Old South Church hosting community ‘Earth Care Forum’ on April 1

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FARMINGTON – Old South Congregational Church is putting on the first annual free Earth Care Forum on April 1.

The forum will include “Workshops for a Hopeful Future,” along with presentations and display tables on all things related to the earth, the environment, and the climate. There will be workshops in the morning and afternoon on topics like heat pumps, electric vehicles, community-wide composting, environmentally friendly gardening and landscaping, storm window construction, and much more. The goal is to share practical things people can do to be good caretakers of our one and only planet.

“One thing that we decided to do with the forum is to focus on practical and hopeful sorts of information that people can use to make the decisions that they need to make in their lives because the world is changing pretty fast these days,” Shelley Griffith, an organizer of the event, said.

Poster design by Marty Bogar


The event will be held at the church, 235 Main Street in Farmington. The doors will open at 8:30 a.m. and the event will conclude at 3:30 p.m.. A free lunch of homemade bread, soup and goodies will be provided. The day will begin at 9 a.m. with opening remarks from Rev. Marraine Kettell, Jenckes, and Jessica Scott of the Maine Climate Council. The event will conclude with an opportunity for closure and reflections on the event. It is a perfect time for networking and meeting like-minded individuals.

“Who knows what might be borne out of that kind of community discussion?” Sherry Jenckes, another event organizer, asked.

The Earth Care Forum originated from the church group called Outreach, Justice, Witness, who put on a yearly Earth Day event. Before this year, the event has been limited to the church community and they wanted to do something community-wide.

The planning committee was formed out of both church members and local people with interests in caring for the earth, including Griffith and Jenckes; Mark Pires of the University of Maine Farmington’s Sustainable Campus Coalition; Cynthia Stancioff, climate activist and member of Citizens Climate Lobby; and Marty Bogar, local artist and designer of the poster, along with Chris Magri, Donna Wheeler, Wendy Huish, and Randy Oakley.

Both Griffith and Jenckes explained that their motives for planning this event lie in their belief in community resilience.

“We tried to focus on things that people can really do,” Jenckes said. “As individuals and in community, to just be better caretakers and prepare for the changes that are happening now and will continue to happen.”

Their beliefs proved true with the Earth Care Forum’s initial reception in the community, which was a huge source of hope for them: hope for both the future of the earth and of the community.

“When we started looking for people in this community for people who would be interested in coming to the workshop and making presentations, people just came out of the woodwork,” Griffith said. “There were so many people and so much enthusiasm.”

Griffith and Jenckes encourage anyone and everyone to attend the forum, enjoy the free and useful information, and build community.

“Folks who are somewhat interested in earth care and climate issues and want to know more practically about that, but also anybody,” Griffith said when asked who should attend the forum. “If you’re a little tentative about the whole climate change thing, I think it would be a great event for you to come to, because you will hear a lot of practical things that will not only help the environment but also help you.”

For more information, call Old South Church at (207)778-0424 and ask about the Earth Care Forum, or email earthcareforum@gmail.com.

Those planning on attending are encouraged to preregister for planning purposes by contacting the phone or email. It is not required.

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