.interfaithresources.com

Justice St. Rain
1-800-326-1197 (toll free)
1-847-733-3559 (wk)

Interfaith Resources
P.O. Box 9
511 Diamond Rd
Heltonville, IN
47436

About yoopernewsman

I am a news reporter, writer and investigative journalist and began my career about 40 years ago as a young teenager in Augusta, GA after moving south during the middle of high school. I'm a news reporter, writer & investigative journalist specializing in street news, plus Indigenous, civil rights & environment reporting. Currently volunteer media advisor for numerous American Indian & environment related nonprofits that include the Navajo Lutheran Mission in Rock Point, AZ & its executive director Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard, the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute (CTI) in Marquette, MI & its many projects founded by Rev. Jon Magnuson, Author Joy Ibsen of Trout Creek, MI, Celtic Christianity Today (CCT) founded by Rev. Dr. George Cairns, the Turtle Island Project founded by pastors Hubbard & Cairns. In its third summer, the CTI Zaagkii Wings & Seeds Project & its volunteers built a16-foot geodesic dome solar-powered greenhouse that was built in this summer at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) in an effort to restore native species plants to northern Michigan. It's located at the tribe's Natural Resources Department north of L'Anse along Lake Superior. During the summer of 2010, Zaagkii Project teens built & painted 25 beautiful reliquaries that are boxes made from pine & cedar that are used to store seeds for planting & included samples of Native American medicine including sweetgrass, cedar, sage & tobacco. From April-June 2009, I promoted the EarthKeeper Tree Project that planted 12,000 trees across northern Michigan. Co-edited "Unafraid," the second book by Author Joy Ibsen of Trout Creek, MI that was printed in May 2009 based on her father's handwritten sermons she found in shoebox. I edited numerous videos for nonprofit CCT. Began career 35 years ago as teenager in Augusta, GA after moving south during middle of high school. I was co-coordinator of the 1986 original James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta, GA, where the Godfather of Soul was always trashed by local media who didn't report anything positive about the music icon. Mr. Terence Dicks was the other co-coordinator & most recently served as chair of the Augusta Human Relations Commission and serves on the Georgia Clients Council. Mr. Brown taught us to "fight the good fight" by battling all forms of racism & evil while not uttering a bad word about those who try to block justice, respect, fairness & kindness to all. As a child, I lived in the Harbert, Michigan home built by late poet Carl Sandburg, where the legendary author penned some of his greatest works including his Chicago works & Lincoln papers. The four-story home had a sundeck on the top & a cool walk-in safe in the basement. The neighborhood (Birchwood) has numerous cottages used for other purposes by Sandburg like the milk house where they milked goats. My parents remodeled fourth floor of the home that stands atop the Lake Michigan sand dunes/bluffs. They found items that belonged to Mr. Sandburg concealed in the walls including prescription bottles with his name, reading glasses, & a small, thin metal stamp with his name. I've worked for dozens of newspapers & radio & TV stations in GA & MI. I'm volunteer media advisor for several interfaith environmental projects involving Native Americans across Upper Peninsula of MI including the Turtle Island Project, The Zaagkii Project, the Interfaith Earth Healing Initiative, EarthKeeper Initiative & the Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project. The Zaagkii Wings & Seeds Project restores bee & butterfly habitat to help pollination of plants following death of billions of bees. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community youth & Marquette teens built butterfly houses, planted/distributed 26,000 native plants to help pollinators. The Earth Healing Initiative assisted EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge. EHI helped organize interfaith participation across eight states for the 100 plus recycling projects (April 2008) involving recycling millions of pounds of electronic waste & proper disposal of millions of pills/pharmaceuticals. EPA goals were exceeded by 500%. Under an EPA grant, EHI provided free media services for the cities/groups/tribes including videos & press releases. The EarthKeeper environment projects include an annual Earth Day Clean Sweep (2005-2007) at 24 free drop-off sites across a 400 mile area of northern Michigan that collected over 370 tons of household hazardous waste. The 2007 EarthKeeper Pharmaceutical Clean Sweep collected over one ton of drugs plus $500,000 in narcotics in only three hours. Some 2,000 residents participated & many brought in pharmaceuticals for their family, friends & neighbors. In 2006, 10,000 people dropped off over 320 tons of old/broken computers, cell phones & other electronic waste, all of which was recycled. In 2005, residents turned in 45 tons of