Interfaith Earth Healing Initiative & EPA Great Lakes challenge: Creating interfaith environment initiatives in your city

[blip.tv ?posts_id=947471&dest=26868]

(Marquette, Michigan) – The founder of two interfaith environment groups is often asked by people around the globe to explain the best way to start an effective similar interfaith group in their own community.

Along the shores of Lake Superior, creating similar interfaith environmental groups was discussed by leaders of the Earth Healing Initiative and the Upper Peninsula Earth Keeper Initiative, both based in Marquette, Michigan.

The non-profit Earth Healing Initiative provided interfaith volunteers and participants top numerous cities during the EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge.

The challenge involved the recycling of millions of pounds of electronics and the proper disposal of millions of pills and other pharmaceuticals in April 2008 during over 100 projects across eight states that make up the Great Lakes Basin.

This warm and calm day in May 2008 produced the tiniest of ripples in an unusually calm Lake Superior as wildlife heralded spring in the background. The serene setting was perfect to discuss interfaith environment work and how it can be created in others areas of the world.

Earth Healing founder Rev. Jon Magnuson co-founded the Earth Keeper Initiative that started when nine northern Michigan faith leaders signed the Earth keeper Covenant in 2004.

The bishops and other faith leaders pledged to reach out to Native Americans and actively participate in interfaith environment projects.

This video includes the thoughts of Rev. Jon Magnuson, director of Lutheran Campus Ministry (LCM) at Northern Michigan University (NMU) in Marquette, MI; and Rev. Tesshin Paul Lehmberg, head priest of Lake Superior Zendo, a Marquette Zen Buddhist temple; and Lutheran Bishop Thomas A. Skrenes of the Northern Great Lakes Synod (NGLS) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Rev. Lehmberg and Bishop Skrenes were among the nine original signers of the Earth keeper Covenant.

The non-profit 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.

Rev. Magnuson is the executive director of the CTI.
.
The CTI Interfaith Earth Healing Initiative is developing a 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.

The Earth Healing Initiative assisted challenge organizers by offering interfaith liaisons to volunteer and encourage members of local churches and temples to participate in the Earth Day related events in their area.

This video on the projects connected to the Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge was made possible by a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with the EPA’s Region 5 office in Chicago the EPA Great Lakes national Program Office – also in Chicago – in cooperation with the non-profit interfaith Earth Healing Initiative in Marquette, Michigan.

The Earth Healing Initiative involves American Indian tribes and “a coalition of churches synagogues and other faith traditions joining together to heal protect and defend the environment” said Rev. Magnuson, Earth Healing founder.

The next project during the summer of 2008 involves encouraging bee and butterfly pollenization through means that include creating habitat thanks to help from at-risk teens and American Indian tribes. The pollen project is important because billions of bees have died prematurely across the country and the problem has become alarming in the Midwest. More on this project in the near future.

Supers:

Rev. Tesshin Paul Lehmberg
Head Priest
Lake Superior Zendo
Zen Buddhist Temple

Rev. Jon Magnuson
Lutheran Campus Ministry
Northern Michigan University
Marquette, Michigan

Bishop Thomas A. Skrenes
Northern Great Lakes Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)


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

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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."
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