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Honored November 16, 2000, in Atlanta, Ga.
with the
National Council of Churches General Secretary's Award
Presented by
The Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar

It is my pleasure to introduce to this General Assembly, Paul Gorman, the founder and director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. The Partnership has not only strengthened and facilitated the environmental justice ministries of the National Council of Churches, but the US Catholic Conference, the Evangelical Environmental Network and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life as well. The Partnership has also provided the four religious groups with the OPPORTUNITY to work together to protect and restore God’s creation.

Paul has been a tireless fund-raiser for the environmental justice ministries of the Council and for the other three partners enabling us to be faithful and effective in ways that we could only dream about. We are grateful to him for his trust in our work and for being such a supportive colleague.

Gorman’s work through the Partnership has helped elevate the debate on environmental stewardship from one based solely on scientific argument to one rooted in religious, spiritual and moral values. By helping to mobilize the American religious community, the former vice president of programs at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where NRPE is headquartered, "has created an initiative which, more than any in past decades, is deepening the roots, broadening the base, and amplifying the vision of environmentalism," in the words of U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt.

A graduate of Yale and Oxford and former congressional aide, Gorman has, since its establishment in 1991, made the Partnership a powerful alliance of major American faith groups, which serve over 100 million Americans. Together, they have distributed educational and action materials to 150,000 congregations, sponsored theological scholarship, trained thousands of clergy and lay people, and integrated social justice and environmental protection into public policy education and advocacy.

Earlier this year, Paul received the Heinz aware for the Environment. Teresa Heinz, chair of the Heinz Family foundation said, "Paul Gorman has helped change the discourse about the fate of the Earth by introducing spiritual and moral values into what has all too often been a debate between scientific views and hypothetical economic issues. Through his work with the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, he serves as a much-needed reminder of the obligations of stewardship, whatever our religious tradition. By inviting us to stretch beyond ‘protecting the environment’ to a more comprehensive vision of ‘caring for all Creation,’ Paul Gorman has earned the Heinz Award for the Environment."

We are honored to have Paul Gorman with us this evening.

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