household poisons & vehicle batteries. The Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project teaches teens to respect nature & themselves by having American Indian guides escort them to remote lakes & streams in northern Michigan to plant/care for wild rice. The teens test water quality to determine the best conditions for the once native grain to survive. The Turtle Island Project was co-founded in July 2007 by Rev. Lynn Hubbard of Rock Point, AR (Ex. Dir. of the Navajo Lutheran Mission) & Rev. Dr. George Cairns of Chesterton, IN, United Church of Christ minister & research professor for the Chicago Theological Seminary. TIP promotes respect for culture & heritage of indigenous peoples like American Indians. TIP is a platform for American Indians to be heard unedited by whites. Rev. Hubbard says whites don't have the knowledge or right to speak on behalf of Native Americans. I specialize in civil rights, outdoor, environmental, cops & courts reporting thanks to my late mentor Jay Mann (Jan Tillman Hutchens), an investigative reporter in Augusta, who lived by the books "Illusions" & "Jonathon Livingston Seagull." Love to fish, hunt, camp & skydive. Belong to Delta Chi national fraternity. I was active in Junior Achievement, band played cornet. With my dear friend, the Rev. Terence A. Dicks, we were the co-coordinators of the 1986 original James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta, GA, where the Godfather of Soul was always trashed by the local media who found no reasons to print or report anything positive about the music icon. I am honored to help the human rights activist Terence Dicks - with some of his projects including the nonprofit Georgia Center for Children and Education - and the economic initiative he founded titled "Claiming A Street Named King." I am the volunteer media advisor for several environmental projects across Michigan's Upper Peninsula including EarthKeeper II - an Initiative of the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette, MI. EarthKeepers II is an Interfaith Energy Conservation and Community Garden Initiative across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Goals: Restore Native Plants and Protect the Great Lakes from Toxins like Airborne Mercury in cooperation with the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, U.S. Forest Service, 10 faith traditions and Native American tribes like the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Previously known as the Earth Keeper Initiative - that project included many environmental projects including an annual Earth Day Clean sweep at two dozen free drop off sites across a 400 mile area of northern Michigan. The target of the 2007 Earth Keeper Pharmaceutical Clean Sweep are all kinds of medicines. In 2006, some 10,000 people dropped off over 320 tons of old/broken computers, cell phones and other electronic waste, all of which was recycled. In 2005, residents turned in 45 tons of household poisons and vehicle batteries. The Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project taught at-risk teens (just sentenced in juvenile court) to respect nature and themselves by having American Indian guides escort them to very remote lakes and streams in northern Michigan to plant and care for wild rice. The teens conducted water quality and other tests to determine the best conditions for the once native grain to survive. I have always specialized in civil rights, outdoor, environmental, cops and courts reporting thanks to my late mentor Jay Mann (Jan Tillman Hutchens), an investigative reporter in Augusta, who lived by the book "Illusions."
This entry was posted in Bethany Lutheran Church, Bishop, Bishop Thomas Skrenes, Duluth, e-waste, eagle, Earth, earth day, ecology, ELCA, environment, environmental, EPA, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, faith, faith traditions, faith-based, First Nations Peoples, global warming, God, Great Lakes, Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge, Green Bay, heritage, HHW, Indian, Indiana, Indigenous Issues, Indigenous peoples, interfaith, Ishpeming, Jesus, Jewish, KBIC, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, landfill, landfills, Lutheran Campus Ministry, Lutheran School of Theology Chicago, Marquette, Menominee, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Milwaukee, Native Plants, North American, northern lights, philosophy, pills, planet, pluralism, poisons, pollution, Pope, Presbyterian, recycle, religion, religions, respect, Rev Jon Magnuson, river, rivers, Rochester, Rockefeller Chapel, salmon-Trout River, Sandusky, Sault Ste Marie, species, species extinction, state of Michigan, stream, streams, sulfide, sulfide mine, Sulfide mining, sulfuric acid, Superior, theologian, tradition, Traverse City, tree, trees, tribal, tribe, Turtle Island, Turtle Island Project, TV, Uncategorized, United Methodist Church, United States, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Universalist Unitarian, University of Minnesota, unwanted, Upper Peninsula, USEAP, UU and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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