We welcome you to the kick-off and opening conversation of Though the Earth Should Change. This free public event will launch an interdisciplinary design competition for Washington University and Eden students to conceptualize sacred groves: outdoor spaces for congregational worship that are also rich in biodiversity.
The era of environmental crisis we have entered has thrown into stark relief the urgent need for a shift in the ways that Christian congregations in the United States worship. What kind of worship environments could actually reconnect Christians with the divine in the natural world during weekly worship? How might we create worship spaces that form congregations as agents of environmental justice and help them to heal in the wake of increasing environmental disasters? And what if those same worship spaces could also foster and preserve local biodiversity?
Eden Theological Seminary and Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University have come together to sponsor a student design competition aimed at combining outdoor worship spaces with biodiversity preserves. This opening event aims to provide a window into that competition for the wider community, bringing together faith communities, environmental organizations, students in the fields of landscape design, theology, environmental studies, and more.
Speakers for this event include:
Erika Allen, Co-founder of Urban Growers Collective and Green Era (Chicago), winner of the 2022 James Beard Leadership Award
Eric Ellingsen, Assistant Professor, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University.
Christopher Grundy, Professor of Worship and Preaching, Academic Dean, Eden Theological Seminary