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Settings We Shape
Mennonite Creation Care Network organizes its work based on the communities Mennonites belong to and work within. An emphasis on community is a distinctive of the Anabaptist/Mennonite tradition. Mennonites typically value strong ties to a local body of believers. They view faith as a journey undertaken together, not merely as a personal spiritual quest.
In past years, whether or not you joined the army, bought a car or wore mini-skirts were considered matters of group discernment, not just individual decisions. While this attention to “right behavior” has been a mixed blessing, accountability to other believers can still function as a positive part of our heritage.
The problems we face are too complex and too pervasive to be solved by random acts of greenness on the part of a few environmentally friendly individuals. We must think collectively and bring our congregations, our workplaces and the other institutions we are a part of along with us.
About Our Audiences
- Congregations: Mennonite Church USA includes 939 congregations in 44 states. Mennonite Church Canada includes 225 congregations. Congregations are MCCN's current focal point.
MCCN Vision: Congregations practice sustainability and environmental stewardship. Understanding creation care is valued and taught in all facets of congregational life. Meetinghouses designed with green and sustainable architectural principles. Each congregation has a creation care liaison to MCCN.
- Households: Nearly 140,000 people in roughly 56,000 households belong to either the Mennonite Church Canada or the Mennonite Church USA. In the U.S. at least, households account for 38% of national carbon emissions through their direct actions1, so even a unit as small as a household is significant.
MCCN Vision: Individuals and households make healthy and sustainable environmental choices because of commitments to holistic creation care. Decisions are based on an understanding of environmental impacts in the areas of food systems, transportation, energy consumption, chemical selections, and consumerism.
- Schools: Nine Mennonite colleges, two seminaries and at least 47 schools offering education between preschool and grade 12 are affiliated with either MC USA or MC Canada. For more information, see the web sites of the Mennonite Education Agency and the Canadian Association of Mennonite Schools.
MCCN Vision: All levels of education embrace creation care as a central theme impacting all disciplines. Students of all ages are guided in reconnecting to the natural world. Youth are instructed and counseled in value, lifestyle, and career choices that demonstrate stewardship of the earth. Schools practice sustainable building design and transportation patterns.
- Agencies: Mennonite agencies include conference offices, church-wide mission and service agencies, organizations working in areas such as publishing and health care and constituency groups such as Mennonite Women or the African-American Mennonite Association. For more information on Mennonite agencies, see the web sites of Mennonite Church USA or Mennonite Church Canada.
MCCN Vision: Advocates for creation care are prominent within each church-wide organization. The Mennonite Church’s commitment to creation care builds a sense of trust in all members. Care is given in energy and resources consumed in all aspects of church-wide meetings.
- Workplaces & Communities: Needless to say, Mennonites are involved in the broader community beyond their own institutions. They are at work in shops and in watersheds, in community greening efforts and corporations.
MCCN Vision: Care of creation and regenerative acts are practiced in all workplaces, whether in rural, suburban or city locations. The witness of this careful, loving stewardship encourages community members to honor the Creator.
1 Gardner and Stern, “The Short List: The Most Effective Actions Households Can Take to Curb Climate Change,” Environment Magazine, December 15, 2009.