Nancy Wiens of Dominican University in San Rafael, CA, is currently using RENEWAL in her course, Spirit of the Earth. Rather than simply keeping it in the classroom, Nancy is having her students survey different religious communities in the surrounding area to see what ecologically sustainable efforts they practice and what they are encouraging among their members. The hope is to share ideas and stimulate cooperation among the groups as well as to inspire new possibilities throughout the county.
At the conclusion of the semester, the class will host a Sustainable Practices Night on Tuesday, May 6th, co-sponsored by MarinLink, the Marin Interfaith Council, and Presbyterians for Restoring Creation. At this event, students will share their findings and encourage further action through a screening of RENEWAL.
During the semester, Nancy is using an individual segment from RENEWAL at the end of each class to invite students to see how the theoretical material they have been studying makes a practical difference in people's lives. Their focus in class is on the enormous variety of human-nature relationships. She has each student produce three photo collages depicting different human-nature relationships focusing on different emotions and experiences. Nancy will make her syllabus available for download at the RENEWAL Project websites.