Updated September 18, 2012, with new quotes.
Fresh from being profiled on the PBS show Religion & Ethics Newsweekly this summer, an African environmental faith leader is visiting Nebraska this month.
Dr. Fredrick Shoo is assistant bishop of the Northern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. He is known as “the Tree Bishop” for his goal of planting three million trees to save what’s left of the “eternal snows of Kilimanjaro.” The glaciers on Africa’s tallest peak are melting rapidly due to climate change, but reforestation projects can help slow and mitigate the effects of that change. Interfaith Power & Light’s Carbon Covenant program is one such project, and we have raised more than $10,000 to assist Bishop Shoo’s work. We especially invite congregations to consider plate shares and youth service projects to benefit the Carbon Covenant programs.
The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Moore, board president of Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light, met Bishop Shoo during his visit to Lincoln. “He was delighted when I told him that I was a part of Interfaith Power & Light,”Â Rev. Moore said. “He challenges each of the young people in confirmation classes to plant 10 trees. They not only plant the trees but care for and nurture them as well.”
Rev. Moore noted that during his time in Nebraska, Bishop Shoo visited Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City. “He was excited to learn the step-by-step process they follow in growing trees,” Moore added. “He is truly an inspirational spiritual leader.”
The Nebraska Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church is sponsoring Bishop Shoo’s visit to Nebraska. In addition to visiting Sheridan Lutheran Church in Lincoln, Bishop Shoo will speak at the 8, 9:15, and 10:30 services on Sunday, September 23, at Bethany Lutheran Church, 4200 North 204th Street, Elkhorn (West Omaha). The congregation plans dinners in his honor both Friday and Sunday evenings; email Pastor John Eggen at pastor.john at bethanyelkhorn dot org for more details.