Hope for Creation Conference
In partnership with Whitworth University's Office of Church Engagement
Register at www.Whitworth.edu/hopeforcreation.
The cost for both days is $40, plus $15 for dinner Friday if you choose.
About the Conference
On Friday April 17 and Saturday April 18, the Cathedral will host a conference called Hope for Creation. The Conference is designed to share a vision of hope for creation; showcase local caretakers of land, water and air; and renew Spokane’s leadership on environmental care.
Spokane’s Expo ’74 was the first world’s fair dedicated to the environment. It called attention to environmental issues and helped to shape the consciousness of the Spokane community. As we near the 50th anniversary of Expo ’74, we now live with daily news about climate change. We wonder what we can do to preserve the natural environment for our children and their children.
The Conference will start at 3pm Friday afternoon in the Great Hall with the sharing of information by local groups who are actively working for harmonious living in our environment. Learn about cleaning the Spokane River, backyard pollinators, composting and growing worms, planting trees, cooperative business practices, expansion of community gardens, wildlife habitat management, reducing food waste, a purchaser’s guide to environmentally friendly companies, waste to energy, restoring salmon migrations, reducing your plastic footprint.
Friday evening the Cathedral choir will join us for An Order of Worship for the Evening, a great welcome for folks who have never been in the Cathedral! The Spokane Tribe and Dean Heather VanDeventer will open the formal program. Then J. William T. Youngs, Professor of History at Eastern Washington University and author of The Fair and the Falls will deliver the Keynote address: "Expo ’74, The Environment Then & Now." Much of the program is built on Expo foundations of Air, Land and Water.
Saturday opens with morning prayer and an address by Whitworth Theology Professor Jonathan Moo entitled "Creation Care: Bridging Science & Faith." Dr Moo authored a book cataloging the Biblical teachings about care for creation and has a PhD in wildlife biology, a balance of knowledge perfect for this talk. After lunch, author Kara Odegard will present "A Report on the Spokane Community Adaptation Project." This just-completed study commissioned by the City of Spokane used a program developed at Oregon State University, and input from climate scientists at University of Washington and University of Idaho, to predict effects of climate change on Spokane.
Sessions in the morning and afternoon address technologies that put us back into harmony with nature; social actions we should take, and how faith helps us face the environmental challenges. How will we adapt our agriculture practices? How will Avista manage new patterns of run-off? How does living under the cloud of climate change affect psychological wellbeing? What are the physical effects of climate change on health? What species in our area are at risk? What technologies are available today to draw down the CO2 in the air? Can Spokane build a circular economy to minimize waste? How is the water quality of Lake Coeur D’Alene changing? Can we capture methane from waste treatment facilities? What needs to be done to clean up the tailings of the Midnight uranium mine? We have invited a number of high school students and young adults to speak about the future natural environment they will live in. What are their hopes, how will they take the reins, what are their top priorities?
The last speaker session is reserved for the special contribution we offer as a church: what does faith teach us about care for the environment? Leaders from the Catholic, Evangelical Christian, Native American, Episcopal, and Islamic faith communities will share their thoughts on the centrality of faith to uphold Hope for Creation.
The formal program ends Saturday afternoon by collecting ideas and proposals for consideration by our elected leaders. Throughout the Conference, the Cathedral Art Guild will host an environmental art exhibit. We will record the conference and develop video segments for subsequent use.