Faith & Transition

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 4:00pm - 5:15pm


In Claiming Earth as Common Ground, Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener writes: "We may even be reading our texts through our modern eyes, yet very few of us have 'green' eyes. Ironically, the first steps out of base camp usually result in a deep reclamation of the dark-green roots of our very own tradition."

How can we reclaim the dark-green roots of our own traditions, share our diverse traditions with each other, and act from faith to build more resilient selves, faith and practice groups, neighborhoods, and communities? Come listen to Steve Chase, Katy Locke, and Ruah Swennerfelt, three local New England Transition organizers who have worked with Quakers and taken part in local interfaith efforts. 

We will start by asking them about key themes and some practical "how to" ideas for engaging people of faith in Transition efforts and what local congregations can offer and gain from Transition organizing. Each panelist will tell their story, talk about how the Transition approach fits with their faith, and offer stories of what they are doing in their faith practice and/or faith communities.

Steve Chase is the director of Antioch University New England's Environmental Studies master's program in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainablity, a member of the Putney Friends Meeting, and a co-founder of the Transition Keene Task Force, the 56th Transition initiative in the US and the first in New Hampshire. He is also a co-moderator with Ruah Swennerfelt of the online "Quakers In Transition" support project sponsored by the Earthcare Ministries Committee of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends. He and Katy Locke have also developed a workshop called "Transition, Faith, and Action: An Interactive Introduction To The Transition Movement For People of Faith." He is also the author of Letters To A Fellow Seeker: A Short Introduction To The Quaker Way.

Ruah Swennerfelt is a member of Burlington Friends Meeting (Quaker) and co-founder of Transition Town Charlotte, Vermont. She also serves on the Vermont Interfaith Power and Light board. She recently retired after 16 years serving as General Secretary of Quaker Earthcare Witness, an international organization dedicated to raising Earthcare awareness among Quakers. She has traveled widely, in the U.S., Europe, and Israel, interviewing people involved in Transition communities and blogging about those experiences, as well as giving numerous talks to inspire people to start Transition Initiatives. In August she will assume the clerkship (chair) of New England Yearly Meeting's Earthcare Ministry Committee and co-moderates, with Steve Chase, of the "Quakers In Transition" blog and website.

Katy Locke, M.Ed. is a Certified Plant Spirit Healing Practitioner, Permaculture gardener, and co-founder and chair of the Transition Keene Task Force. For the past several years, Katy has been offering workshops and events for Transition Keene, Transition, Faith and Action, Awakening the Dreamer, and the Monadnock Localvores in her community. Katy is a graduate of Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, PA and a frequent attender of Putney Friends Meeting in Putney, VT.

Jamie Capach, recent graduate from Antioch University New England's Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustinability program and member of the Transition Keene Task Force, will facilitate the panel discussion.

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