Message from the Director
Since we last updated the web site the Center has embarked on its mission of offering programs both on and off campus.
On September 28 Dean John Gatta, Executive Director Robin Gottfried, and Program Director Sr. Madeleine Mary, supported by Managing Director Rick Sommer, offered a Day of Reflection to around ninety clergy of the Diocese of Alabama in Birmingham. Meanwhile on Tuesday nights a group of about twelve undergraduates, seminarians, faculty, and community people have been piloting a program examining Christian environmental theology and the contributions it can make to our understanding of the environmental issues of our day (for a further description click here http://www.sewanee.edu/cre/programs ). The Center hosted the visit of Mike Schut, the Episcopal Church’s Economic and Environmental Affairs Officer, and Jerry Cappell, Province IV”s environmental minister, to campus. Upcoming programs include Opening the Book of Nature events, a St. Mary’s Sewanee retreat, and a DMin summer course (http://www.sewanee.edu/cre/events ). Meanwhile, two volunteers are working on creating a Center blog and Facebook page that will enable us to reach more people and Robin is continuing to meet with people interested in the Center and, sometimes, working with it in a variety of ways.
The Advisory Board met on November 2. At that meeting it approved an annual budget and outline of start-up costs to be used as the basis for fundraising, a revised mission statement, and the goal to become a regional or national center for the Opening the Book of Nature Program.
So, we’ve accomplished a lot and want to do even more. However, given that the staff all volunteer their time and that they all have other obligations, it has become clear that we have reached the point where the Center needs a paid staff person who can devote his or her time and energy entirely to developing the capacity to develop and deliver high quality programs both on and off campus. Until then we will have to limit ourselves to a small number of activities of limited scope. So, we will be starting soon on a campaign to raise the funds to enable us to do so. If you know of anyone who could help us in this effort, either through their time and talent or by contributing financially, please contact us.