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 potter, woodworker, organizer, healer 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 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. In the mid 1990’s JoAnn Jones joined him and she brought with her the 501(c)(3) 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 is survived by his wife Suzie, and by his three adult children. Joris’s ashes were buried under one of his favorite trees on the property on March 20th, in a quiet ceremony. Friends are invited to visit and honor his life and spirit. The property will likely be sold in the next year or so. The question arises of how to keep Joris’s spirit alive at Morning Star, and beyond, in our local Movement for Sustainability. If you would like to participate in the discussion, contact Suzie at email@example.com. You can also go to her Facebook page to see a wonderful collection of photos spanning Joris’ life and work.
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.