Faith Has a Challenge: Alum Connects Environment & Religion

December 5, 2013

Kim Morrow & Greenfaith logo Nowhere along her path from her hometown of Arcadia, CA, to U.C. Santa Cruz, and the 90’s dotcom boom was religion a part of Kim Morrow's (MDiv '00) life. 

“I had a negative association with Christians Right -Wingers who checked their brains at the door. I could see that they were not progressive,” she said. “I started attending Glide Memorial Church and was moved by their wide and brave hospitality, their help and celebration.”

After getting engaged, Morrow began looking for a ceremony site for her wedding, and found a Swedenborgian church. She met two pastors, and was blown away by their open-mindedness and ability to embrace all. 

When her career in tech started going south, they inspired her to find a new way to live and work in the world. She decided to head to seminary, and PSR was the place she knew would be right for her on this new path.  

“I remember surprising myself by taking a liturgical dance class in my 2nd year,” she said of her Dancing the Women of Scripture class. “Bringing women’s stories to life through my body became more of a learning experience than the reading in all of the pages of text combined.”

In 2010, after graduating and spending 9 years on staff at PSR and the Swedenborgian House of Studies, Morrow moved to Lincoln, NE to become First-Plymouth Church’s Minister of Sustainability. 

“I started a sustainable living ministry to raise consciousness in our congregation and in community about the food chain, farming and the climate. All communities are interrelated. Ecological wholeness and how we respond to climate change must be faith-based.”

This year, Morrow was awarded a GreenFaith Fellowship, North America’s only comprehensive education and training program to turn clergy and laity into religious-environmental leaders. She was also named Director of Nebraska Interfaith Power and Light, an organization with a mission to engage communities to address climate change. 

 “Faith communities need to be prepared to respond to crises; hunger and food issues, agriculture and fuel supply concerns and climate refugees form our seas rising. Faith has a challenge.”

This is why Morrow thinks a Certificate of Religious Environmental Studies would be perfect for PSR.

“There is a way of studying that lends itself to climate care and it absolutely needs to be talked about at the seminary level,” she said. “Faith communities are the prophetic and transformational voices of this time and our next step is to see how we can slow it down.”