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Creation Care News - October 2016

posted Nov 3, 2017, 4:01 PM by Joseph Cook
October 2017   
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Recycling Coordinator David Gerber, Eighth Street Mennonite Church, with Volunteer Helene Hoover of Benton Mennonite Church at the recycling headquarters for the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale.
Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale Recycles 48 Cubic Yards of Waste

As recently as 2009, all of the waste generated by the thousands of guests at the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale, Goshen, Ind., went into the trash except for a few aluminum cans. In September 2017, the sale kept a total of 48 cubic yards of waste out of the landfill. If those cubic yards were stacked end to end, they'd be almost as long as three semi trailers. Or you could fill about 250 bathtubs with that much waste. 

How did the sale accomplish this when the scale of waste created by a large event can seem so hopeless?Read more

Sense of Place:
Praise for the Sweetness of the Wet Garden

by Ruth Johnston, Twin Cities, Minneapolis

...[T]his was my chance at a real garden. I began planning in January: I would create three garden boxes, I would plant vegetables and flowers, I would make a space for my ten-year-old to plant, I would plant two blueberry bushes... read more

We have a Sense of Place column on the MCCN site for members to write about the places where they live. Read other authors and consider sharing your own place with our readers.


Write the Good Future

Do you have a story to tell that imagines the future as a good place? Through a foundation that funds its members’ projects, Salford Mennonite Church, Harleysville, Pa., is sponsoring a writing contest. Write the Good Future is the brainchild of Maribeth Benner, a member of this congregation. Maribeth says:  

“While there are many books, especially for teens and young adults that depict the future as dark and bleak, I am deeply passionate about wanting to give children, youth and adults ways of dreaming about a good and hopeful future.  As a pastor and reader of theology, it is out of my own faith in the steadfast faithfulness of our renewing God that I believe a hopeful future is possible.”
Write the Good Future challenges third graders through adults to submit short fiction by January 15, 2018.   See details.

church landscaping

Taftsville Chapel Mennonite Fellowship, Taftsville, Vt., held a workday in early October to create some native plantings around their church building. Principles from permaculture and edible forest gardening guided their planning. The garden will include edibles, native species and plants for pollinators. Large plantings were installed this fall; smaller species will be added next spring. 

The Taftsville crew used a sheet mulching technique to smother the lawn with cardboard before laying down compost and bark chips. Small children helped out by wetting the cardboard to help it decompose and by picking up apples from a damaged tree that was replaced. 

Invitation to Pastors:
Recently I created a pastors segment within our E-Newsletter list. If you received an email addressed to pastors in the last week, you are already included. If you did not receive this email, here's how to receive occasional content targeted for pastors (such as biblical/theological resources). Email mccn@goshen.eduwith ADD ME to Pastor List in the heading.

Creation Care Council Transitions

Mennonite Creation Care Network has an advisory council that meets once a year in person and as needed electronically. This year, we said goodbye to longtime member Greg Bowman and added Lillie Koerner Eisenbeis and Haraldo Nunes. See all council bios and pictures.

Greg BowmanGreg Bowman, Salem, Ohio, served on the council since its inception 12 years ago. He brought us wisdom, journalistic expertise and knowledge of sustainable agriculture and rural churches. Greg's previous experience with the Environmental Task Force that preceded MCCN provided continuity and direction for our fledgling organization. He also enlivened our vocabulary with many creative phrases.

Lillie Koerner Eisenbeis, Freeman, South Dakota, is a recent graduate of Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, where she studied agriculture.  She and her husband, Andre Eisenbeis, are interested in farming in the Freeman area in the future.  Meanwhile, they are exploring sustainable food systems in a variety of ways and serving as house parents for international students at Freeman Academy. Lillie is a member at Hutterthal Mennonite Church in Freeman.

Pastor Haroldo Nunes, Orrville, Ohio, works with the Hispanic ministry at Salem Mennonite Church and with Open Arms Hispanic Ministries, a nonprofit that meets the physical and spiritual needs of immigrants. Both are in Wooster, Ohio. He also serves on the board of Mennonite Central Committee Great Lakes. Haroldo is originally from Brazil. He and his wife, Esmirna, have two daughters and a son: Gabriela, Paulo and Laura.
See all council bios and pictures.


A post on MCCN's Facebook page about recycling peanut butter jars reminded me how helpful it is to know the little things. Here are five practical webpages to aid your green house-holding.

Do's and Don'ts of Recycling

Six Easy Ways to Keep Your Garden Tools in Great Shape

Ten Field Guides for the Serious Naturalist

How to Choose and Use Plastic Wisely

Office Energy Checklist