Register now for webinar, “Caring for climate: Beyond denial and despair”
By Mennonite Church USA staff
(Mennonite Church USA) — Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) is encouraging people and congregations to focus on climate justice by highlighting prayers, resources and ways to get involved in February and March. This is part of MC USA’s “Learn, Pray, Join” initiative in partnership with Mennonite Creation Care Network (MCCN) and the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions (CSCS).
“When we look at what’s happening in the United States and around the globe, it’s hard to deny the impact on God’s creation,” said Sue Park-Hur, MC USA’s denomination minister for transformative peacemaking. “We need to address this in community and find hope. Church is a great place to start!”
Park-Hur said that a focus on climate justice is not new for the church, and this initiative promotes a faithful way to live out this calling in 2020. Adopted in 2013, the Creation Care Resolution for Mennonite Church USA reads, “Be it resolved that members of Mennonite Church USA commit to growing in their dedication to care for God’s creation as an essential part of the good news of Jesus Christ.”
“Now is a time when all of us need to root ourselves deeply in God’s love for all creation, to follow Jesus’ way and to share it with a world that so desperately needs it,” said Jennifer Schrock, communications manager for MCCN. “I am excited to see climate justice reaching the broad range of MC USA supporters, not just those with a special interest in the environment.”
As part of the “Learn” portion of its initiative, MC USA will provide a free webinar on “Caring for climate: Beyond denial and despair” on February 27 at 7:30-9:00 p.m. ET. Led by Doug Kaufman, director of pastoral ecology at CSCS and pastor of Benton Mennonite Church, the panel discussion will explore ways that congregational ministries can help people navigate the myriad emotions they experience related to climate and how they can move from inaction to hopeful engagement – and get others involved too.
“We need to be actively talking about climate change in our congregations and to pray for the motivation to take action and the wisdom to guide our next steps,” said Kaufman.
Additional panelists are:
Christy Miller Hesed, an environmental anthropologist and conservation biologist whose work focuses on engaging underrepresented communities in climate change adaptation planning.
Ken Pitts, an environmental science school outreach specialist for Oregon Metro.
Sibonokuhle Ncube, who brings almost 20 years’ experience in various development contexts through her work in Zimbabwe in Southern Africa, including climate change management and finance and disaster preparedness.
To register for the webinar, visit http://mennoniteusa.org/climatejustice/webinar/.
The “Learn, Pray, Join” initiative also will provide additional opportunities to learn about creation care and climate justice, including podcasts and resources for adult Sunday school and small group study. In addition, MC USA will publish news stories and blogs from people across the church focusing on how they have engaged with climate justice during the two-month initiative.
MC USA invites individuals and congregations to intentionally pray for God’s creation and climate justice.
“Learn Pray Join” will provide resources for individual and congregational prayer, worship ideas and sermon topics.
The “Learn, Pray, Join” initiative on climate justice will provide resources to encourage individuals and congregations to take action, from MCCN’s Greener Congregation Score Sheet to information on upcoming events, advocacy and support opportunities, renewable energy grants, pastoral retreats and more.
“We need to recognize climate justice as spiritual discipleship,” said Park-Hur.
“It’s about changing the context of ‘living simply’ by asking ourselves: How do we live simply when everything around us is so complicated, toxic and disposable? How do we look at the environment in all settings? How do we learn from diversity of community? How do we impact structural policies? How can we work with other organizations to make a bigger impact?” she said.
Resources for the “Learn, Pray, Join” on climate justice initiative will be available at http://mennoniteusa.org/climatejustice/.
About MC USA’s “Learn, Pray, Join” initiatives
MC USA’s “Learn, Pray, Join” initiatives seek to create opportunities across the church for deepening understanding around a common topic and coming together in prayer and support. Upcoming “Learn, Pray, Join” initiatives in 2020 plan to focus on immigration and gun violence.
About the “Learn, Pray, Join” for climate justice partners
Mennonite Church USA is the largest Mennonite denomination in the United States with 17 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
The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions, Harrisonburg, Virginia, is a collaborative initiative of Eastern Mennonite University, Goshen College and Mennonite Central Committee to lead Anabaptist efforts to respond to the challenges of climate change. www.sustainableclimatesolutions.org
Mennonite Creation Care Network, Wolf Lake, Indiana, is a Christian organization affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA and the Mennonite Church Canada. Its primary focus is the Mennonite community, but anyone who wishes to be part of a faith-based network of people engaged in caring for creation is welcome to join. https://mennocreationcare.org/