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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Eco-Stewards Program brings together young adults and learning opportunities

 

Initiative explores finding ways to help the Earth

September 6, 2019

From Sept. 1 to Oct. 4, Christians around the world celebrate the Season of Creation. Some of us pray, some of us do hands-on projects, some of us advocate. We all protect creation. It’s powerfully good work that’s urgently needed.

Participants and leaders attend the 2018 Special Edition Eco-Stewards gathering in Kailua, Hawaii. (Photo Credit: Eco-Stewards)

The Eco-Stewards Program seeks to educate, train and inspire young adults (ages 20–30) in the ways of eco-stewardship within the wider context of Christian faith. The program shares roots in and draws partial support from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Presbyterians for Earth Care, and the Presbyterian Camp and Conference Association (PCCCA).

The overarching goal of this grassroots initiative is to help young adults connect and share their passions for faith and environmental stewardship through participation in place-based learning programs that explore how faith communities are responding to environmental challenges.

I personally have had the privilege to be involved with the Eco-Stewards Program since 2011, but I had no idea that when I first participated in this program, it would lead me to beautiful Hawaii seven years later.

The 2018 Eco-Stewards trip was a special experience for us as we invited a mix of leaders in their 20s and 30s to join us for our program entitled Aloha ‘Aina (Love for the Land). Throughout our week together, we listened to local taro farmers, worked alongside fisherman rejuvenating ancient fishponds, and were captivated by Polynesian voyagers validating Hawaiian history. We also spoke with schoolchildren working to engage sustainability issues and gained insight into local chocolatiers utilizing direct trade to ensure that growers get fair wages and grow quality product. All of these people “talked story” about how their faith and their pursuit of justice for both people and the land intersects for them in their daily lives.

For me, visiting this new land and gaining insight into the worldviews of those we visited like Dean’s Taro farm, SEEQs, Blue Plant Foundation, Manoa, and Paepae O He’eia fishpond reminded me of my own family and it made me realize that this is precisely what Eco-Stewards is for me — it is ‘ohana, a wondrous time when I have the opportunity to catch up with old friends, experience the present state of local communities and pave a path for those young adults and future leaders that will come next.

Learn more about the Eco-Stewards and consider becoming one today, or encouraging young adults in your life and community to join, at ecostewardsprogram.wordpress.com.

 Vickie Machado, Eco-Stewards Leadership Team

Today’s Focus:  Eco-Stewards Program

Let us join in prayer for: 

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Marla Edwards, Presbyterian Publishing Corp.
Vanessa Elkin, Presbyterian Foundation

Let us pray:

Loving Creator, you are sequoia, you are sunrise. Out of nothing but love, you crafted the entire cosmos in your image, including Earth, and called it very good. You gave us humans the privilege of serving as stewards for the rest of nature. We turn to you for forgiveness that can restore us back to our original calling as stewards. Forgiveness that turns us around so we can rise up with courage to speak truth to power. Forgiveness that allows us to hear once again solid intimations of your love, healing and grace. In the hope of the Risen Cosmic Christ, we pray in solidarity with your beloved earth. Amen.