Save These Dates

By Ellyn Owen

In happens every year. One day we are enjoying summer and the next thing we know, it is September and our calendar is marked up with events and things to do that find their way to us first. To give the following important dates their due consideration early enough to be first on the calendar, here are two great opportunities to consider:

September 12 – a viewing of the film “This Changes Everything” (2015) hosted by the Lawrence Ecological Teams United in Sustainability (LET-US) at the auditorium of the Lawrence Public Library (707 Vermont St.). LET-US is a coalition of faith-based groups united in the goal of educating the public about earth-care issues. The film is based a book by the same title, written by Naomi Klein. It showcases many different communities around the world, connecting their experiences with carbon emissions and the systems that allow such emissions to occur. It ends with a vision of what might be changed to end this destructive cycle. There will be opportunities to see what individual groups within LET-US are doing and a chance to discuss the film after it is shown. Information booths of LET-US members begins around 6 p.m.; introduction of the film by Thad Holcombe will be at 6:40 p.m.; the feature film is 90 minutes in length; discussion groups will be held from around 8:15 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Naomi Klein’s book and this film has been touted as visionary in helping to move society from reluctant acknowledgement of a warming planet to actions to end the systems that are risking our planet’s health. Join Trinity’s Environmental Stewardship Team (TEST) in attending this film and taking part in the discussions.

September 23-25 – The Prairie Festival at the Land Institute (2440 E. Water Well Rd., Salina, KS). This year is their 40th anniversary. It is very special, since it will also be a send-off for Wes Jackson. Jackson will retire the first of October, having been the organization’s head and spokesman since its beginning in 1976. The focus of this year’s festival will be to review the core ideas of the Land Institute and remind everyone of the gains made over 40 years of work to develop perennial grains and to work to change agricultural practices. President-Elect Fred Iutzi will be introduced and made welcome. Also, a new venture called Ecosphere Studies will be discussed.

The festival runs from Friday evening, September 23, to noon Sunday, September 25. There is an optional community concert and fundraiser by Peter Buffet on Saturday evening. Tickets for the concert may be purchased in advance (; 785-827-1998). Alternatively, you may choose to bring your own instrument for a jam session around the fire circle on Saturday evening. Ann Zimmerman will provide music to kick off the Sunday session. The ending lecture will be Wes Jackson’s vision for the future.

Why such early notice? If you decide to go as part of Trinity’s Environmental Stewardship Team (TEST), you will save money. TEST regularly sends a donation to the Land Institute each year, so is entitled to a reduced rate. If you would like to attend with Trinity’s team, email Nancy Hanson ( on or before September 3, and say you would like to attend. She will take care of early registration and you will pay her.

The festival costs will be: $20 registration fee; $10 box lunch (Choose hot dog, chicken wrap, veggie wrap or salad or Join TEST in a picnic at no cost.); $15 supper. (There is always a vegetarian option.) Other costs for motel and meals not noted above are on your own. Discuss carpooling with Nancy Hanson. You can still attend if you miss the early deadline – just go to the Land Institute website and register.

“Caring for the environment – it’s a Christian thing to do!”