Beyond the Flames: The Black Church Preparing for a New Era of Ministry

by Rev. Dr. Tyson-Lord Gray

Earlier this year Hulu released the original series Little Fires Everywhere. This drama follows the lives of two women, Elena Richardson played by Reese Witherspoon and Mia Warren played by Kerry Washington. Throughout the series, the women find themselves entangled in numerous challenges that culminate with Elena’s house being set on fire. When the fire department arrives, they note that they can tell the fire was set intentionally because there were “little fires everywhere”.

As an environmentalist, the timeliness of this comment could not have been more obvious. Even now, as I write this California is experiencing unprecedented due to increased global warming and climate change. Although numerous counties and communities are affected, studies have shown that poor air quality does not affect everyone equally. African American children and those living in unhealthy, high-poverty neighborhoods often disproportionately suffer from asthma,...

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Teach a Man to Plant

By Rebecca Shipman

Garnita James, a retired school counselor and teacher, says her sister was the first person to introduce environmental consciousness into her life. “Every time I was at her house and I would throw something away she would say “Uh-uh, that’s recyclable,” she recalls. Her sister pressed the fact that we are responsible for the earth our children and grandchildren will inherit. When her school started recycling, she knew she needed to make the change at home.

Later, after attending one of Dr. Ambrose Carroll’s Green The Church workshops, she brought the movement to her church, Ward Chapel AME Church in St. Louis, Missouri, where Reverend Kevin Jacques Sr. MSW, MA., LCSW is the Pastor. In addition to recycling, Mrs. James, an avid gardener, also introduced the idea of a community garden on the land behind the church.

After applying for and receiving part of the first Growing Green Solutions Seed Funding for St. Louis communities impacted...

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