Steward of God's Creation Award

The Steward of God?s Creation award is bestowed to those individuals who exhibit courage and commitment in the caring and keeping of the earth in a heroic, distinguished and effective manner. Awardees are determined by a vote of religious leaders and bestowed at a public event, normally the National Prayer Breakfast for Creation Care, which is sponsored annually by a coalition of religious organizations and affiliates.

   

Wendell Berry
Lane’s Landing, Kentucky

Wendell Berry Wendell Berry has served people of all faiths by providing a practical, down-to-earth vision  of how to live harmoniously and sustainably with the world so that we might integrate our lives into the ecosystem of the planet. His vision has provided insightful perspective as he has critiqued the behavior of seminaries and pointed us toward a simpler and slower way of living. For example, in his commentary on learning from the land, he writes: “And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home.”

He has given us a prophetic message as he rejected the corporate mentality that abuses the land and leaves devastation and poverty in its wake. He has been firm in upholding the principles that underpin his message and emphasized that we can do better. When the University of Kentucky named its basketball players’ dorm “Wildcat Coal Lodge” with financial support from the coal industry, as a statement of public protest, he pulled his personal papers from the school’s library. In this action he reminded us of our moral and spiritual responsibility to “choose life” in all its implications, and to turn away from every action that is destructive.

He has presented his message with a lyrical and engaging poetic voice. In a remarkably relaxing and soothing way, he has encouraged us to slow down and appreciate the goodness of the earth; to recall the ripples of consequences that fill our every action, and to maintain hope through the witness of nature when the pollution of the world seems overwhelming. He writes, “When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” 

For his vision, his prophetic message, and for his poetic way of communicating, and most of all, for serving as a universal “theologian of the land,” we are proud to extend our 2012 Steward of God’s Creation award to Wendell Berry.

 

 

LIST OF RECIPIENTS

1999
Vincent Rossi
Chad Hanson

2000

Dr. Bob Marshall
Rev. Owen Owens
Julia "Butterfly" Hill
Jim Davidson
Dr. Robert Jonas

2001

Chief Michael Dombeck
Dr. Barak Gale

2002

Hume Davenport
Ann Alexander

2003

Rep. Cynthia McKinney

2004

Connie Hanson
Fr. Jacek Orzechowski

2005

Rev. Peter Moore-Kochlacs

 

 

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2006

Allen Johnson

2007

Rabbi Warren Stone
Thomas Herschelmen

2008

Carlos Agnesi
Fred Krueger

2009

Dr. Calvin DeWitt

2010

Dr. James Hansen

2011

Lisa Jackson

2012

Wendell Berry
Dr. Tom English
Dr. Lise Van Susteren

2013

Bill McKibben
Larry Gibson