Third Annual “Our Children, Climate, Faith” Symposium

Saturday and Sunday, August 8 & 9, 2015

at the Town House in Strafford Vermont

Making and Being the Change we Need.
Faith-driven climate leadership from the boats, the banks, and the grassroots

This year we bring together institutions and activists to demonstrate how we can bridge the divisions in order to create positive changes needed to solve the climate crisis. Lobster-boatman and Quaker Jay O’Hara, who blockaded coal shipments to a Massachusetts power plant, will be one of our keynote speakers. His direct action with a fellow Quaker landed on the desk of then-District Attorney Sam Sutter; the decision of DA Sutter’s office to not prosecute, based on the necessity of their action, reverberated around the world, transforming Sutter into a climate activist.

A panel discussion, will re-explore the fundamental connectedness between all children and climate, faith and social justice. Then, building on our individual spiritualties and shared faiths, we will collectively discern and develop approaches and methods for moral and ethical institutions and people inside and outside “the system” to link common cause and take action. Alliances are both possible and essential; the more interaction the greater the resonance and the less societal blindness.

In addition to the symposium, we will gather a youth summit – ages 18 to 30 – for a teach-in two days prior to the symposium, August 6 & 7.

Register now!


Highlights from the Second Annual “Our Children, Climate, Faith” Symposium

Strafford Town House

Saturday and Sunday, August 23 & 24, 2014

The Second Annual Symposium featured 2 Keynote Speakers, and 15 unique workshops that focused on training for action!

Saturday evening we had a showing of the film, “Bidder 70″ free and open to the public, 6:30 p.m. at the United Church of Strafford.

Videos of keynote speeches and interview

If you missed the Symposium, or want to share or review what our speakers said, you can watch videos of the 2 Keynote Speeches (Tim DeChristopher’s Saturday morning talk and Starhawk’s Sunday afternoon talk) and the Interview of Hannah Morgan and Tim DeChristopher. Also available is Rev. Gregory Wilson’s talk at the opening of the Symposium. Additional videos will be posted soon.

One attendee (Ron Kearns) shared his experience of the Symposium and the People’s Climate March:

You are likely to be aware of the “Climate March” which took place in NYC yesterday, yet I would like to offer a brief personal perspective in having the privilege of being a part of it.

With estimates of between 300 to 400000 people attending I saw only good will, acceptance, and unity amongst the multitudes. It was comprised mostly of small groups of people ranging from families to friends, to youth, church, community,environmental, food, anti-corporate, peace & justice, science or political groups. I heard of only a few big name people there including Al Gore, but mostly it was people speaking out.

People voiced their views on what is not working for the planet or its inhabitants with homemade signs both elaborate and simple, singing songs, chanting slogans as they marched, …. but mostly by walking their talk alongside one another. Truly it was a coming together around an issue almost universally agreed upon yet seldomly discussed.

I had been asleep to climate change, or more accurately I felt powerless and overwhelmed and responded towards it more like our leaders do …. with an inertia. Then a month or two ago I went to a small symposium in a tiny town in Vermont and found people living in the splendor of the green mountains living with more fervor for a sustainable future than I had been. The symposium was [on]” Faith, Climate Change, and our children”. Something there woke me up.

SO I went to NYC this weekend and found hundreds of thousands of regular people ilike you and I, coming together in small groups, and saying “no more” to social and planetary injustices ….. It was heartwarming and enlivening!
SO, I want to say two things:
the threats of climate change are real and so are the voices calling for a better more fair world.
What do you say?

Thanks for listening,

OCCF Symposium 2014 Keynote Speakers – Tim DeChristopher and Starhawk

 Saturday Morning Keynote Speaker: Tim DeChristopher

timsmall“In December 2008, during the closing weeks of the Bush White House, 27-year-old environmental activist Tim DeChristopher went to protest the auction of gas and oil drilling rights to more than 150,000 acres of publicly-owned Utah wilderness. But instead of yelling slogans or waving a sign, DeChristopher disrupted the proceedings by starting to bid. Given an auction paddle designating him “Bidder 70”, DeChristopher won a dozen land leases worth nearly two million dollars. He was arrested for criminal fraud, found guilty, and sentenced to two years in federal prison — even though the new Obama Administration had since declared the oil and gas auction null and void.” — – watch the full interview.

Sunday Afternoon Keynote Speaker: Starhawk

Starhakwsmall“Amory Lovins says the primary design criteria he uses is the question “How do we love all the children?” Not just our children, not just the ones who look like us or who have resources, not just the human children but the young of birds and salmon and redwood trees. When we love all the children, when that love is truly sacred to us in the sense of being most important, then we have to take action in the world to enact that love. We are called to make the earth a place where all the children can thrive.” ― Starhawk, The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religions of the Great Goddess. Read about Starhawk’s latest book, The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups on her website.

Also featuring Allan Baer and the Digital Video Globe,

and Jane Dwinell’s Tiny House