This guest blog post is written by Rev. Paul John Roach. Rev. Paul John Roach is Senior Minister of Unity Church of Fort Worth, and is a founding member of Fort Worth Interfaith Power & Light.
Fort Worth Interfaith Power and Light made its official launch on October 15, 2012 by co-sponsoring a seminar entitled “Water Matters: An Interfaith Conversation about the Environment in North Texas.” Co-sponsor Brite Divinity School provided the space and Brite professor and Fort Worth Interfaith Power and Light founding member Tim Hessel-Robinson was the evening’s host and moderator.
Both Amanda Yaira Robinson and Bee Moorhead of Texas Interfaith Power and Light and Texas Impact were present.
The three presenters, one on Skype, the other two live, gave heartfelt and inspiring talks. Rabbi Lawrence Troster, co-founder of the GreenFaith Fellowship Program, outlined the significance of water in Jewish tradition—especially in the Hebrew Bible—and encouraged us to learn about the source of the local water that we use. Afterwards, in the small group setting, some Fort Worth Interfaith Power and Light members shared the idea that it would be fun and informative to trace the source of the Trinity River and visit the local reservoirs that provide water to Fort Worth.
The second presenter, Dr. Bill Greenway, Associate Professor of Philosophical Theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, talked about the importance of the commons and that water is a resource for all, to be safeguarded and not under exclusive control. He also shared the idea of being compelled by the faces of others to respond in compassionate and helpful ways. We are not alone but deeply interconnected by our shared aliveness.
Quoting from the Noah story in Genesis 9, Dr. Greenway pointed out that God’s covenant of renewal after the flood was not just with human beings but with all living creatures. The whole of life is sacred and precious and God calls us to protect and preserve it.
The third presenter, Karishma Himatsinghani, CEO of Radio Karishma, an internet radio catering to the South Asian audience, spoke too of the interdependence of all beings and skillfully outlined the Hindu philosophy which sees unity in diversity and holds water to be a central and powerful element in Indian culture, both literally and figuratively.
An added bonus to our evening was a short video from Andrew Sansom, Executive Director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, and one of Texas’ leading conservationists. Andy, filmed on the beautiful banks of Aquarena Springs, talked of the crucial importance of water conservation and that one way to preserve water and the natural environment was to introduce our children to nature so as to instill a love of the environment and therefore encourage their desire to protect it.
The evening ended with attendees enjoying snacks and further discussion.
Fort Worth Interfaith Power and Light’s next meeting is at 7 pm on Monday, November 12th at First Congregational Church on Trail Lake Drive in Fort Worth. Jon Fripp of Rush Creek Christian Church will speak on low cost irrigation projects he has been involved with throughout the world. Everyone is welcome to attend.