Provided by the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions, with reporting by MC USA
The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions – a collaborative initiative of Eastern Mennonite University, Goshen College and Mennonite Central Committee – is seeking participants for its cross-country Climate Ride across the United States to raise awareness of critical issues related to climate change.
“We are recruiting participants from the Mennonite universities, and a number of the participants will be from MC USA-affiliated universities and home churches,” said Joanna Friesen, who will be leading the ride. Friesen is a member of Deep Run Mennonite West Church, Perkasie, Pennsylvania, and a seminary student at Eastern Mennonite University.
“We are planning the ride to stop at Mennonite congregations across the country to engage in discussions of climate justice, creation-care and climate issues. This is an exciting opportunity for Anabaptist young people!” she added.
CSCS is looking for 15 core riders led by two experienced bikers in the Anabaptist community. Riders will travel nearly 4,000 miles across the country from mid-May through mid-July, beginning in Washington state and ending in Washington, DC. Along the route, riders will engage Anabaptist communities and others to cover climate change realities, such as racism, renewable energy, student activism and the role faith in this discussion. According to CSCS, the overarching goal is to start conversations within the broad Anabaptist community around climate change and to deepen already existing discussions.
“What better way to forward the conversation on climate change then to experience its bounty and beauty biking across this vast country we call home on earth,” said Brent Alderfer, CSCS supporter, founder/CEO of Community Energy and member of Blossom Hill Mennonite Church, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “I look forward to hearing the stories as the riders meet up with diverse communities on that route. May we gather wisdom from these stories.”
CSCS director Doug Graber Neufeld agrees, “We must face critical issues like climate change together as a community.”
“This ride uniquely brings together a group of passionate riders who will be engaging diverse groups to hear their stories about what climate change means to them,” he added. “The climate ride has clearly struck a chord already. CSCS is receiving enthusiastic responses from both potential riders and from those who want to follow along with the ride or support it in other ways.” Graber Neufeld is a member of Community Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Those interested in joining the CSCS Climate Ride should start planning now to apply before the December 1, 2020 deadline. Once CSCS processes the applications and selects the core riders, participants must begin months of training in earnest.
CSCS is seeking the support of businesses and individuals for the ride. To donate, visit the Support and Sponsor site.
Details of the bike ride can be found at https://sustainableclimatesolutions.org/climate-ride/. Anyone wishing to participate should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions started in 2016 with seed money from Ray Martin, and operates with its core partners: Mennonite Central Committee, Goshen College and Eastern Mennonite University. We envision Anabaptists fully engaged in actions which mitigate climate change, and Anabaptist perspectives influencing the larger climate conversation. We envision the church responding to climate change as a moral equivalent to peacebuilding.
About MC USA
Mennonite Church USA is the largest Mennonite denomination in the United States with 16 conferences, approximately 530 congregations and 62,000 members. An Anabaptist Christian denomination, MC USA is part of Mennonite World Conference, a global faith family that includes churches in 86 countries. It has offices in Elkhart, Indiana and Newton, Kansas. mennoniteUSA.org
Climate justice recognizes the importance of caring for all God’s creation together with caring for people who experience the most harm from climate change. Visit the the Learn, Pray, Join for Climate Justice web page, part of a collaborative partnership between MC USA , CSCS and Mennonite Creation Care Network.