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BERKELEY, Calif., Oct. 12, 2011—GreenFaith announces that Jessica Abell, Master of Divinity student at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, has been named a GreenFaith Fellow and will join the 2012 Class of the GreenFaith Fellowship Program, one of just 25 nationwide. The Fellowship Program is the only US comprehensive education and training program to prepare lay and ordained leaders from diverse religious traditions for environmental leadership. “We’re thrilled to welcome Jessica Abell to the Program,” said Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s Executive Director. “We look forward to working with her to support her growth as a religious-environmental leader.”
Through three residential retreats, monthly webinars, and extensive reading, Jessica Abell will receive education and training in eco-theology, “greening” the operation of institutions, environmental advocacy, and environmental justice. Each Fellow writes their own eco-theological statement and carries out a leadership project in their community, mobilizing religious leaders in relation to an environmental issue. Upon graduating, they will join the Fellowship’s alumni/ae network and mentor other emerging leaders in this field.
Jessica Abell holds a BLS in Urban Theology, a Master’s in City and Regional Planning and is in her final year of the Master’s of Divinity program at Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA. Jessica has been a leader in sustainability and greening efforts both in seminary and in her home Diocese, the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, where she will return after graduation. Jessica describes her sense of environmental awareness for the church not as a vocation of nature veneration but “more a sense of the deep entanglement between and among all of creation, an awareness of a call to reciprocity and care, a sense that dominion requires not abuse and subjugation but intention, guidance and protection.” She also is active in Episcopal Relief and Development and Celtic Cross, the mission society of CDSP.
Jessica Abell will join a class of 25 Fellows from diverse religious backgrounds. The Fellows represent over ten religious denominations, including Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Evangelical, Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, and Unitarian Universalist. Fellows work in a wide variety of settings, including congregations, universities, campus ministries, NGO’s, and denominational organizations.
GreenFaith’s Executive Director, Rev. Fletcher Harper, directs the Program, with support from a multi-faith and multi-disciplinary faculty. “This program will offer these leaders the opportunity to become well-trained leaders in religious environmentalism,” said Harper. “They will help create an environmentally just and sustainable world.”
GreenFaith is an interfaith environmental coalition whose mission is to educate and mobilize diverse religious communities for environmental leadership. Founded in 1992, GreenFaith is a leader in the fast-growing religious-environmental movement and has won national and international recognition for its work. For more information, see www.greenfaith.org.
GreenFaith is grateful to the Kendeda Sustainability Fund for support for the Fellowship Program. For more information, visit www.greenfaith.org.