Hands of God: Students for Environmental and Social Justice

Walker Chapel’s student group, Hands of God: Students for Environmental Justice put together a wonderful worship service for us to celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday that coincides with celebrating Earth Day. Watch that service here.

They have also put together a proposal of ways the Chapel can double down on our responsibility to environmental sustainability. You can read their inspiring letter to the Church Council below.

I also hope you will follow and sing along (lyrics are here) with this Native American hymn, “The Earth is our Mother”. The origin is attributed by various sources to the Lakota, Hupa or Hopi Nations, Pan-Native American, or possibly simply inspired by traditional Native American chants. “Ah-ho” is a traditional Native American affirmation which can be roughly translated as “we are together, we are one.” Director of Spiritual Practices and liaison to our student Group Sandra Kammann, has recorded the song here.

Students have also put together short list of environmental organizations for congregants who would like to learn more about actively supporting environmental causes. 

Every Day is Earth Day!                                                                     
Raising funds to rescue endangered species from extinction is an important mission for Students. Original artwork by Lia Musser, which was created for their Lakota Earth chant video and first shared during the Earth Day Youth Service, is now available on t-shirts and as a fine art print to generate donations. Students have chosen organizations working to prevent extinction in the wild for elephantsorangutans and species decimated by Australian wildfires. Their first-round fundraising goal is $300.

T-shirts are 100% organic cotton, and include the message: “Heal Mother Earth.” The artwork is printed on textured, 100% recycled paper. Shirts are available in Adult and Children’s sizes for $25, and the 8 X 10 art print for $20. Please consider making an additional donation to help the Students meet their initial fundraising goal: no amount is too small to support this important cause! You are also welcome to make a donation without ordering a t-shirt or print.  Help to broaden our Green Initiative community by spreading the word among your family and friends about our Students’ efforts to inspire environmental activism and participation!

Walker Chapel’s online donation portal for this Student-led Green Initiative will also launch on Sunday, June 28th at 10:30 AM. Once ordered, shirts and prints will be available for pick-up locally during Chapel Food Drive Hours, or hand delivered / mailed to all who donate.

To Order & Donate:
click here 

Organic Garden             
Close to home, students have planted a now flourishing organic vegetable, fruit & herb garden in the Meadow (while practicing safe physical distancing and the wearing of masks). Several varieties of tomatoes, peppers and squash, as well as watermelon, cantaloupe and several herbs are doing well in their sunny location. The harvest will be donated to a local organization that receives fresh produce for those in need. Gardeners Audrey Ogea, Dana Musser and Courtney Hatcher have volunteered to tend the garden, with support from Student/Parent Liaison Meg Ogea. When we are back in the Fellowship Hall, Students will institute low food waste and a compost bin, which will in turn support the garden. Many thanks to lay leader James Wright, who kindly created a raised wooden bed, complete with deer fencing and a portable water source for their use!

Chapel Council Approves Green Initiative Proposal                                                          
Students Erin Kilkenny, Joey McKean, Sid Ogea & Audrey Ogea met with the Walker Chapel Council by ZOOM on June 2nd to present their Green Initiative Proposal for environmentally sound practices at the Chapel. The council approved their proposal that evening, and plans are now underway to research and institute their recommendations. You can find the complete proposal here.