The A Rocha Blog

Tom Rowley has been involved with A Rocha USA from its beginnings in 2000 − first as a board member, now as executive director. Prior to coming on staff with A Rocha, Tom had a varied career including stints as a columnist and freelance writer, fellow with the Rural Policy Research Institute, project manager for the TVA Rural Studies Program at the University of Kentucky, editor at Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy, and acting deputy director and social science analyst with the Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Tom, Maria and their sons Jake and Michael currently live in central Oregon where they revel in learning about and playing in the forests, mountains, rivers and deserts of the region.

16th October 2012 | Tom Rowley | 5 comments

Hopeful action

At a recent conference in the USA, author and Professor Kathleen Dean Moore invited the audience to “give up hope” for the environment. At one end of the hope extreme, she said, is “hopelessness”: nothing we do will matter; at the other end is “uninformed hope”: everything will turn out all right. I agree that neither hopelessness nor uninformed hope is of any value. I stop short, however, of discarding hope.

Categories: Reflections
Tags: action hope
18th September 2012 | Peter Harris | 11 comments

Smelling a Stradivarius (or how to value 100 endangered species)

“The ‘what can nature do for us’ approach has made it increasingly difficult for conservationists to protect the most threatened species on the planet. We have an important moral and ethical decision to make: Do these species have a right to survive or do we have a right to drive them to extinction?”

Categories: Reflections
31st August 2012 | Dave Bookless | 20 comments

Songs and hymns I hate to sing

When I preach for A Rocha, the hymn ‘How great Thou art’ is often chosen. It’s often voted amongst all-time favourites, and verse two makes it an obvious choice for the Christian conservationist. Yet, whilst I love the tune and many of the lyrics, my heart sinks every time I hear the last verse…

Categories: Reflections
Tags: music theology
15th August 2012 | Leah Kostamo | 2 comments

Sabbath simplicity

My family keeps the Sabbath. Not religiously—as in, we don’t always do religious things. But we are pretty religious about “keeping” it. Our only hard and fast rule is no shopping. The point is, we say “no” to certain things. We step out of our normal rhythms of work and commerce and step into a new way of being.

Categories: Reflections
21st March 2012 | Miranda Harris | 4 comments

Yours virtually

I have just returned from Provence and four days of meetings with the A Rocha International Team. So good to be face to face again – or should I say screen to screen?

Categories: Reflections
Tags: busyness place
20th February 2012 | Peter Harris | 4 comments

Conservation for life

I’m just back from Hong Kong. It was an encouraging trip for all our small team from the region, but I was also able to fulfil a long-held dream when I finally got to visit Mai Po. This important wetland is one of the very few remaining on the south China coast, and the numbers of shorebirds are increasing because other places where birds can feed and roost undisturbed are disappearing so fast.

Categories: Reflections