I was pleased to be sponsored by Westtown School in my application to the GreenFaith Fellowship Program, and upon hearing of my acceptance, was at once excited and had trepidations about being part of a program with ordained clergy. As a Friend who attended an Episcopal seminary, I had the good luck of having fellow Quaker students in my cohort, and the willingness to engage with larger questions of church and justice in a broader Christian landscape. Learning and leading with fellow travelers who were seeking ordination, I gained an appreciation and respect for those called to lead in congregations, and confirmation in my belief in the priesthood of all, the lack of laity that is at the heart of Friends’ faith.
GreenFaith’s mission is “to inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership. Our work is based on beliefs shared by the world’s great religions - we believe that protecting the earth is a religious value, and that environmental stewardship is a moral responsibility.” (greenfaith.org/about/) This first retreat, focused on stewardship, offered many insights into the diversity of faiths represented, and our common cause of catalyzing our communities for bold faithful environmental work. Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Atheist, Catholic, Episcopal, United Church of Christ, Baptist, New Church Movement, Lutheran Fellows were represented from around the USA and Canada—and one Fellow from Finland! It was truly an inspiring and challenging event.