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Following The Pope - Derek Eisel

One of the biggest impacts for Derek’s parish has come directly from the Pope, who “has been very forward-thinking on the environment. The kind of examples he’s starting to set, and bringing global warming as a moral issue, has brought attention that hasn’t been seen before.”

Derek EiselDerek Eisel, a parishioner of Saint James Cathedral in Seattle, heard about Earth Ministry while volunteering at the Interfaith Creation Festival. He was looking for an organization to help him start greening, and he needed materials, curriculum, and advice on how to help bring the green movement into his parish.

He co-founded his church’s eco-justice group, which meets monthly, and now assists in leading it. They’ve been talking about potentially offering a series of classes on specific environmental topics, such as transportation. He wants to include both awareness and action, such as a “Car Free Sunday” at the end of the transportation session. And, he says, he’ll look at Earth Ministry’s Caring for All Creation: On the Road module as well as resources available within the Catholic Church.

One of the biggest impacts for Derek’s parish has come directly from the Pope, who “has been very forward-thinking on the environment. The kind of examples he’s starting to set, and bringing global warming as a moral issue, has brought attention that hasn’t been seen before.”

Most recently, Derek joined the board of Earth Ministry. He sees the faith and environment movement as having the ability to “mobilize people who aren’t traditionally thought of as environmentalists. [It] has the potential to widen the audience considerably, which,” he says, “is necessary.”

The issue that has resonated most with his eco-justice group is food: eating locally and gardening. In fact, when Derek is not greening his congregation or workplace, you can find him outside. He recently ripped out his lawn, replacing it with a garden. “Food,” he says, “is one thing that resonates with people because they can take pleasure in growing and eating the food. It’s a visceral and tangible action.”

Thank you, Derek for your leadership and passion at Saint James Cathedral.

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