Water, Trees, Life: A Global Perspective on Healing Our Hurting Planet

Roger Hoesterey, Director of Strategic Development, The Eden Projects

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

7:00 p.m., Robert A. Jones House

Powerful solutions lie at the nexus of conservation, faith, and social justice.

Roger Hoesterey will discuss current work by the Eden Reforestation Projects to reduce poverty in Ethiopia and Madagascar by employing indigenous people to replant degraded watersheds, and the moral calling from all the world's major religions to care for the planet.

The Eden Projects is dedicated to the pursuit of solutions to the problems behind environmental destruction that are major contributing causes to extreme poverty and oppression in impoverished nations.

As Senior Vice President and Division Director West, Roger also oversees The Trust for Public Land's conservation programs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii and Alaska. During Roger's time at TPL, the states he directs have conserved over a half million acres of forest, watersheds, ranches, and park land.

An affiliated program of "The Politics of Freshwater: Access and Identity in a Changing Environment," presented by the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs, March 14-16, 2013.




For God's sake, Let's Focus on the Earth!
by Richard Cizik, President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good

Friday, November 2, 2012
12:15 p.m.
Robert A. Jones '59 House conference room

Richard Cizik has been recognized as a leader in bringing evangelical Christians together with scholars and policy-makers in the search for common ground on a host of national and international challenges, including climate change, civil liberties, economic justice, and national security. He served for ten years as Vice President for Governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, the top staff position of the organization, a post he left in 2008 after enduring years of political opposition from the Religious Right. An interview with NPR's "Fresh Air" in which he expressed support for civil unions, climate change, and political collaboration with the newly-elected Obama Administration, led to a national uproar within the movement and over one-hundred top evangelical leaders defecting to a "New Evangelical" agenda.

    In 2007, Cizik formed a group of scientists, including nobel laureate Eric Chivian and Harvard Professor Emeritus Edward O. Wilson, along with leading evangelical pastors and professors, to together release a groundbreaking document entitled the "Scientist and Evangelical Call to Action."  In 2008 he was named to TIME Magazine's list of "TIME 100" most influential people.

Sponsored by the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, with generous help from the Rohatyn Center for Global Studies, the Academic Enrichment Fund, the Department of Religion, the Franklin Environmental Center, the Program in Environmental Studies, Newman Club, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.




Katie Pett '14:  My faith is the single most important thing in my life. During orientation I found out about one of the Christian groups on campus, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Two years later I've found some of the deepest and most honest friendships I've ever had. These relationships weren't simply products of time spent together; they came from a collective pursuit for truth. This group was formed as a safe place to ask questions about who this Jesus guy is. There's a community of trust that no question is too big or small and we'd work together to find some answers. This questioning has freed me to have honest conversations with peers across campus - from all sorts of spiritual or non-religious backgrounds. Faith is a big question and no one has all the answers. Learning is about asking and these spiritual life groups give students a space to naturally discuss, form communities, and invite others into that discussion.



Mori Rothman, '11: Having a spiritual life on campus helped inform my entire experience at Middlebury. For me, college was about building community and learning about how to become a better person, which are both things I searched for in my spiritual life. I felt that people were largely very open to learning and understanding where I was coming from in terms of my spiritual practice-- and in some ways, I found Jewish practice easier at Middlebury than I do now, living in Jerusalem, in that it was less politicized and less rigid, and it felt like there was, in some ways, more space to struggle with and to embrace religion and religious practices than in most other places I've been in the world.



Blake Harper '15: I wish people understood that my immediate and ultimate concerns are not with what job I get, what I do on the weekend or who I call my friend.  So many things that we do in college seem to distantly revolve around certain, relatively concentric, ultimate concerns and I want people to know that mine are a little different, which makes certain activities, internships and beliefs less integral to my idea of progress and personal development.  This broadening of my level of comfort has also made it much easier to pursue a liberal arts education.  Not only do I feel open to a broad array of experiences, but I feel grateful for them as well.  When new classes and activities are approached with gratitude and wonder, it can go miles for your engagement.  I've found that by approaching my studies with God behind, beside and beyond me I can get a great deal more out of them.  Practicing mindfulness, meditation and transcendence can also do wonders for your intellect, and has been nice to feel sharper, more aware and more closely connected to the intuitive, creative brain.



