Eco-Stewards | Richmond, VA | June 29, 2019

The Eco-Stewards Program, an organization that uses a week-long, place-based learning program to create community among young adult leaders (ages 20-30) who care about the importance of the intersection between their faith and environmental stewardship, will be in Richmond, VA on June 29, 2019. This year’s experience will be a little bit different: Eco-Stewards is inviting alumni, those interested in networking with Eco-Stewards, and those interested in participating as an Eco-Steward in the future to join together for an afternoon along the James River.

You may recall the reflection Vicki Machado wrote about the Eco-Stewards Program‘s last visit to Richmond. If that sparked your interest and you’re able to get to Virginia for a gathering of prayer, reflection, storytelling, and connection, learn more here or RSVP here.

Aloha ‘Aina: Reflections from the Eco-Stewards Program in Kailua, Hawai’i

Editor’s Note: The Eco-Stewards Program is entirely grassroots and is sustained by the grace of God in addition to the energy and passion of a handful of volunteer leaders.

by Vickie Machado
Watershed Discipleship Editorial Team Member

This year’s Eco-Stewards trip was a new experience for us as we invited nine young adults at various stages in their lives to join us for our program entitled Aloha ‘Aina. Past participants, speakers, hosts, and inspirational voices converged on the island of O’ahu for a special edition of Eco-Stewards that looked to further expand our networks, partnerships, and relationships with those engaged in meaningful work that mixes faith and environmental action. Represented among us were a variety of perspectives, backgrounds and spiritual practices including followers of the Roman Catholic faith, a practitioner of Traditional Longhouse spirituality, a leader from the African Methodist Episcopal tradition, mainline Protestants, Evangelicals, a follower of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village Tradition and some self-identified Christian-anarchists.

We were warmly welcomed by one of our core Eco-Stewards Leadership Team members, Rev. Liz Levitt, and her Kailua congregation, Christ Church Uniting Disciples & Presbyterians. Through this congregation and its community ties, our group of mostly mainlanders were introduced to Hawaiian culture Read more

“Water is Life: Journeying to Justice on the James”: Reflections from the Eco-Stewards Program in Richmond, VA

by Vickie Machado

Recently, young adults hailing from the Willamette Watershed in Oregon to the Biscayne Bay Watershed in Florida gathered in Virginia’s James River Watershed to partake in the 10th annual Eco-Stewards Program, a grassroots community that shapes young adult leaders through place-based experiences that connect faith and the environment. Each year, Eco-Stewards organizes a weeklong gathering in a location that reflects the pressing issues of faith and environmental action. This year’s theme, “Water is Life: Journeying to Justice on the James,” arose in response to the prevalence of water issues—such national events as Flint, MI and Standing Rock—and was hosted in Richmond, VA. Participants received copies of Watershed Discipleship, a natural fit as it addresses the complexity of faith, water, and justice. The anthology acted as our guide, and its themes were reiterated throughout the week in our interactions and dialogue. We assembled in Virginia open to learning the stories of the James River and how its inhabitants are responding to the beckoning call to become disciples of their watershed. The idea, “We won’t save the places we don’t love, we can’t love places we don’t know and we don’t know places we haven’t learned” (Baba Dioum), became a common theme and was expressed even by those who had no connections to the growing watershed discipleship movement. Read more