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Thursday, August 27, 2009, 5:00 p.m. EDT - LIVE Webcast:
Daniel Goleman discusses 'Ecological Intelligence'

Photo of Daniel Goleman by Frank Ward

Daniel Goleman visits the Deanery: August 27, 2009
 5:00 pm at Grace Church, Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard

We are fortunate to be joined by Daniel Goleman, the author of Ecological Intelligence. He will talk with us about raising our ecological awareness and learning to use ecological intelligence in our everyday lives. The talk will be held at Grace Church, Vineyard Haven and simultaneously webcast via our online meeting room.

There will be an opportunity to purchase books and have them signed by Dr. Goleman after his talk. We hope you will pass the word to your parishes and communities. Join us for this special Deanery event! (Download event flyer.)

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Practical Eco-Stewardship

Project Summary:

Using the approach of 'strength in numbers', the parishes of the Cape & Islands Deanery are currently investigating how to set up bulk-buying of environmentally-sensitive products used in our parishes. Grace Church (Vineyard Haven) has done a lot of research on this and has already begun purchasing and using 'green' products in the parish. The Deanery meeting in May 2009 was held at Grace Church, and delegates and clergy from around the Deanery were introduced to the programs in place at Grace Church. On the ferry ride back to the mainland, the Assembly continued to discuss how we all would like to be able to purchase environmentally sensitive items for our parishes. As one Rector pointed out, ‘It is hard to look your Treasurer in the eye and say you want to buy green products that cost so much more than the standard items we currently purchase.' There was a sense of energy and excitement about going in on purchasing together to see if we could make environmentally responsible purchasing affordable for our parishes.

We see this program as an opportunity to help each other 'do the right thing' when purchasing supplies for our parishes. An important step is informing ourselves about how to evaluate what that 'right thing' is. To that end and to be effective in the long-term, we see the need for educational opportunities for the Deanery.

Environmental stewardship can seem daunting to individuals. By providing learning opportunities for parishioners as they walk this road, we can better support each other as we make stewardship choices in our parishes and in our own lives. In addition to Daniel Goleman's talk on August 27, we are encouraging a Deanery-wide book-read of his book, Ecological Intelligence. Some groups are using Dr. Goleman's talk as a culmination of a summer book-read while others are planning to use the talk as a 'kick-off' to a September book-read.

In our discussions, we keep coming back to the point that being told a product is 'green' is not enough. We are drawn to the more thoughtful approach outlined in Ecological Intelligence. The philosophy of the Episcopal Church is one of holding a long-term view of a larger picture while seeking and implementing a series of steps that move us toward the long-term goal. Providing practical tools and knowledge to individuals about Life Cycle Assessment and the many facets of our choices helps each one of us see how our small efforts can help the larger world. One of our priests talks about how our lifestyles are making a shift from being centered on convenience to being rooted in community. In the process, we are redefining community – thinking about who and what is our neighbor: human and non-human, living and non-living alike.

NASA Apollo 8 image: Earthrise

One of our Eucharistic prayers reads:

At your command all things came to be:
the vast expanse of interstellar space,
galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses,
and this fragile earth, our island home.
By your will they were created and have their being. (BCP p. 370)
We seek to understand the fragility and be better stewards through advocacy and action for this planet, our island home.

Our aim is to serve as a pilot program and to be able to share what we learn and the systems we use with other groups and deaneries: a form of Eco-Evangelism of Practical Eco-Stewardship.

©2007-2008 Cape & Islands Deanery