Rabbi Katy Allen
I spent 10 years working as a hospital chaplain, and during those years, I began to explore the idea of “nature chaplaincy,” or “eco-chaplaincy,” and felt drawn more and more to exploring what that aspect of my profession might look like for me. In this age of rapid climate change, our need to better understand our spiritual connection to the Earth drew me in. And Open Spirit has provided the platform I need to explore my passions about connecting spirituality and our experience of the Earth and my sense of myself as an “eco-chaplain.” Through the One Earth Collaborative, I have been able to deepen my own sense of my connection to the Earth and to share those understandings with others through gardening, composting, foraging, and nature walks, all in a spiritual framework.
But Open Spirit means much more to me. It has provided a place to engage in interfaith dialogue with others who care about our ability to get along with each other and to learn from each other across our differences of faith. I have delighted in sharing Jewish holidays and wisdom with people of all faiths, and to introducing them to what I love about Judaism. The conversation is always so rich!
The tree sculpture in Edwards Hall symbolizes for me the best of Open Spirit. It is made of repurposed materials, it was a communal effort, it lets in the light and reflects it back to the viewer, it is different at every time of day and with every angle of light and every level of darkness. Made out of cans meant to be discarded, it brings beauty and hope into the world. That is
Rabbi Katy Z. Allen, www.rabbikza.com
Rabbi, Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope,