MCCN Recent News

Forest Advocates Resist Illegal Logging in Cambodia

Cambodia's rate of deforestation ranks fifth in the world. An August 1 blog entitled "For the Love of Trees" describes how advocates of the Prey Lang Forest in the northern part of this country responded to illegal logging with singing, dancing and tree planting. The author is a Mennonite Central Committee worker who accompanied the group. Her photographs and story inspire hope and encourage self-reflection regarding consumption.

Mennonite Church Canada Receives Divestment Advice

A summary from Mennonite Church Canada's Climate Change Working Group was included in every attendee's packet at the denomination's annual assembly at Saskatoon, July 6 to 10, 2016. This research initiative was in response to a recommendation received from delegates at Assembly 2014, that MC Canada consider divestment from the fossil fuel industry.

MCCN Congregations Gain New Name

Mennonite Creation Care Network's Creation Care Council has decided to change the way we refer to our member churches. Green Patchwork Congregations is the new name for our 100 Shades of Green Congregations. The concept behind the original name, 100 Shades of Green, was one of unity amidst diversity. We wanted to communicate that there are many ways to work at caring for the earth. We hoped to be a home for those just beginning to think about creation care and those who had been at it for years.

The new name retains the idea of multiple shades of green without the unfortunate media associations that came up after we chose the shades of green language. Not only that; the thought of quilting makes many of us happy.

Canadian version of Every Creature Singing Now Available

 The Mennonite Church Canada has embraced MCCN's Every Creature Singing curriculum and made it their own. The Canadian study guide is available from the Common Word Bookstore and Resource Centre as a 9 megabyte .pdf. The two leaders' guides will be ready soon. Since the curriculum challenges congregations to study their local communities, many resources were changed to fit another country.

Deb Froese, director of news services for MCCanada, served as the editor. Joanne Moyer was the environmental consultant. She is an assistant professor of Environmental Studies and Geography at The King’s University in Edmonton, Alberta, and has served on MCCN's Creation Care Council for over a decade. Matt Veith handled graphic design and made this version beautiful.

Joanne Moyer introduced the new resource via a workshop entitled, Every Creature Singing: Introducing Watershed Discipleship which she offered to attendees at the Mennonite Church Canada's Assembly in July.

Huntington Mennonite Church Installs Charging Stations for Electric Cars

As far as we at MCCN know, Huntington Mennonite Church, Newport News, Va., is the first Mennonite congregation to install electric car charging stations. The charging stations are part of a net zero energy plan approved by the church's leadership council last fall. They hope that the plan will get them to net zero energy within ten years. One of the first steps was to replace the heating and air conditioning system with an electric heat pump that cut energy consumption by about 30%.

MCCN Leadership Passes to Schrock

from Luke Gascho, executive director of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College and outgoing leader of MCCN

For over a decade, I have provided the leadership for Mennonite Creation Care Network (MCCN). I was part of the initial group that envisioned a new organization back in 2004 and I have had the opportunity to work with our Creation Care Council and watch MCCN develop over the years. Now it is a pleasure to pass the leadership role on to Jennifer Schrock. The transition was official July 1, 2016.

Jennifer had already been managing most of the communication details for MCCN. She wrote and edited web stories, prepared our newsletters, offered workshops at conventions and spoken in congregational settings. Last March, she chaired our Creation Care Council meetings for the first time. She has a strong interest in nurturing congregational life in ways that also nurture the earth. To contact Jennifer, email or call 260-799-5869.

I will continue on MCCN’s Creation Care Council representing Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College. I look forward to seeing how MCCN may develop in the future

Friends of Woods and Wetlands Nurture Retirement Home Ecosystems

As stewards of their surroundings, Landis Homes Retirement Community in Lititz, Pa., has grown to cherish its natural resources. This community, which relates to a number of Mennonite groups, believes that its environmentally sensitive areas and rural, character-defining features must be conserved in order for its facilities and the broader community to flourish in the future.

Many residents at Landis Homes not only support these efforts, they bring it upon themselves to participate. Recently a resident group formed on campus called the "Friends of Woods and Wetlands." This group is an informal organization of residents who volunteer time, talent, expertise and effort on behalf of the flora and fauna associated with the Landis Homes campus.

Colombian Congregation Opposes Gold Mine

Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Ibagué, located in Tolima, Colombia, requests prayer regarding mining activities in their region. They are opposing an open pit gold mining operation that is awaiting approval. Secondly, they are hoping that a referendum enabling the citizens of their city to vote for or against large scale multinational mining activities will go forward. The mines threaten their community's water source and agriculture.