The Gospel Call to Sustainability: A Model for Living an Integrated Life

How are we to live as people of faith in a world devastated by ongoing ecological peril and endless war?

Jesus’ nonviolent love teaches us how to read the signs of the times as ones of urgency as we attempt to live in harmony with our sacred planet and its inhabitants, human and non-human. For the past 34 years, Suzanne Belote Shanley and Brayton Shanley have been a attempting to live with others an integrated life as co-founders of The Agape Community.  They will present a community model of sustainability on 34 acres of land in Central MA which includes practicing contemplation, prayer, education in nonviolence and maintaining green buildings, constructed from the ground up, which include solar energy, compost toilet and a community organic garden among other ecological features.

About the Speakers

Suzanne Belote Shanley completed her MA in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a post-Masters Degree (MPhil) in English at Simmons College in Boston MA, where she taught in the late 70’s for three years. Suzanne has taught college courses at Worcester State, Boston College, Anna Maria College in Worcester, as well as courses at the Paulist Center in Boston, workshops and seminars at colleges throughout New England and programs in LeMoyne University, University of Notre Dame, Jesuit School of Theology (Berkeley, CA),&  St. Thomas University. She has studied the topic of women and war for over 35 years, bringing to life biographies of pacifists in the women’s movement past and present, while inspiring young people to claim their nonviolent heritage.

Brayton Shanley earned his BA from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire and an MA in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College. He has taught college courses on the Philosophy of Nonviolence at Worcester State and as an adjunct professor at Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA and has been leading workshops, retreats and seminars on Prophecy and Peace, Gospel Nonviolence and Sustainability, simplicity and Resistance since the early 80′s. His recently published book, The Many Sides of Peace: Christian Nonviolence, the Contemplative Life, and Sustainable Living, Resource Publications (Wipf and Stock, 2013), is used nationally by professors, students, & religious orders.