July 12, 2012, 10:37 AM
Welcome to the Summer 2012 edition of InterAction!
It’s fitting as URI celebrates its 12th Anniversary -- as we did on June 26 -- that this issue points to our founder Bishop Swing’s leadership in promoting the words of URI's Preamble:We unite to heal and protect the Earth. In his Perspective, he describes why religions must take a stand on the environment.
Bishop Swing also founded the Environmental Satellite CC, which has broad representation from most of URI’s eight regions. The CC educates and supports CC engagement in environmental work. From seed grants to sending URI representatives to Rio+20 — the United Nations' June conference on sustainable development — the Environmental Satellite CC is helping ensure that people at the grassroots representing the world’s religious, spiritual and indigenous traditions are being heard in the debates on water use, fracking, development of renewable energy, land preservation and addressing the problem of climate change.
As summer progresses in the Northern Hemisphere, heat waves, storms, flooding and power outages all remind us of just how important this work is. The worst environmental degradation hits people at the grassroots the hardest, especially the poor. URI CCs are tackling environmental issues from all fronts, addressing local issues as well as working at the policy level. This issue of InterAction spotlights two CCs addressing environmental issues, including URI Trustee Heidi Rautionmaa’s (Finland) work with Faiths Without Borders on the Spirituality of Ethics and Water and California Power and Light CC’s (U.S.) work on greening places of worship.
2012 is a time of transition for URI, so it’s also fitting to welcome our newly-elected Global Council members from 22 countries. We feature a profile of new Global Council Chair Kiran Bali, a young Hindu woman from the U.K. who has been the recipient of numerous awards for her interfaith work in England.