Local Projects: “Watershed Discipleship” in the Diocese of Arkansas

This week’s ECN local-project spotlight features the Diocese of Arkansas’ Watershed Discipleship program!

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In 2017, the Episcopal Church approved 44 Stewardship of Creation grants for local ministries. Every Thursday, to help highlight the exciting work happening across the Body of Christ and to provide examples of what your own parish or diocese might do, we highlight one of the grant winners here.

According to a church press release, the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas received $10,000 for “working with the Lower Arkansas-Maumelle River watershed in a permaculture and education project involving Arkansas Baptist College (an Historically Black College and University – HBCU), members of Episcopal congregations and a group of young adults.” What an exciting way to combine creation care, racial reconciliation, and interfaith/ecumenical partnerships!

According to the diocesan website, Watershed Discipleship is “a place-based way of living into our faith. The Diocese of Arkansas Environmental Task Force, chaired by The Rev. Ragan Sutterfield, is pioneering an effort to bring reconciliation to our community that will enable us to live in a flourishing relationship with the land and one another.

“The project is now underway with bi-weekly ‘watershed bible studies’ being held at the Rose City Community Center in North Little Rock. Partnering with the community center, these studies link biblical insights with lessons on the practice of permaculture, an ecologically based design model. In addition to these regular gatherings, a grant from the national Episcopal Church has provided the diocese with a watershed resource library to enable churches to explore their local ecosystems.” Read more.

Picture via the Diocese of Arkansas website, at the link above. Full disclosure: ECN’s new volunteer deputy editor was a member of the committee that awarded these grants. Both volunteer editors are now volunteers on the task force that will administer the next round of grants.

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