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Evanston Interfaith Climate Summit

April 6, 2019 | 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary | 2121 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL

We believe the interfaith community has a key and unique role to play in addressing the urgent climate crisis facing our world and the city of Evanston. The 2019 Evanston Interfaith Climate Summit will gather Evanston’s faith communities to join in interreligious prayer, to reflect on the contributions of our diverse faith traditions in this time of climate crisis, and to organize together in support of Evanston’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan

There is no cost to attend this event but registration by April 3, 2019, is preferred. A light breakfast and lunch during the event are also included at no charge. 

Register Now




Saturday, April 6, 2019

8:30 a.m. Check-in and Breakfast (provided)
9:00 a.m.

Welcome and Greeting from Summit Sponsors

  • Dr. Timothy Eberhart, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary 
  • President Lallene Rector, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary  
  • Tahera Ahmad, Northwestern University Religious & Spiritual Life 
9:15 a.m. Opening Prayers/Liturgy
9:45 a.m.

What do Faith Communities Contribute to the Climate Movement?

  • Rev. Fletcher Harper, Green Faith
  • Kathleen Rude, Gaia Wisdom
  • Dr. Jalees Rehman, Faith in Place
10:45 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m.

Sponsor Greetings

  • Kumar Jensen, City of Evanston
  • Jonathan Nieuwsma, Citizens Greener Evanston 
11:10 a.m.

How are Local Faith Communities Addressing Climate Change?

  • Rev. Benjamin Reynolds, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • Jerry Herst, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation       
  • Michael Drennan, Unitarian Church of Evanston  
  • Carol Michelini, St. Nicholas Catholic Church 
  • Billie Topa Tate, MSI Wellness Center 
  • Richard Mosley, Hemenway UMC
12:15 p.m. Lunch (provided)
12:45 p.m.

How do We Join Climate Action with Racial Equity?

  • Dan Huntsha, Faith in Place
  • Veronica Kyle, Faith in Place
1:30 p.m. Evanston Climate Action and Resilience Plan Working Group Session 1
2:15 p.m. Evanston Climate Action and Resilience Plan Working Group Session 2
3:00 p.m. Sharing of Discussions and Next Steps
3:45 p.m. Closing Prayer/Liturgy

Featured Presenters

Rev. Fletcher Harper

Rev. Fletcher Harper

Fletcher Harper, an Episcopal priest, is Executive Director of GreenFaith, an international interfaith environmental organization. He has developed a range of innovative programs to make GreenFaith a global leader in the religious-environmental movement.

In the past four years, he coordinated the 2015 OurVoices campaign, which mobilized religious support globally for COP 21, led organizing of faith communities for the People’s Climate Marches in NYC and Washington DC, helped lead the faith-based fossil fuel divestment movement, supported the launch of the global Interfaith Rainforest Initiative, and co-founded Shine, a faith-philanthropy-NGO campaign to end energy poverty with renewable energy by 2030. He helps lead GreenFaith’s new local organizing initiative, creating multi-faith GreenFaith Circles in communities globally.

Fletcher accepted GreenFaith’s Many Faith’s, One Earth Award from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2009 and was named an Ashoka Fellow in 2011. He is the author of GreenFaith: Mobilizing God’s People to Protect the Earth (Abingdon Press, 2015).

Kathleen Rude

Kathleen Rude

Kathleen Rude fell in love with the natural world as a young child and found her voice for environmental activism at age 10. She has a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and an M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan. Kathleen began her career as an environmental writer, a profession she embraced for 15 years.

She was raised liberal Lutheran in a household steeped in Jungian psychology. Both traditions continue to be meaningful in her life and work. She was initiated by Native elders into indigenous spiritual practices and became a shamanic practitioner, spiritual healer, teacher and ceremonial leader. She was mentored by Joanna Macy, internationally acclaimed ecophilospher and root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, a group process that fosters resilience, connection and commitment for the healing of our world. Kathleen is a senior facilitator of The Work That Reconnects, leading workshops throughout the Midwest and Rocky Mountain Region. Kathleen has published her first novel, The Redemption of Red Fire Woman. She is currently working on a work of non-fiction, How to Become An Every Day Difference Maker. She is a board member of Nuclear Energy Information Service, a nuclear power watchdog organization, opposing nuclear power and promoting sustainable renewable energy. Kathleen is a singer and musician, sharing songs of praise, protest and love.

Dr. Jalees Rehman  

Dr. Jalees RehmanDr. Jalees Rehman is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Faith in Place. He is cell biologist and cardiologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He originally trained as a chronobiologist, studying the biological clocks of algae at the University of Munich. After completing medical school, he moved from Germany to the United States. His research career has been rather checkered and has involved studying immune function, the aging and growth of blood vessels, the metabolism of cancer cells, and how organs and tissues regenerate.

He is a German Muslim who lives in the Western suburbs of Chicago with his wife and three children. Jalees also writes essays, news articles and blog posts about science and philosophy for the Scilogs and 3Quarksdaily websites.

Directions and Parking

The links below will help you make your way to Garrett-Evangelical, and help you find your way around once you arrive.




On the day of the summit, free parking will be available in the large Northwestern University parking lot adjacent to the southern portion of Garrett-Evangelical's campus. 

Summit Sponsors

The summit is supported by a Sacred Journeys grant from Fellowship in Prayer and the following sponsors:

Fellowship in PrayerCitizens' Greener EvanstonGarrett-Evangelical Theological SeminaryCity of Evanston Climate Action and Resilience Plan City of EvanstonFaith in PlaceNorthwestern Religious & Spiritual Life




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April 6, 2019

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston , IL 60201

Featured Speaker

Veronica Kyle

Veronica Kyle

Chicago Outreach Director, Faith in Place

Veronica directs all of Faith in Place’s Chicago outreach programs, with particular passion for those related to Sustainable Food & Land Use.

Veronica joined the Faith in Place staff in August 2008. Previously, she lived and worked for twelve years in the Caribbean and Southern Africa for a faith-based organization in the areas of social justice and development. She received her B.A. in Religion and Women Studies from Vermont College of Norwich University and her Master’s degree of Social Sciences in Gender & Development Studies from the University of the West Indies.

In her work she seeks to bring people to the table that are often not involved in conversations around Earth care, including African American, Latino, and affluent suburb communities. She has done this work by creating award-winning programs that bring about diversity and cross-cultural community engagement. 

Veronica's work has been nationally recognized as the 2013 Audubon/Toyota Green Fellow and a 2014 Northern America Association of Environmental Educators Fellow. She is currently serving a 4th term as an appointed Environmental Justice Commissioner for the State of Illinois.