“We are within nature. We are part of nature. … We’re not divided from nature. We cannot be dismissive of nature because Christ himself chose to be of nature.”

Reverend Robert “Bud” Grant, professor of environmental theology at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, has dedicated his life to studying and preaching about issues at the intersection of faith and the natural world.

The video above — by KC McGinnis — captures Grant on his farm and at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Blue Grass, Iowa, where he is a sacramental minister.

Interspersed with meditative footage of life on the Great Plains, Grant reflects on the impact farming has on nature. “Farmers are closer to the land. … They feel a deep responsibility I think for what they’re doing.” Blaming farmers for environmental impacts is “just a bit disingenuous of the rest of us. Our consumptive habits are driving the markets. Their sins are ours.”

Toward the end of the video, Grant doesn’t mince words when he says, “The hope that we believe in is the hope of the resurrection, not avoiding the crucifixion. And the environmental crisis and its impact on the Earth and on future generations … is a crucifixion. … So we have to take up that cross.”

Regardless of your beliefs, the overarching message will likely resonate.

KC McGinnis is a photographer and videographer based in the Upper Midwest focusing on rural and religious issues as well as general assignment projects. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone and other media outlets have published his work. View Ensia homepage