Churches examine sea, economy links

Posted April 27, 2010, at 11:19 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:45 a.m.

Fishes and Loaves, a four-week program to study ocean changes and fishing as a nexus of environmental and economic justice issues, will begin at 6:30 p.m. today at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church, 41 Mount Desert St..

Using films and presentations by community leaders, participants will consider human beings’ relationship with the sea and discuss action that could be taken to make it life-enhancing.

Fishes and Loaves is a pilot project of the Maine Council of Churches and one of three being held this spring in Maine churches. The other churches are in Topsham and Kennebunk.

If successful in those locations, it could be offered throughout the state, according to information on the council’s website.

A film titled “A Sea Change,” which relates the journey of retired history teacher Sven Huseby, will be the topic of the first two sessions. Huseby traveled around the world listening to oceanographers, marine biologists, fishermen, artists and climatologists about the impact of a changing ocean chemistry on fish and how it threatens the marine food web.

The council describes Fishes and Loaves as a program that will “look at our relationship with the sea, reflect on a biblical image of wholeness, and see how changing ocean chemistry affects our lives and community.”

On May 12, the film “Fishing Voices: Insight into the Future,” produced by the Penobscot East Resource Center, will be shown. It focuses on Deer Isle fishermen, their families and their communities, and examines local fishing practices past and future as Maine fishermen work with scientists and marine regulators to implement community-based fishing management for sustainable fisheries.

The final week of the program will showcase a Rockland congregation’s covenantal relationship with a farm family and fishing community as part of its food ministry for environmental and economic justice.

The Maine Council of Churches has made a film outlining how and why members of the First Universalist Church of Rockland bought shares in a local farm and fisherman’s cooperative.

“We will reflect on how food is distributed locally and how our faith community might play a role in creating a more just local foods system,” St. Saviour’s said in a news release.

Sessions will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, through May 19. The program will conclude with a lobster roll dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 21. Cost of the dinner will be $10 a person.

Fishes and Loaves is funded through a grant from the Presbyterian Hunger Program.

For information call, 288-4215 or visit http://ellsworthme.org/ssaviour.

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