Front Porch Blog

Update from Christians for the Mountains

Allen Johnson and Granny D

Dear Supporters of Christians For The Mountains,

Although it’s been a while since the last update, lots has been going on…

The Mountain Mourning Collection DVD has just been re-mastered with brilliant color photos on the DVD and inserts. Our producer received just a few days ago a 1000 copy order, so please help us move them out. This DVD is an excellent tool for inspiring audiences to action! Order several for passing out as gifts. Hold a house party or show at a church class or gathering. Our website, has plenty of info.

We are continuing to receive generous contributions for this work (thanks to those of you helping with this!), which means we are starting to get this DVD out to more folks including press leads and local Appalachian people and national leaders. Please refer leads you feel could make a difference and we will try to get a DVD into their hands. Contact our producer BJ Gudmundsson {encode=”” title=””} or to me {encode=”” title=””}, or make the contact yourself.

Larry Gibson is using film features in some of their presentations. Dave Cooper, who contributed the framework for the first feature, Mountain Mourning, is also promoting the film in his extensive travels. Their dedication along with those of so many of the others of you are continuing to inspire us all!

Finally, this year 2006 the issue of mountaintop removal is starting to get some national attention as the moral issue that it is. Still, most people in our country and even in our Appalachian region have too little awareness if any of the magnitude of coal industry abuse to the land and people.

A number of supporters have asked what they can do to help. Here are some possible jobs….

(1) Very important of course is personal responsibility in energy conservation. Other avenues of helpfulness include public policy advocacy, showing the DVD at gatherings and passing it on to others, and supporting other groups that advocate for the mountains and their communities.

(2) Is there anyone talented or motivated to come up with some slogans for bumper stickers, T-Shirts, buttons, and the like? And getting them made up? And running an online store or other means to distribute them. Let’s get our message out. “The Earth is the Lord’s!” … For beauty and sustainable life, and not for exploitation and devastation!

(3) Book reviews, music, Bible reflections, articles, educational and teaching materials, photos of scenery (both good and bad), and photos of people in advocacy, and so forth are needed toward expanding the webpage. Maybe someone(s) would step up to build packets of printed materials to send out? Just identify yourselves if any of this is a fit for you.

(4) We would like to put on an event soon to officially premier “The Mountain Mourning Collection.” Perhaps at a church or theater, and along with showing the films have some live gospel music and some short inspiring talks. Invite the press, your friends, and make it a gala. Ok, is there someone(s)who would step up to spearhead organizing such an event? And it could be more than one premier, too, say in Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, or elsewhere. This could also serve as a weekend conference if we wanted to extend it another day adding in some field trips, organizational planning, and further networking.

(5) Since we are a network, help us to integrate with other faith-based organizations as well as eco-justice entities advocating for the mountains and their communities. And encourage others to actively get involved with one or several of the many groups working for a better world.

(6) We really want to invite religious leaders to see mountaintop removal sites themselves. We encourage people to organize a delegation? Southwings can do flyovers. Larry Gibson invites people to Kayford Mountain. Others of you can share personal stories. First hand eye-witness experience can be powerful.

(7) Writing articles for your church or denominational newsletters, letters to your newspaper editors, radio interviews, advocacy to your elected government officials as well as church leadership, are some of the many ways you can personally influence others. Let us know how the others in our network can support you in your own local endeavors!

On the drawing board will be further filmmaking involving sludge injection along with further personal stories similar to Larry’s on the Mountain Mourning Collection. We also will continue exploring the spiritual values of wilderness, and are co-sponsoring federal wilderness expansion on the Monongahela National Forest. Gudmundsson is doing a film for the Wilderness Coalition. We also are likely to support the initiative of Oceana in eliminating the airborne mercury pollution of a major Appalachian chlorine producing plant and should have news on that soon.

Very importantly, all of us need to be sharing about the importance of integrating our religious faith with our responsibility for God’s creation toward healthy, sustainable communities for generations to come. Pray for God to lead, empower, and uphold us to this holy and worthy task.

Blessings and Peace to all of you, and thanks for your support and inspiration!

–Allen Johnson

Christians For The Mountains
Rt. 1 Box 119-B
Dunmore, West Virginia 24934
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