PINETOP-LAKESIDE – Unity of the White Mountains is hosting a free event, Sacred Earth/Common Ground, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Spearheaded by Arizona Interfaith Power & Light (AzIPL), an interfaith ministry devoted to deepening the connection between ecology and faith, it brings people together to find common ground regarding stewardship of our planet.

Church of the Savior Episcopal Church in the White Mountains and Wild Earth Guardians, a nonprofit group that protects and restores the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers and health of the American West, are also sponsors of the event.

Sacred Earth/Common Ground is designed to facilitate communication among people of different cultures, religions and ways of thinking.

In a time when people are divided by culture and politics, it is an opportunity for people to come together and break the division between them by telling their positive stories about the experiences that have created a deep connection with the earth.

There will be performances by local artists, a short movie shown by filmmaker Barb Davis and the opportunity to join in group discussions to discover common ground.

AzIPL’s has launched a campaign and is mobilizing a national religious response to global warming while promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation to help reduce the effects of global warming.

Some of its members include, from the Phoenix area, Tempe Community Christian Church, New Home Baptist Church, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Franciscan Renewal Center, Temple Emmanuel, One Voice Ministry, St. Benedict R.C. Church, St. Brigid’s Episcopal Church, St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Guardian Angels Catholic Community, Sister’s of St. Benedict’s-Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery, Dove of the Desert UMC and Shepherd of the Hills UCC.

From the Tucson area, St. Francis of the Foothills, First United Methodist Church, Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church, St. Mark’s Presbyterian, St. Francis in the Valley Episcopal, Southside Presbyterian, Rincon Congregational UCC and St. Mark’s United Methodist.

From northern Arizona, Mt. View United Methodist Church, Flagstaff Federated, The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany and Shared Earth Network.

According to Unity’s Rev. Sheryl Padgett, this inaugural meeting is baby steps. “It is about peace keeping and peace making, bringing together the two sides – liberal and conservative — who would like to do something for our planet.”

Sacred Earth/Common Ground is supported in part by a grant from Crossing Divides – an initiative of the Kindle Project and the Cotyledon Fund.

Crossing Divides supports grassroots efforts to make meaningful positive change in “hometowns, across aisles and regardless of social differences.”

The event is free and open to the public.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and refreshments will be served.

The event will be followed by dessert and conversation.

Unity of the White Mountains is located at 257 N. Woodland Road in Lakeside.

Reach the reporter at

Barbara Bruce is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering arts and entertainment on the Mountain and the Pinetop-Lakeside town government.

(1) comment


Has nothing to do with Jesus Christ, just worshipping the planet which He created.

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