Natalie Ward, NWC Leader, center, photographs a family craft table.
Celebrating Trees and Caring for the Planet
(Justice, Outreach and YOGA) is in St. Joseph, Missouri and leaders are now celebrating their new designation as the JOY New Worshiping Community in Heartland Presbytery. The Center is directly connected to an ecumenical eco-justice group which sprang forth after GA approved the overture “In Gratitude for Laudato Si.” This group, which is active in education and advocacy, just celebrated its fifth anniversary. The group moved into a beautiful building which had previously housed Presbyterian and Unity Church congregations, among others, and now is a venue for eco- and social justice groups as well as yoga classes.
One of the first events held in the Center was a “Tree Expo,” which was a celebration of and for trees. The community/family event included helping paint a beautiful stained glass-effect tree, as well as sharing “tree pose,” and enjoying poetry including that written by PEC past Moderator, Nancy Corson Carter. A Missouri Department of Conservation forester shared his experience fighting fires in wooded areas in California. A university biologist and local arborist also shared booths.
Ecumenical Eco-Justice and JOY New Worshiping Community leaders are Jan Storts, Rev. Dr. Krista Kiger, Natalie Ward, Emily Fite, Shelley White, and Diane Waddell. Coming up in summer of 2021 is a Planet Party, which will be similar to the Tree Expo, where participants will share their passion about Earth Care.