On Sunday, Apr 10th, New Brunswick’s mainline interfaith coalition, known for its annual Thanksgiving worship services, established a second annual event – the celebration of Earth Day. For this we gathered at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church. The event began with a neighborhood clean-up that Sacred Heart’s Community Development Organization Unity Square had organized for the 5th year in a row. It resulted in the removal of 1.95 tons (!) of trash from one of the central neighborhoods of our city.
Following the clean-up, we enjoyed a plenary session in the great sanctuary of Sacred Heart. A few short presentations were framed by music from two organizations connected with First Reformed Church: Raíces Cultural Center and the Rainbow Community Choir under the leadership of Ben Berman. Ben’s involvement with the public school system is bearing great fruit! There were over 30 children participating in the Rainbow Choir’s performance that day.
The lectures were interesting because they introduced a number of important non-profit organizations whose concern is a cleaner environment for us all. Especially noteworthy was a speech by Donna Caputo from Public Works, because it showed how important it is that houses of worship and public authorities work together for the common good.
Following the plenary session, we descended into the fellowship hall of Sacred Heart where the nonprofits present had prepared tables and workshops. A real hit was the aloe planting session that Ellen and Bruce Hamilton provided. In the end, all of the 40 planters they had brought were gone! The afternoon was concluded with a tasty dinner in Mexican and Caribbean style.
Finally, we here at First Reformed Church would like to thank Lorena Gaibor, the Program Director of Unity Square Partnership, and Rabbi Rebecca Epstein from Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, for their superb leadership in preparing this event.