We look at the environmental challenges facing our churches, temples, sacred groves and other holy places today. What happens to the ecological balance of a sacred river when millions of people bathe, wash, and draw blessings from it? What about the sustainability of the materials to build a church, and the power to heat it, to cool it, and to travel to it? We also explore the irony of sacred animals who have come under threat by the very people they’ve inspired to reverence and worship. We spotlight ways people have sought to balance these conflicts, working with conservationist groups and taking personal responsibility for the effects of their worship on the landscape. Finally, we tackle the thorny question of green partnerships between government and religious organizations: is it always a good thing, or can it be misguided? What about the separation of church and state?
Welcome to our last Sneak Peek Pro episode of the preseason here at Faith, Fern & Compass, where every day is Earth Day. In Episode 3 – Happy (Belated) Earth Day!, we celebrate the Earth as our mother and our home, taking a look back at the origins of the holiday and how it’s evolved over the past 42 years from a national teach-in to a global call to community action. We review DisneyNature’s recent documentary, Chimpanzee, and explore some of the ways that individual ecological awareness finds mutual support in community action and system change. In the Pro extension, we share a few of the ways that we celebrate Earth Day as a spiritual holiday of sacred connection with our beautiful, fragile planet.