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Creation Care News - 4 April 2017

posted Apr 17, 2017, 7:18 PM by Joseph Cook
April 4, 2017
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Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions Fosters Connections

The new Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions held its first consultation March 24 to 25 at Goshen College. See our website to find out what percentage of Mennonites are worried about climate change.

Above, Glenn Gilbert, sustainability coordinator for Goshen College, leads a tour of green features at Goshen College for attendees at the consultation. Also pictured are Ron Byler of Mennonite Central Committee U.S., Harrison Horst, a student at Eastern Mennonite University; Janeen Bertsche Johnson of Anabaptist Biblical Seminary; Vurayayi Pugeni of Mennonite Central Committee Canada and Deirdre Longacher Smeltzer of Eastern Mennonite University.

Lutherans Announce an Eco-Reformation

The year 2017 is a big one for Lutherans: it is the 500th anniversary of the year Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to a church door, sparking the Protestant Reformation. One group of teachers, pastors and lay people is calling for an Eco-Reformation of similar magnitude.
“Our church needs a New Reformation as radical and transformative as the first one in the sixteenth century,” declares an essay on the Lutherans Restoring Creation site. “We need to address the signal issue of our time (the restoration of Earth), as the sixteenth century reformation addressed their signal issue of that time (the salvation of the individual). We need to shift from being human-centered in our understanding of salvation to being Earth-centered in a way that seeks the well-being of all Earth Community.”  Read more
The 500th anniversary of the Mennonite Church follows in 2025. How might we build on this idea?

MCCN Member Congregations:
Prepare for the Annual Spring News Round-up

Congregational liaisons, watch for an email and form requesting information on what green things are going on at your church. Good reporting provides a nudge of accountability and helps others learn from you. This also helps us keep our online list current so that those seeking advice or partners can find them.

Visit Our New Website If You Haven't Yet

MCCN's new website passed the find-it test. Thanks to those of you who helped field test the site by finding things on it. The winners of our contest were:

Jeff Hochstetler of Berlin, Ohio...first form received
Ryan Goertzen of Goessel, Kansas...fastest under age 50
Omar Kheshgi of Glenview, Illinois...fastest over age 50

You too could win a bar of eco-friendly soap: the slowest category is still open. Go to our Find-it form and spend a leisurely afternoon reading anything on our site!

Remember to Join Our Facebook Group
Seen there recently: Ben Hartman, who is part of the Mennonite web of relationships in Goshen, Ind., made the Grist 50 list.  His book about sustainable farming was what attractedGrist's attention. See The Lean Farm.

Eco-Palms for Palm Sunday

One small, practical way congregations can remember both workers and Central American forests is by purchasing palms for Palm Sunday that have been harvested in a sustainable manner. Read more

In The Mennonite: 
Caring for God's Creation

See the latest issue of The Mennonite for a variety of articles on the theme of creation care. If you don't subscribe, they make it easy for you to make a donation and read the issue online. Heather Wolfe, the MCCN creation care liaison from Taftsville Chapel Mennonite Church, wrote about her church's journey. TM also included Jennifer Schrock's article entitled, Ten Types of People Who Care About CreationThe version linked here is slightly longer--but free. 

Pollinator Partnership

As you plan your garden this spring, please consider the bees, bats and other pollinator species that need your hospitality. Not sure what to plant? The Pollinator Partnership is a national nonprofit that has a pollinator guide for every ecosystem and a free Bee-Smart phone app for those moments of uncertainty at the plant nursery. Pollinator Partnership is not just for green purists. They have training modules for farmers and certified pesticide applicators too. See theirfeatured programs.

Living More with Less Today

This new blog on living more with less is maintained by David Jost of College Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind. It aims to connect, equip and inspire people who are trying to live simply. Read about young adults on bicycles, living off the land, with housemates, in a yurt.

"I try to surround myself with people and perspectives that seek thoughtful living, recognizing that discipline and accountability are essential pillars of living more sustainably," one author, Everett Brubaker, observes. 

Interfaith Power and Light: Cool Congregations Challenge
Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) announced the annual winners of its Cool Congregations Challenge last month. The recognition comes with a cash prize of $1000. IPL operates in 38 states in the U.S. to spur congregations to develop a religious response to global warming. TheirCool Congregations program offers a starter kit with steps under and over $25 and many examples of congregations on the move in this area. Check your state IPL affiliate for additional funding options.


Rooted and Grounded Conference
At Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
April 20 - 22, 2017

Cultivating shalom between human beings, the rest of creation, and God. Keynote speakers are Dr. Stanley Saunders, Sarah Augustine and Todd Wynward. The full schedule of workshops and immersion experiences is now available.  Register
    Creation in Travail and Creation Renewed
    A webinar on Thursday, April 20, 2:00-3:30 pm EDT

    Can't come to the Rooted and Grounded conference? You can catch this event with theologians Malinda Berry and Greg Boyd as a webinar. Register here if not already attending Rooted and Grounded. 

    Called to Peacemaking with All Creation:
    Living Faithfully in the Age of the Anthropocene
    May 15 to 17, 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta

    Randolph Haluza-DeLay is the speaker for this series sponsored by Mennonite Church Alberta. He is a social scientist at The King’s University in Edmonton, Alberta and a congregant at First Mennonite Church in Edmonton. See details.


    Rooted and Grounded Scribes

    If you are attending the Rooted and Grounded Conference at AMBS April 20 - 22, would you be willing to share notes, quotes or a write-up from an event you attended? It would be great to have reporting from multiple perspectives. Email

    MCCN Wants to Meet You at the MCUSA Convention

    If you are attending the Mennonite Church USA convention in Orlando the first week of July, please email to let us know. I (Jennifer Schrock) like to connect with our members when I have a chance and would love to have you stop by the Mennonite Creation Care Network booth when I'm there. 

    See the conventions page on our website to find out about creation care events at Orlando. We'll post more when MCUSA's final schedule is published. 

    Food Systems Administrator

    The Elkhart County Food Council (ECFC) is seeking a part-time volunteer administrator excited about developing a vibrant, local food system in Northern Indiana. This is a Mennonite Voluntary Service position that includes coordination, communication, research, marketing and connecting with stakeholders. Applicants must be able to work independently, have excellent writing and speaking skills and be familiar with food-related issues. Contact Phyllis Miller for more information.
    Copyright © 2017 Mennonite Creation Care Network, All rights reserved. 
    Joseph Cook,
    Apr 17, 2017, 7:18 PM