Conference Leadership



Featured Speaker

The Rev. Fletcher Harper

The Rev. Fletcher Harper is an Episcopal priest and, since 2002, GreenFaith’s Executive Director.  Under his leadership, GreenFaith has developed innovative programs linking religious belief and practice to the environment. An award-winning spiritual writer and nationally-recognized preacher on the environment, he has led multi-faith organizing for the 2014 and 2017 Peoples Climate Marches, played a lead role in the faith-based fossil fuel divestment movement, and coordinated the development of GreenFaith’s international work. He is author of GreenFaith – Mobilizing God’s People to Save the Earth.


Climate Action Panelists

Councilwoman Lindsey Constance, City of Shawnee

Lindsey Constance is co-founder of the Metro KC Climate Action Coalition.  She was elected to the Shawnee City Council in 2017.  She is a member of the National League of Cities Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee, and the Council on Youth, Families and Education.  A teacher in the Shawnee Mission School District, she is a leader in science and engineering instruction, mentorship, and professional development.  She is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching and was selected as a National Science Foundation Mentor for K-State Engineering students.


Dorothy Bennett

As Executive Director of the Climate + Energy Project, Dorothy Barnett is leading the effort to address the Heartland’s energy future.  Barnett has coordinated winning campaigns to protect the Kansas Renewable Portfolio Standard allowing the wind industry to grow to 40% of the state’s power generation in just a decade. Mrs. Barnett appeared on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, provides expert testimony at regulatory proceedings and has been published in the Electricity Journal. Barnett received the Advocacy Leadership Award from the U.S. Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment (C3E) program, run by the U.S. Department of Energy and the MIT Energy Initiative.


Chad Cooper

Rev. Chad Cooper is the Executive Director of Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition, an interfaith environmental organization based in Kansas City and is a Senior Fellow of GreenFaith. He also serves as a Chaplain in the United States Air Force. While he has been concerned for the natural world since his childhood, he has actively worked professionally to care for creation since 2013.


Josh Thede

Josh Thede is a passionate volunteer for several environmental organizations. He co-founded Drawdown of the Heartland and helps facilitate presentations about Project Drawdown.  He is the current Chair of the Sustainability Commission for the City of Mission, KS., which advises the City Council.  And he is a member of the Lutheran’s Restoring Creation Mission Table (ELCA Central States Synod).  Professionally, Josh is a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP BD+C) through the U.S. Green Building Council, and a WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP) through the International WELL Building Institute.  Josh utilizes these accreditations in his work for Henderson Engineers as an Acoustical Consultant, coordinating with architects and engineers to design buildings.


John Kurman and Rakmi Shaiza

Rakmi Shaiza was born in the State of Manipur in Northeast India. She came to the US in 2000 to study at Central and graduated in 2004. She has worked with immigrants and refugees in Kansas City, Kansas for more than 15 years and founded the grassroots project Stitching Change in 2014 to help empower refugee women from Burma and Nepal. Stitching Change is now a leading organization helping our community to repurpose, repair and and reuse textiles.

 John Kurmann has had an earnest desire to help save the world for 30 years and has been has been a community activist for more than 25 years. He is one of the leaders of 350KC, the local arm of the,
a global grassroots climate justice movement, and has previously been part of the Coordinating Committee of the KC Food Circle. He is employed by Bridging The Gap and works on recycling, composting, and litter abatement programs.


Climate Reality Presenter

Ruth Rosell

The Rev. Dr. Ruth Rosell is Director of the Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence.  She is also the Director of Contextualized Learning and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Counseling at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Shawnee, KS. She has received Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps training and given presentations on the climate crisis and on self-care for eco-anxiety.  For many years, she served as an Associate Pastor at Prairie Baptist Church in Prairie Village, KS.  Previous experience has included small church ministry, refugee resettlement, pastoral counseling, and psychiatric nursing.


Conference Planning Team:

Ruth Rosell, Robin Sandbothe, Chad Cooper, Elizabeth Buckner, Sheryl Stewart, Chris Miller


For Resources for Action on the Climate Crisis:

Click on the link below:

Resources for Action on the Climate Crisis



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