Biblical Stones of Fire:
What My Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather Preacher
Taught Me About Faith, Land and the Coal Industry
Fourth Presbyterian Church
Page Smith Room
126 East Chestnut Street
Some say our economic salvation lies in the power of clean coal. After all, we live in a land called the Saudi Arabia of coal. But as we map our energy future, what are the human and environmental costs? And as people of faith, are we willing to ignore them for a promise of energy security?
Join award winning journalist and cultural historian Jeff Biggers as he presents a personal portrait tracing the legacy of coal in Illinois. Beginning with the displacement of Native Americans, exploring the hidden story of legally sanctioned slavery and recounting the devastation of strip mining in southern Illinois, Jeff links stories of the past with the present day tragedies of industrial mining and the fallacy of clean coal.
Jeff’s award-winning stories have appeared on NPR, PRI, CNN, Salon.com, the Washington Post, and in scores of travel, literary and music magazines, and national and foreign newspapers, and various anthologies. In the 1980’s he served as a personal aide to Rev. William Sloane Coffin of Riverside Church in New York. His new book, Reckoning at Eagle Creek examines the loss of his family’s 200-year-old homestead to strip mining, and the historical parallel impact of coal mining on communities and their environment.
Lan and Pam Richart, co-directors of the Chicago-based Eco-Justice Collaborative and sponsors of this event, will be on hand to share news about local efforts to bring a clean energy future to Chicago and how you and your congregation can be a part of this initiative. Get details on two exciting educational delegations to see the effects of longwall mining in southern Illinois and mountaintop removal mining in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia.
A continental breakfast will be served.
Director of Mission