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Church leaders stress care for the earth
with Rocky Mountains as a backdrop

Denver, Colo., Nov. 16, 2005 -- Religious leaders and activists hailing from the Rocky Mountain region and beyond gathered in Denver this month to discuss how their faith compels them to "be good stewards of God's creation."

The two-day conference, "Tending the Garden, Cultivating the Commons," attracted the attention of U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) who spoke to the group and answered questions during a session open to the community.

The 70 participants in the conference, sponsored by the National Council of Churches USA and Eco-Justice Ministries, discussed two case studies in a biblical context: public land stewardship and climate change.

The conference was designed to develop theological and ethical perspectives on the responsibility to care for common resources. The agenda included the presentation of detailed information about global climate change and public lands, resources and training for congregational programming and advocacy, and the building of a network of individuals interested in eco-justice.

Participants included Christians and Jews, ministers, lawyers, scientists, writers, professors and activists.

Experts who lectured and led training sessions included Dr. David Hallman, Climate Change Coordinator for the World Council of Churches; Dr. Fred Gaiser, Professor of Old Testament at Luther Seminary; Dr. Michael Celaya, Education and Outreach coordinator for the Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology Center at Colorado State University; and Nada Culver, Senior Counsel for the Public Lands Campaign at the Wilderness Society.

Salazar (left), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, reported the work the Senate has done to address climate change and expressed his concern over proposed changes in the rules governing national parks.

He also spoke about the need for persons of faith to bear public witness and offer an ethical perspective on the issues they care about, such as the environment.

For more information about the NCC's Eco-Justice Program or for ideas about how to get involved in efforts to care for God's creation, visit:

Contact NCC News: Leslie Tune, 202-544-2350; or Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2252.



Contact: NCC News, Philip E.  Jenks, 212-870-2252,


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