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ARC Home > News and Resources > News archive:

O Magazine this month features the work by ARC and the faiths

June 18 2010:

OPRAH WINFREY’S Award-winning O Magazine this month featured ARC’s Windsor Event and the work of the faiths to protect the environment.

The article, written by staff-writer Meredith Bryan and entitled A Greener Calling , included interviews with Sally Bingham of Interfaith Power and Light , Nigel Savage of Jewish environmental group Hazon, Dekila Chungyalpa who is the Karmapa's environmental advisor and working with WWF-USA on their faiths and environment initiative, and Bishop Walter Thomas of the New Psalmist Baptists in Baltimore, Maryland, who first worked with ARC on our water and faith schools initiative.

Each had attended, and spoken at, the ARC-UNDP Windsor Event in November, and each had an “eco-aha moment” to share with O Magazine’s 2.6 million readers. Many O readers are women, many belong to a faith, and many are decision-makers in their families and communities throughout the United States.

The story led on how, “in an unprecedented show of unity, a global contingent of faith leaders are joining forces to preach the gospel of green.”

“WINDSOR CASTLE, THE BUCOLIC weekend retreat of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and her pack of corgis, has witnessed the plague, beheadings, and centuries of state dinners, but it’s surely never seen this: a procession of bearded Sikhs in orange turbans, bald Buddhist monks in habits, Jews in top hats and prayer shawls, Japanese Shintos in white jôes – even a Greek Orthodox archbishop in a black kamilafki hat and floor-length cassock,” Bryan writes.

“On an unseasonably warm day last November, a group of British schoolchildren led this diverse troop from the small town of Windsor through the castle’s Hogwart’s-worthy gate for a vegan feast of stuffed mushrooms and parsnips. It was all part of “Many Heavens, One Earth”, an event organized by the United Nations and the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), designed to promote environmental evangelism among people of faith – the largest international gathering of its kind.”


The article went on to give examples of eco-initiatives by groups as diverse as the Chinese Daoists, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana (planting 200,000 seedlings), the Jewish Climate Change Campaign, the Muslims printing the Qu’ran on sustainable paper. It also quoted UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reminding people that faith leaders have the ear – and hearts – of 85 percent of the world’s population. “You can, and do, inspire people to change,” he said.

Read a blog inspired by the article here.

ECO-AHA MOMENTS INCLUDED:

• Sally Bingham wondered why, in the Book of Common Prayer Christians pray for reverence of the Earth but then she saw people throwing trash out of the car windows.

• Bishop Walter Thomas went to a slum outside Nairobi and learned how polluting a stream can destroy whole communities. “We saw the looks in children’s eyes that said “can you help us?”

• Dekila Chungyalpa saw a mother bear and her two little cubs in the forest where she grew up in Sikkim, and realised that all life is sacred.

• Nigel Savage was a fund manager for Rothschilds when he went on a 31 mile hike from the Mediterranean to Galilee. “I had come from a nerdy intellectual wing of the English Jewish community and that was the first instance when I had spent any great amount of time outdoors. I started to think about our obligation to the physical world through a religious prism.”

Links

PLEASE NOTE THESE ARE STILL BEING ADDED

The Karmapa's Khoryug project

Hazon

Interfaith Power and Light

New Psalmist Baptists

O Magazine

Water Schools



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ARC is a secular body that helps the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices.
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