St. Vladimir's Seminary Plans Ecological Education Day 2009


[Yonkers, NY] On Saturday, October 3, 2009, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY, invites the faithful to its annual Orthodox Education Day, this year titled "God's Green Earth: Ecology and Theology." The day's program will feature outstanding speakers, exhibits, and workshops regarding the intersection of faith and practice, as related to the environment.

"This Education Day, we want to wed theological vision with practical ways to care for our world," said The Very Rev. Chad Hatfield, chancellor and CEO of the seminary. "So, the day will feature everything from ecological perspectives of ancient church writers, to how to create an 'earth-friendly' garden."

Keynote speaker Dr. Vigen Guroian, an Armenian theologian and professor or religious studies at the University of Virginia, will address the topic "Ecological Musings from the Garden," and an array of other experts will present workshops. In particular, Mr. Chris Nolan, Chief Landscape Architect of Central Park Conservatory, New York City, will discuss the eco-friendly use of land; and Dr. Emily Markides, adjunct faculty at the Peace and Reconciliation Studies Program, University of Maine, and co-pioneer of the Permaculture Garden at Agia Skepi Detoxification Center, Filani, Cyprus, will share her experience with building sustainable communities. For animal lovers, a monk from New Skete Monastery in Cambridge, NY, Father Christopher, will speak about deepening spiritual consciousness through kinship with animals. The monastery is known globally for its dog training methods and breeding of German shepherds.

Local environmentally friendly services will host a variety of exhibits, including an exhibit about the planned solar energy installations on the campus of St. Vladimir's. A special booth for children will offer eco-friendly activities and craft. High quality garden bulbs, narcissi and daffodil, will be sold, for planting this fall in anticipation of a glorious spring garden. And, once again, in the International Food Tent, seminary students will be offering visitors cuisine from around the world.

Our SVS Press & Bookstore will offer outstanding theological titles for sale, and Dr. Guroian, author of Inheriting Paradise: Meditations on Gardening and The Fragrance of God (Eerdmans Publishing), and Dr. Elizabeth Theokritoff, author of the latest in the SVS Press Foundations series, Living in God's Creation: Orthodox Perspectives on Ecology, will be available for book signings. Throughout the day, the Orthodox faithful will gather in community to celebrate not only Divine Liturgy but also an Akathist titled "Glory to God for All Things," a memorial service, and evening vespers.

The seminary's annual "Orthodox Education Day" traditionally is a campus-wide homecoming for alumni, friends, supporters, and the public. St. Vladimir's Seminary, founded in 1938 and at home in the Crestwood section of Yonkers since 1961, is an accredited graduate theological school with an international student body and world-renowned reputation for theological inquiry and study. This year's campus theme celebrates perspectives on care for the cosmos as uniquely and deeply associated with worship and faith of the Orthodox Christian Church.

The exhibitions and workshops are open to the public noon to 5 p.m. without charge. For more information, travel directions, and to view the Program for the day, visit the seminary's Web site www.svots.edu. And, please, download the day's Program to share with parishioners and friends.