March 2021—The Lehigh Valley is saddened by the recent passing of environmentalist, role model, and Alliance co-founder Joris Rosse.
Joris was an accomplished woodworker, potter, prospector, healer, organizer, and spiritual mentor. His loss is felt by the progressive, environmental, and spiritual community that surrounded him for decades. During the 1990’s he coordinated several large Earth Day celebrations and created a newspaper called the Grassroots Journal.
In the late 1970s he acquired an old bank barn in Bethlehem and with his own hands began to transform it into a beautiful space. Joris held a vision for all beings living in harmony, and when joined by Joanne Jones, they created the Morning Star Center for Human Development and Spiritual Awakening. They opened heart and home to welcome all who shared the same openness and passion for the earth and its life forms. It became a holistic center that hosted numerous Councils of All Beings, ceremonies with labyrinths and a Medicine Wheel, discussions of paradigm shifts, yoga classes, and other healing events. Joris continued to improve the property over the years.
In 2003, activists gathered at Morning Star and decided to start the Alliance for Sustainable Communities, and the principles and foundations for the Alliance were hammered out there. Joris was one of the key architects and a constant reminder to keep our focus on the big picture.
Joris continues to influence us through the work he left behind and his contributions to our thinking and awareness, and he lives on through the acts of so many who have been inspired by his life and his dedication and care for this earth.
We say goodbye to our friend and esteemed colleague, Joris Rosse. May he rest in peace.