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Auburn conference to discuss water resources

Interfaith group’s focus is conservation, stewardship
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal Staff Writer
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Everybody, whether secular or spiritual, needs water. A group of local church leaders feels the state’s water is an important enough subject to make it the focal point of the Auburn Interfaith Stewardship Conference. The conference, in its second year, begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1279 High St. “Climate Change and California Water” is the focus, with John Andrew, executive manager of climate change for the California Department of Water Resources, as keynote speaker. “We need to learn to conserve the lights and the heating and the water we use,” said Jeanene O’Brien of the First Congregational Church of Auburn. “It’s also a matter of recognizing the Earth is a gift from God. It’s kind of a gift for us to have this Earth and we need to take care of it.” Dan and Karen Tajbl are coordinating this year’s conference. Dan Tajbl said the Auburn Interfaith Earth Stewardship Council hopes to bring to the general public what many local congregations are working on. “Some churches in the area have Earth stewardship-type programs and they’re trying to mobilize their members to change their lifestyles,” he said. “How can we get timely information to the community, whether religious or secular, on serious climate issues? This year we thought, we’ve been two years into a drought and it looks like there’s a climate shift that’s going to warm our climate. It’s important for people to understand what’s going on, what they can do about it and what others are doing about it.” O’Brien said Earth stewardship, both for churches and the community at large, is a way to encourage everyone to act locally while thinking globally. Other speakers at Thursday’s conference include Mindy McIntyre of the Planning and Conservation League; Chris Brown, executive director of the California Urban Water Conservation Council; Lloyd Carter, attorney, journalist and a director of California Water Impact Network; local water expert Otis Wollan; and Marion Gee of the Sierra Nevada Alliance. The fee for the conference is $15 for early registration by Wednesday, or $18 at the door. Homemade lunch, crafted by Bethlehem Lutheran Church members, is included in the price of admission. Download a pre-registration form at www.placernaturecenter.org. Call (530) 823-5015 for more information. The Journal’s Loryll Nicolaisen can be reached at lorylln@goldcountrymedia.com, or comment online at Auburnjournal.com.