Evolution Weekend to focus on environment

I just received a letter from Michael Zimmerman, addressed to “Members and Friends of The Clergy Letter Project.” The gist of the letter is that Evolution Weekend will be 11-13 February 2011 and will once again provide religious congregations the opportunity to discuss evolution and how it can be accommodated into their worldview. In addition, congregations are encouraged to discuss “the many environmental threats to the health of both natural and human communities.” The relevant part of Professor Zimmerman’s letter follows.

This year, Evolution Weekend is being conceived in two ways. As always, it is an opportunity for congregations to discuss the compatibility of religion and science - and to do so in a manner that elevates the quality of the dialogue on this important issue. This can be done in any manner that will be the most helpful and relevant for each congregation. Additionally, this year, we are also encouraging congregations that think it might be useful, to focus on specific environmental issues as they explore the relationship between religion and science. As an evolutionary biologist, I know that knowledge of evolutionary theory is absolutely essential for a robust understanding of how the natural environment functions and how it might be affected by human activities. My contacts within the religious community tell me that addressing ecological issues from within their faith perspective can also be empowering and hopeful, especially for those who are grieving about the ways humankind has harmed the natural world. I’ve added a resource section to the Evolution Weekend 2011 web page that you may find helpful if you opt to deal with environmental issues. If you have suggestions for resources that should be added, please let me know.

So, please sign up now to participate in Evolution Weekend 2011 (11-13 February 2011) and find the way that will be the most productive for you and your congregation. To sign up, simply send me (mz@butler.edu) a note with your name and the name of your congregation and I’ll get you added to our growing list. I’ve not yet publicly released the web page for Evolution Weekend 2011 since it is so early but we already have 98 congregations from 31 states and 8 countries listed. Please join with us this year.