In this week's Good Steward Campaign blog post, we want to highlight three schools doing great things!
This summer, the Good Steward Campaign reached out to IDEAS for Us, a student group at Binghamton University in New York who is leading the charge for fossil fuel divestment. IDEAS is a secular group, but we encouraged them to reach out to faith organizations at Binghamton. Joe Morales, student and IDEAS leader says:
I didn't really think about reaching out to faith groups until Jessica from Good Steward Campaign contacted us at IDEAS for Us about doing so and offered us assistance in this endeavor. I wasn't quite sure how to approach these groups with this subject, let alone did I think of even looking to them for support. However, the more I looked into it and thought about it, the more it made sense. The resources provided by Good Steward Campaign especially helped to put everything into perspective too as far as why people who are of these faiths would agree with the idea of divestment. There are a large number of people at Binghamton University that are affiliated with religious groups and are active in the various clubs that cater to these faiths. Some of the values in these religions fall right in line with environmentalism and, further, divestment.
We're thrilled to say that Hillel at Binghamton, the Jewish Student Union, has agreed to add their name to the letter of support for fossil fuel divestment. One fifth of the student population at Binghamton is Jewish, so this adds a great deal of support to the campaign. IDEAS for US is also reaching out to InterVarsity and other Christian groups on campus.
On October 21st, Jessica traveled to Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA for a World Food Day Dinner. 12 students and a Professor gathered around in the dining hall to talk faith, food, sustainability, poverty, and solutions.
Several of the students that attended are part of a program at Shenandoah called "Just Faith," which doesn't mean "merely faith" but rather refers to "justice." These students take 6 classes that prepare them to be leaders in ministry, non-profits, or social justice missions. Participating in this program has equipped those students especially to discuss things like World Food Day from a place of faith.
We used resources from Oxfam and the National Association of Evangelicals to guide our conversation, which led to topics including but not limited to public policy, charity, food waste, vegetarianism, and grace. It was a wonderful evening.
On Oct. 30th, Rev. Rich Cizik traveled to Atlanta to visit Columbia Theological Seminary. There, Rev. Cizik addressed a room full of seminary students. The talk was organized with help from Professors Stan Saunders and Bill Brown, both faculty sponsors of a group at CTS called SAGE.
S: Sagacious, Stewardship, Sustainable, Seminary, Sustaining, Susurrus
A: Attention, Activist, Alliance, Alternative, Alliterative
G: Green, Garden, Growing, God('s), Generative
E: Environment, Ecology, Energy, Enterprising, Earth
When they said they'd like to have Rev. Cizik come down and address students, the Good Steward Campaign was thrilled to send him. We've engaged with many undergraduate universities this fall but it's a special thing to talk to seminary students. Many of them will very soon be moving out into the world to become pastors and church leaders, as well as non-profit heads, and workers for social justice.
It's been a great couple weeks here at the Good Steward Campaign and we still have a few events left in November. Stay tuned to see what's happening!