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Saving the Planet – One WA Church at a Time

June 23, 2008

Seattle, WA – Churches in Washington are taking action on such issues as fair trade, climate change and conservation, and they're part of a national groundswell. A new Sierra Club report features faith groups in every state that are making the environment a top priority.

Reverend LeeAnne Beres, director of Earth Ministry in Seattle, says church members often are able to put their political differences aside when it comes to improving the planet.

"Climate change is a moral issue, and people of faith have to speak up and make sure that our values –- stewardship and justice, and making sure that we leave a good future for future generations –- are incorporated into public policy decisions that are made."

Washington congregations are having "car-free Sundays," tending community gardens, holding energy-efficiency workshops, and more. Beres believes it's a hopeful trend that's good for faith groups, as well as the environment.

"I think the religious environmental movement is the best thing to happen to traditional religion. It is a way to re-engage people who have left the church because they haven't felt it's relevant in their daily lives. But then, it also brings in people to whom I like to refer as, 'spiritual, yet seeking.'"

The Sierra Club report, "Faith in Action," says 67 percent of Americans claim to care about the environment "because it is God's creation." See the report online at; and learn more about Earth Ministry at

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA