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Climate Study Group Hosts Rev. Peter Sawtell, "Moral Implications of Climate Change"

Date: 
10/24/2012 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm

 

OCTOBER 24TH: LECTURE 7, "THE HUMAN FACTOR"

Learn how the activities of human beings are affecting the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and agricultural practices.

We welcome Reverend Peter Sawtell, the Executive Director of Eco-Justice Ministries and will be focusing on the human factors -- our values and ethics, our sense of community and relationship -- which are just as important as the science and technology. If we don't change some of our notions of "progress" and "the good life", then our culture is unlikely to make the big changes that are needed.

 

Rev. Peter S. Sawtell, Executive Director

 

Rev. Peter Sawtell

Peter Sawtell is the founder and Executive Director of Eco-Justice Ministries.

He has a diverse background in academics, professional work and community involvement which has prepared him well for leadership of this ecumenical agency.

Peter's undergraduate degree is from the Colorado College (B.A., 1974) with an interdisciplinary major combining religious studies and environmental biology. His seminary training was at Andover Newton Theological School (M.Div., 1977) with a strong concentration in history, sociology and ethics related to institutional racism. He completed the coursework portion of Ph.D. studies at the Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver (1989-1992) in the area of Religion and Social Change. He has attended significant training workshops in "Principles of Community Organizing" (Western Organization of Resource Councils, 1996) and "See, Judge, Act: Pastoral Planning for a Prophetic Church" (United Church of Christ, 1992).

Peter is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. His ministerial experience includes 5 years as Co-Pastor of two rural churches near Grinnell, Iowa (1978-1983), and 5 years as Co-Pastor of First Congregational UCC in Sioux City, Iowa (1983-1988). He has served UCC congregations near Boston, Massachusetts, as Interim Minister (1977-78) and Student Minister (1974-77). During the summers of 1973 and 1975, he was on the staff of an ecumenical new church start in Monument, Colorado.

Peter was on the adjunct faculty of the Iliff School of Theology in 2004 for a course on "Eco-Justice and Social Transformation." He has taught at the undergraduate level at Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa (World Religions, 1987; Institutional Racism, 1988) and as a teaching assistant in the Humanities Core Curriculum at the University of Denver (1990-1992).

From 1993 through 1999, Peter was sole proprietor of Sawtell Consulting Services, providing business consulting and computer programming services for small businesses and non-profit agencies.

With his wife, Allyson Sawtell, Peter is co-author of Institutional Racism in the US and Canada, a study guide for Senior High youth, published in 1981 by Joint Educational Development of the National Council of Churches. In 1988, Peter published Clergy Couples in the United Church of Christ: A statistical survey.

Prior to founding Eco-Justice Ministries, Peter served as volunteer Eco-Justice Coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Conference, United Church of Christ (1997-2000).

Peter has been involved in a wide range of denominational and ecumenical projects, including:

  • Environment & Energy Task Force, national United Church of Christ (2005-present)
  • Colorado Council of Churches, Commission on the Environment (1997-2002, chair 2000-2002)
  • Board of Directors, Rocky Mountain Conference, United Church of Christ (1999-2005)
  • Peace and Justice Task Force, Rocky Mountain Conference, United Church of Christ (1992-2006)
  • Whole Earth Task Force (chair), Rocky Mountain Conference, United Church of Christ (1999-2001)
  • Interfaith Resources (social service project), Sioux City, Iowa (1985-1988, president 1988)
  • Washington Park United Church of Christ, Denver, Colorado -- many roles and offices, 1989-present