Skip to main content

5th Annual Earth Conference - HOME-LAND: A New Lens for A New Moment on Earth

Purpose: To raise focus
public attention
on the sacred connection
between communities
of life on Earth.

To inspire
individuals to take action
and to make changes in their own lives,
aware that the choices they make
impact all life on Earth.

To bring about
hope and commitment
to the oneness of all.

Opening Reflection

Keynote Speakers - Kathleen Mary Kiemen, SSND and Jeanne WIngenter, SSND

Does Earth need us to take another look at how we live as members of our home-land?  YES!

Based on our own experiences and understanding we, individually, and as a culture, have developed perspectives or paradigms though which we relate to all of life.  In the past, those paradigms were influenced y perceptions of abundance - limitless resources, unbeatable power, and exponential growth. 
New information and insights now challenge us to rethink our old perspectives, to change the paradigm out of which we have operated because it is not sufficient to address the challenges our home-land, or Earth, faces daily.

Using the image of a lens as a tool for changing perspective, in this conference we explored a new world view, a new cosmology that calls us to recognize our place and role in living more sustainably within our home-land as part of the whole Earth community. 
It is a new moment to refocus. 
We have no time to waste.

Kathleen Mary Kiemen and Jeanne Wingenter are members of the international religious women's community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND).  Both have served as educators and leaders in justice, peace, spirituality, and Earth ministries.
Presently Jeanne serves as the Director of the SSND Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation, and Kathleen Mary serves as co-director of the SSND Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry.

Afternoon Workshops

The afternoon consisted of two hour-long sessions.  Participants could choose from the following 4 workshops which 2 they wanted to attend.

A. just LANGUAGE or JUST language
Is language important in forming our perceptions and paradigm?  In this workshop we explored how important language is and how it shapes perspectives, and how we can create JUST language that reflects values of peace, equality, and the interconnectedness of all.
Mary Lindstrom has long term interest in language as a personal and social change agent.  Her professional career as administrator of domestic violence and sexual assult programs reinforced the critical importance of respectful, intentional, and peaceful speech in our daily reflection and conversation.
Kathleen Mary Kiemen, SSND serves as Co-Director of the SSND Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry.

B. Stuck in Excess: Making Space in Our Lives
In our pursuit of happiness, we jump into the fast track, often in competition with others.  This workshop helped us name the excesses in which our lives are immersed.  Participants left motivated to choose a better rhythm for healthy living.
Michelle Murchison and her husband Todd, live in New Prague, Minnesota.  They have four college-age sons.  Beyond her role as wife, mother, and home-maker, Michelle works out of her home as a bookkeeper.
Michelle Gransee-Bowmanlives in Northfield, Minnesota with her husband, Joe Bowman, and their four young children.  Besides her wife and mother responsibilities, Michelle is Training Coordinator for the Minnesota Office of Energy Security.

C. Hungry for Change
We have, most of us at least, three "votes" a day to change our unsustainable food system.  We can be the courageous and powerful people that make necessary changes when a system no longer serves us or our planet.  Transforming our food system from a wasteful, polluting system to something sustainable is work we all can participate in.
Lisa Coons, M.S. is a passionate advocate and activist for justice since childhood, is a self-defined urban farmer and enthusiastic home cook.  She served as Adjunct Faculty at Minnesota State University, Mankato for 16 years and presently is Co-Director of the Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry where all her passions come together.

D. Dirt
This documentary tells the amazing and little known story of the relationship between humans and living dirt.  Of all the planets in the known universe, only Earth has a living, breathing "skin" formed over the course of countless millennia.  Our entire world is dependent on the health of our dirt and we can rebuild our relationship to our planet Earth literally from the ground up!

Closing Reflection