Most of us do care about climate change, but we’re busy with concerns that seem more pressing or we feel overwhelmed in the face of this complex problem. Denial and despair help us manage our feelings of guilt and helplessness. How does the Gospel of Jesus Christ move us toward hope and caring responses?
- Doug Kaufman pastors at Benton Mennonite Church, Benton, IN, and is the director of pastoral ecology for the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions and Mennonite Creation Care Network.
- Amy Huser is the sustainability and outdoor education director for Camp Friedenswald and holds a master’s degree in resilient and sustainable communities.
This event is FREE to Anabaptist pastors. (Other pastors pay $225.)
Register online here: mennocreationcare.org/retreat.
This event is co-supported by Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions (a partnership between Eastern Mennonite University, Goshen College, and Mennonite Central Committee) and Mennonite Creation Care Network.
Pastors to Engage with Climate Change [PRESS RELEASE]
The first of a series of retreats on climate change designed specifically for Mennonite pastors will kick off September 17 to 19 at Camp Friedenswald, Cassopolis, Mich. The gatherings are entitled, "Who Cares About Climate Change? Pastoral Responses to Denial and Despair."
The retreats are a project of the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions, Harrisonburg, Va., in collaboration with Mennonite Creation Care Network, Wolf Lake, Ind. Both organizations believe that pastors can play a key role in inspiring their communities to respond to this pressing issue.
Doug Kaufman, who is the director of pastoral ecology for the project, will lead the retreats. He is also a pastor at Benton Mennonite Church, Benton, Ind., and a Th.M. student in ecology and theology at the Toronto School of Theology.
“We have a whole toolkit of emotional responses such as denial, distancing and despair, that keep us from doing the right thing,” says Doug. “I would like pastors to have a toolkit of ways to bring truthfulness and hope to climate change."
Pastors attending the September climate change retreat reported a number of motivations:
"I'm interested in creation care as a justice issue, and in particular, how poor people are affected by environmental issues," Deron Bergstresser, Faith Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind., said.
"The notion that science and religion can complement one another rather than compete...makes this an interesting and relevant topic," observed Randall Miller, a transition pastor at Sunnyside Mennonite Church, Elkhart, Ind.
"I am excited about the opportunity to connect with other pastors who are sharing resources and energy on this!" said Carol Rose, pastor at Shalom Mennonite Church, Tucson, Ariz.
Two pastors hoped for fresh theological imagination in an area where they feel stymied. Tools for speaking with those who disagree with them about climate change were on several pastors' lists.
Planning is underway for retreats at additional locations, including Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp, New Hamburg, Ont., (November 19 to 21) and Camp Deerpark, Cuddebackville, N. Y. (winter 2019).
Learn more and register at mennocreationcare.org/pastoral-retreats.
Learn more about the Global South Voices on Climate Change.