Monday, April 22, 2013

Restore Creation: Earth Week at Gordon

Happy Earth Day! This week the Gordon student club Advocates for a Sustainable Future hosts a week-long tribute to environmental care with programs and events to educate, celebrate and restore Creation.

The week includes film screenings, garden clean-ups and plantings, a Boston service project partnering with the Charles River Watershed Association and urban nonprofits for a Charles River Cleanup, tours of small farms in the area, and educational discussions. 

"Earth Week is a favorite of mine," said Cyndi McMahon in the Communications Office, who often takes photos of the events during the week. "I love hearing the sounds of the Recycled Rhythm pop-up performances similar to the bucket drumming near North Station in the city."

Though environmental stewardship is a year-round commitment at Gordon, it's important to set aside time for discussion, and also to celebrate the Gordon community's leadership role in this important field. Recently Gordon College was again named to the Princeton Review's Green Colleges Guide, a highly selective listing of universities and colleges across the U.S. that go beyond traditional expectations for environmental care. Gordon staff members Paul Helgeson and Mark Stowell have been invited to speak at a forum on Faith and  Sustainability at the third Massachusetts Sustainable Communities and second Massachusetts Sustainable Campuses Conference this week at the Worcester DCU Center, a clear testament to why the Princeton Review would set its sights on Gordon for this distinction.

"If we can each take some baby steps toward more sustainable living, collectively we can indeed make the world a better place," said Ming Zheng, professor of biology (who will introduce the first documentary screening of the week, Bag It). "A better world not only for us humans, but for all creatures God calls good after His creation."

The diverse roster of events and activities students have planned for Earth Week includes a faculty and student round table discussion in Chester's Place. Students will have the chance to ask questions and hear insights informally over coffee with expert researchers in environmental biology and students from ASF's leadership. Also, guest speaker Ben Lowe from the Evangelical Environmental Network will be on campus this week talking with students and speaking in Chapel.

"Caring for the world God created is part of our worship, part of our ministry to others, part of our spiritual discipline, and a way in which we can reach people with a message of hope and love," said Dorothy Boorse, professor of biology. "Today, oceans are heavily fished, soils are depleted, and environmental refugees flee droughts, floods and pollution." Boorse, a Gordon alumna who is co-author of one of the top-selling environmental textbooks in higher education, Environmental Science: Toward a Sustainable Future, is a national leader on creation care. "Now more than ever, caring for the creation is a part of caring for all life, a part of pursuing justice and honoring God. Gordon is a good place to make those connections, and to prepare for a life of service, including service to the natural world."

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