Do you care about climate change? If you are like most people, you think that the warming of the planet is real and caused by human activity, but give it a low priority. Conversations about climate change are often laden with denial or despair. These emotions do not inspire action. What do pastors have to offer this vexing worldwide dilemma?
A pastor’s voice can play an important role in working toward climate solutions. As spiritual leaders, pastors are schooled in Christian ethics and speak from communities rooted in hope and joy. They have a unique ability to guide others through the theological and emotional process of reconciling world views challenged by scientific discoveries. Join other pastors in wrestling with what you might have to offer conversations around climate change.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Pastors who attend a retreat can look forward to:
- supportive peer exchanges
- reimagining creation texts with a focus on humans as members of a broader community of creation.
- understanding the ethics of climate change with a focus on climate justice.
- developing practices of care and hope as ways to respond to the denial, despair and distancing that climate change evokes.
- listening for God’s guidance as we seek to become change agents together.
- developing a plan of action for life-giving changes in household, congregational and societal life back home.
Retreat Leader: Doug Kaufman
Doug Kaufman pastors at Benton Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind. and serves as the director of pastoral ecology for the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions and Mennonite Creation Care Network. Doug calls himself a river pastor, having baptized people in the Elkhart River for over 15 years and led a Hoosier Riverwatch group monitoring the health of the river. Doug has also been a conference minister with the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference. He is pursuing a Th.M. in theology and ecology at Toronto School of Theology and will guide the retreats.
Local Presenter: Lawrence Jennings
Lawrence Jennings is a native New Yorker who has been involved in community/economic development in Harlem and the Bronx for more than three decades. Since becoming a GreenFaith Fellow in 2013, his work has increasingly focused on faith-based environmental advocacy. He is also a member of the Board of Reference for the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions and serves on the Creation Care Council of Mennonite Creation Care Network.
Local Presenter: Vonetta Storbakken
Vonetta and her husband, Jason, are the founders of Radical Living. This New York City ministry develops gardening initiatives for children and environmental justice programs for congregations.
This event is FREE to Anabaptist pastors. (Other pastors pay $225.)
Register online here: mennocreationcare.org/pastoral-retreats
Registration deadline is April 29.
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.