Faith Panel Kicks Off Illinois Sustainability & Wellness Expo

March 10, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Illinois Sustainable Living & Wellness Expo will kick off Thursday, April 7, with a panel that discusses what faith organizations can do to become more ecologically minded.  Titled “Faith and Sustainability: What They Have in Common” the panel will be 7-9 p.m. in the Joslin Atrium of the Memorial Center (104 E. University St., Bloomington) at Illinois Wesleyan University. The event is free and open to the public.

The discussion, hosted by Illinois Wesleyan University and the Ecology Action Center, will offer practical tips to faith-based organizations for developing sustainable plans of action. In addition to these practical tips, the conversation will examine how groups can come together community-wide to connect faith and sustainability.

The panel will feature Brian Sauder of Faith in Place, an organization dedicated to giving religious people the tools to become good stewards of the earth. Faith in Place partners with a variety of congregations across religions to promote clean energy and sustainable farming.

Other members of the panel will include:

Michael Brown – Executive Director of the Ecology Action Center, Bloomington

Syed Gilani — Islamic Center of Bloomington/Normal

Myra Gordon – Moses Montefiore Temple, Bloomington

Lori Harvey (moderator) – Interim Chaplain at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington

Matthew D. Hickman – Associate Pastor, Mennonite Church of Normal

Brian Sauder – Central Illinois Outreach and Policy Coordinator for Faith in Place, Urbana

The panel is the introduction to the Illinois Sustainable Living & Wellness Expo. “Creating Healthy Communities” is the theme for this year’s annual expo, which will be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 9 at Illinois Wesleyan University’s Shirk Center (302 E. Emerson St., Bloomington). The event is also free and open to the public.

The expo, which is co-sponsored by Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) and the Ecology Action Center, offers attendees an enjoyable experience while they explore exhibitors, workshops, demonstrations and performances meant to inspire them to find ways to live sustainably. For additional information on the panel or the expo, contact Director of Wellness Missy Smock at (309) 556-3334 or go to

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960