Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Caring for our planet


Personal action at heart of new program

The Environmental Coalition hopes to present its new educational program to a wide array of people — civic groups, other secular or faith organizations, even families, as well as United Methodists.

"Where in the World Are We — and You — on Changes in Weather, Climate, Nature?" coalition members ask. That’s the program title.

It’s also a question that can bring out strong emotions and certainly causes intense public debate. But the coalition is not arguing the science.

"We want to sidestep contention. We want to bring it down to a personal level," said Pat Hoerth. A UM deaconess, she is spiritual director at Turtle Rock Farm in northern Oklahoma.

People may feel confused, even powerless in the face of changes in the environment. But this program seeks "to help people feel hopeful about their part," Hoerth said. "What we do matters."

The team wants "to help people take their next step" in caring about our planet, she said.

Three presenters are prepped to guide the one-hour program. They are Hoerth; Nathaniel Batchelder of The Peace House, Oklahoma City; and lawyer Jane Wheeler, a member of OKC-Mosaic UMC.

The Environmental Coalition is a subgroup of the Conference’s Board of Church & Society.

The new program "is an interactive approach to facing, expressing, and acting on our love for our planet home, our concern for the changes happening, and our desire to do things that will make a difference," a flier stated.

Commit to one action, Batchelder said. "Pick one that’s doable for you."

Program resources include a reading list, Web links to calculate your carbon footprint and more, and handouts such as "Cool Congregations: 25 Steps Under $25."

Hoerth summed up, "Hope: we exude that. If we didn’t have hope, we would not be doing this."

Contact Hoerth, pathoerth@gmail.com  or 580-917-6011; or Batchelder, 405-524-5577.



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