GreenFaith Circles represent the heart of our work with local religious-environmental leaders. These community-driven hubs include people from diverse faith and spiritual traditions working together to improve local environmental sustainability as well as broader climate solutions for our common home, Earth.
GreenFaith Circles are local, multi-faith hubs for climate and environmental action. Each Circle is made up of representatives of local spiritual, moral, and/or faith institutions, working together with interested people whose spirituality connects them to the environment. GreenFaith provides training, support and a global community of peers to help Circles build power and make an impact. Local Circle members analyze climate and environmental issues in their area and build a team that can move into action.
Over the past fifteen years, religious action for the environment has grown dramatically. So have the climate and environmental crises. The only way to meet these challenges is through more and more local power for change, change that’s widespread enough that it shifts society for the long-term. Circles are a way that faith and spiritual groups can play their vital role in this larger movement.
Relationships make it happen. People in one or more spiritual institutions in a city, town or region decide that they want to create a locally organized religious response to environmental concerns. With guidance and assistance from GreenFaith, these individuals meet one-on-one with others to build relationships. After exploratory meetings, the group decides to form a Circle, and gets to work addressing climate and environmental issues.
Every year, Circle members keep two simple commitments. First, they organize environmental work in their congregations or spiritual communities. Second, they join together as a Circle on a public environmental action.
So what have Circles actually done? They’ve organized support for strong renewable energy policy, against new fossil fuel infrastructure, for green jobs and for clean air and water for all people. They’ve promoted sustainable lifestyles and energy efficiency in congregations, taken part in mass mobilizations, bird-dogged legislators to press them for environmental action. Everything that Circles do is based on a simple foundation: Earth, a sacred gift, is dangerously out of balance. It’s our job to step up to protect our precious planet.
Each Circle defines the exact nature of its work, based on core moral and religious values of equity and compassion, truth and love. GreenFaith offers opportunities for Circles to take part in a range of campaigns and initiatives and provides educational materials and more. As part of GreenFaith’s international network, Circle members get connect with religious and spiritual communities around the world, to share their challenges and celebrate successes.
Through training, coaching, resources, and, in certain areas, an on-the-ground organizer, GreenFaith helps Circles launch and grow. We help Circle members find interested partners, analyze the environmental issues facing their community, and take action. We offer training to develop local leadership, educational curricula, eco-spirituality resources, and much more. Just as important, we makes connections so that Circles can learn from each other.
Meet our Organizers
We have a growing community of local organizers – click here to meet them.
City & State: Denver, CO
Cell: +1 (720) 325-9320
Bio: Rev. Jessica Abell is a minister in the American Baptist Churches, USA. Her ministry has focused around advocacy for creation, work with young people, and with diverse and vulnerable communities. As GreenFaith’s Colorado Organizer, Jessica hopes to empower communities of people of faith to live out our call and duty, our moral obligation and joy to be the stewards of creation. Jessica is the Founding Pastor of Living Waters Community Church, Denver.
City & State: Tampa, FL
Cell: +1 (815)-519-8090
Bio: The Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo is GreenFaith’s Florida Organizer and Director of GreenFaith-LatinoAmerica. A Venezuelan-American, eco-theologian and a Presbyterian pastor, Neddy has taught eco-theology courses at theological seminaries in Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru, México and the USA. Neddy co-founded Angelic Organics Learning Center in Northern Illinois.
City & State: Charlotte, NC
Cell: +1 (704) 458-4438
Bio: Rev. Amy Brooks is GreenFaith’s Organizer in Charlotte, NC, and a GreenFaith Fellow Class of 2011. Amy is a Unitarian Universalist community minister who for many years provided HIV/AIDS education and program development for congregations and care teams within a variety of religious communities and pastoral care to both teams and people living with HIV. She is currently the part-time minister with the UU Fellowship of Lake Norman, just North of Charlotte.
City & State: Rumson, NJ
Cell: +1 (908) 497-1055
Bio: Sarah is a GreenFaith New Jersey Organizer. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sarah recently earned a Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development from Queens University. Her passion for connecting youth and faith-based environmental action led her to her bachelor’s degree in Youth & Community Work with Theology, and to develop and implement a sustainability plan for a large Salvation Army summer camp serving low income communities throughout NJ, and to help her church in Ireland move toward environmental action.
City & State: Conway, SC
Cell: +1 (803) 386-9255
Bio: Terri has dedicated her time, gifts, and resources to mentor and empower other churches, nationally and internationally, with a focus on leaders in the Gospel in order to strengthen the body of Christ as a whole. She is the Founder of EdifytheBody.org, a training site dedicated to empowering the next generation of mission-based leaders. Terri has partnered with churches by providing relevant training to leaders who oversee established congregations. She has successfully increased exposure to the faith in operation in other communities, cultures, and nations, displaying the diversified expression of God’s love.
City & State: Little Rock, AR
Cell: +1 (501) 580-5349
Bio: Rev. I. Malik Saafir, GreenFaith’s Arkansas Organizer, is an African American pastor and a scholar and lay practitioner of Zen Buddhism. His work is devoted to eradicating poverty and achieving racial equality through the Environmental Justice Movement in the American South. He earned a Masters of Divinity from Vanderbilt University where he was a Kelly Miller Smith Scholar and graduated with Honors. He is a Toyota TogetherGreen Fellow.