Local Projects: Seminary solar panels at CDSP

The Episcopal Church has approved 44 Stewardship of Creation grants for local projects, including many great ideas that your parish or diocese could do too. Every Thursday, to help highlight the exciting work happening across God’s church, we highlight one here!


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This week we highlight what seminaries can do to educate future clergy about climate change. Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) in Berkeley, CA, received $6,670 “to develop an intensive immersion class on climate justice and form a regional network to connect the students who are participants in the program.” The course is taught by Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, a prominent Christian ethicist and the author of “Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation.”

Read about the course here: https://cdsp.edu/on-campus-courses/climate-justice-theology-action-in-relationship/

This isn’t CDSP’s first foray into environmental stewardship: The school has pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030, and put its money where its mouth is by installing 400 solar panels in 2016. The panels were blessed by former Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and California Bishop Marc Andrus at a special event featuring remarks from Professor Moe-Lobeda and Dean W. Mark Richardson. Dean Richardson, who has written extensively on faith, science, and evolution, also attended the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference. “At CDSP,” he said in a press release, “we believe that moral accountability in our relationship to the environment is an essential component of quality theological education. We strive to be good stewards of the resources we have been given.”

Learn more about the solar panels here: https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/pressreleases/cdsp-receives-250000-for-solar-panels/ and https://www.episcopalcafe.com/this-fragile-earth-cdsp-event-today-celebrated-creation/

Thank you, CDSP! Climate change is the most pressing challenge facing God’s people in the 21st century. For the church to be involved tomorrow, future clergy have to be educated today. ECN is run by a seminary student, and I can say that this sort of formation is sorely needed across the church. Moreover, we don’t just need special electives — we also need all our regular classes, like Scripture and pastoral care, to point out the environmental connections to their own topics as well.

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