Charlie Arnowitz '13: I am a proud member of Middlebury’s Jewish community. To me, there is something special and deeply spiritual about taking a few hours at the end of every week to transition into the weekend, and also real value in being involved with Jewish cultural activities. I wish people understood that in Judaism, our community is simultaneously the foundation of both our tradition and of our contemporary world outlooks. And at Middlebury, being involved in that community is, for many, an important connection to our home lives and to our values. If a liberal arts education is meant to enrich the whole person, then being involved in spiritual life, for me, has provided another lens for looking at the world and thinking about the things I learn in class and the things I do everyday.



Yuan Lim '12: Often, students and friends are surprised that I participate in spiritual or religious activities on campus. However, the curiosity quickly turns into indifference or good humor. A resignation that they have to compete with "God" for my social time. As if "God" or my spiritual life forms a competing extra-curricular activity or friend group. This impression might be justified, given that spiritual life on campus revolves around gatherings of friends with  similar faith backgrounds. And that spiritual-oriented student organizations are an "extra-curricular" entity after all. Yet, I see being engaged in spiritual life on campus as a life expression that extends beyond scripture studies or praise songs into all aspects of campus life. Meaning that my spiritual life isn't another interest I have on the side, but is inseparable from my interactions with friends, recreation, and learning. Consequently, my involvement allows me to view Middlebury's liberal arts education through an added lens. As opposed to coloring every aspect with spirituality, it adds depth to otherwise secular discussions and learning. Even from an academic standpoint, spirituality consists of an important part of many people's lives. Hence, hopefully I will be able to empathize with and understand the greater complexities working in all peoples lives and choices through the lens of spirituality.

celtic cross

Bread for the Journey Christian Prayer Services

Jan. 17 and 31, Feb. 28, March 13, April 3 and 17
5:30-7:00 p.m
Freeman International Center Annex

We will begin in candlelight with a brief service of evening prayer in the Christian tradition, led by Chaplain Laurie Jordan.  We will share a simple family-style meal together following the service.  No RSVP necessary.



Film Screening:
"Renewal: Stories from America's Religious-Environmental Movement"

Monday, September 26, 2011

220 McCardell Bicentennial Hall

7:00 p.m.

Producers Marty Ostrow and Terry Kay Rockefeller's documentary is inspired by the many Americans who are answering the spiritual call to confront the enormous challenges of environmental degradation. From within their Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim tradition, these men and women are finding ways to become caretakers of the earth. With great courage, they are re-examining what it means to be human and how we choose to live on this planet. The religious-environmental movement grows as people from diverse traditions work to build a sustainable future. "Renewal" is their story.

"The religious-environmental movement is potentially key to dealing with the greatest problem humans have ever faced, and it has never been captured with more breadth and force than in 'Renewal.'  I hope this movie moves many more people off the fence and into action."  Bill McKibben, environmentalist and author of The End of Nature.

Producer Marty Ostrow will be on hand following the film for discussion.



King James Bible 400th Anniversary Celebration

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

4:00-5:00 pm

Special Collections, Davis Family Library

Join us for a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James  version of the Bible.  With brief presentations by Chaplain Laurie Jordan, Assistant Professor of Religion Ellie Bagley and Curator of Special Collections and Archives Andrew Wentink.  Special Collections will offer an exhibit of 16th and 17th Century Bibles that preceded the King James Version, as well as a recently acquired 1629 edition of the KJV.

Refreshments will be served.



yom ha shoah
Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony

Sunday, May 1, 2011

4:00-5:00 p.m.

Mead Memorial Chapel

Join us in Mead Chapel for a service of commemoration of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day.

Co-sponsored by Middlebury College Hillel, The Addison County Jewish Congregation: Havurah, The Middlebury Area Clergy Association, and the Chaplain's Office.



The Office of the Chaplain strives to:

  • Promote religious programs and provide support in a manner that reflects the virtue of hospitality;
  • Foster an atmosphere of personal warmth and community;
  • Provide opportunities for students to learn from religious and cultural diversity and to foster interfaith respect;
  • Provide liturgical leadership at a variety of worship venues;
  • Support student initiatives to bring breadth and depth to spiritual life on campus;
  • Seek opportunities to be integrated into the intellectual life of the College;
  • Maintain and model the highest standards of truth and civility;
  • Look for opportunities to work together with community members in efforts that focus in issues of justice, honesty, integrity, peace, and concern for the marginalized;
  • Offer pastoral care and outreach to the campus community;
  • Forge interpersonal relationships with students that will last beyond graduation.