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Finding the spirituality of sustainability
Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013
Campus Ministry has partnered with the Center for Sustainability to create the "Mission Sustainable Challenge," a unique opportunity for the campus community. Every day in October, hundreds of students, faculty, and staff, are contemplating the spiritual components of their sustainability behaviors. Each day features a sustainable topic (water, waste, food, transportation, economic development, or social sustainability), and contains a quote or reading as well as prompts to guide participants in reflection about that day’s topic. The calls for action are modeled after the Catholic Sustainability Toolkit (Pray, Learn, Act, Assess, and Advocate).
Campus Minister Julia Claire Landry came up with the idea for an interactive project that would engage people in discovering a spirituality of sustainability.
“I am inspired by the number of people across campus who are working on sustainability," said Julia Claire. "I wanted to find a way for us to work together to raise awareness about how much is going on, and how much more we can do.”
The Mission Sustainable Challenge aligns perfectly with Campus Ministry’s strategic priority of “Modeling a Spirituality of Sustainability.” The project was developed in the span of a couple of months, using no budget whatsoever, and resulting in new cross-campus partnerships. People from across the University volunteered to be Contributors, each submitting one day’s reading, action, and reflection, or Partners, showing their support for the project.
It’s called a Challenge because it asks us to step out of our routines to stop and reflect on WHY we are engaging in sustainable behaviors.
The most challenging day for Julia Claire? “I think the most challenging day for me will be October 9th, a day that explores economics and social justice. It invites participants to really examine their finances, and put themselves in others’ situations. Being more intentional with my fiscal resources will likely confront me more than any of the other days.”
The Mission Sustainable Challenge is what we make of it. It’s as simple as signing up to receive a daily text message, or as involved as attending an event to engage in a discussion about the day’s topics. Either way, it’s a new, dynamic way to engage in spirituality, and judging by the number of participants, it’s working.