Earth as Ally conference to focus on climate change

By Bojana Jankova

A faith-based conference raising climate change awareness will take place on September 17-19 at Merry Lea Environmental Center at Goshen College. The Earth as Ally Conference will try to intertwine Christian faith with the issue of climate change by emphasizing hope for a better future rather than feelings of despair, hopelessness or ignorance that are often associated with climate change discussions.

“[Faith] gives us the resurrection and the assurance that renewal can and does happen,” said Luke Gascho, executive director of Merry Lea. ” It links us to people from thousands of years ago who also faces devastation they brought on themselves; and it gives us an awareness of the generations coming after us and our responsibility to them.”

What makes this conference  unique is that instead of just talking about climate change, the conference will emphasize hands on experience by learning from the land. Participants will have a chance to explore the 1,189 acres of prairie, woodland and wetland at Merry Lea. They will have a chance to see how scientists calculate the amount of carbon the forest absorbs, to hear about the plant and animal life cycles and they ways each cycle is influenced by climate change and meet people who are in charge of keeping the land healthy. The conference will include discussions on the idea of linking faith and science, include time for worship and more.

Students, environmental professionals and concerned people are expected to attend this conference at the Merry Lea Environmental Center of Goshen College.

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