Blair Nelsen: Finding the divine in the face of climate change

By Joseph Becker
Yale Divinity School
August 25, 2023

Earlier this year, Blair Nelsen ’19 M.A.R. made the crowded commute to midtown Manhattan for the first United Nations Water Conference in a generation. She joined representatives from across government, business, science, the environmental movement, and civil society organizations like hers, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace (CSJP). The objective: to make progress on the UN’s sustainable development goal of universal access to drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene by 2030.

Faith traditions have long recognized that “water is sacred and the source of life,” says Nelsen, who works out of an office just 25 miles south—as the gull flies—at the First Presbyterian Church in Rumson, N.J. In addition to being a representative to the UN, she is the executive director of Waterspirit, a leading center for ecology and spirituality, as well as a board member for the Investor Advocates for Social Justice.

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