The 2019 Creation Care Council is pictured above. Left to right: Marlene Kroeker, Lawrence Jennings, Jennifer Schrock, Phil Kniss, Lillie Koerner Eisenbeis, Dave Hockman-Wert, Joanne Moyer, Luke Gascho, Caleb Gingrich Regehr.
The Creation Care Council sets the direction for Mennonite Creation Care Network. It is composed of four U.S. representatives, two Canadian representatives and three ex officio members from MCCN’s sponsoring organizations, Merry Lea and Everence. The Creation Care Council meets once a year in person and several times electronically. Consult the Council Minutes page to read minutes from past meetings and annual reports.
Meet the Current Council Members
Lillie Koerner Eisenbeis
Freeman, SD. Lillie is a graduate of Dordt College, where she studied agriculture. She and her husband, Andre Eisenbeis, are interested in farming in the Freeman area in the future. Meanwhile, they are house parents for international students at Freeman Academy, a local middle and high school with an Anabaptist perspective.
The couple has explored sustainable food systems in a variety of ways, including with Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. They are involved in Rural Revival, a community renewal group that focuses on local food systems and generational transition issues involving farmland. Lillie has worked in a food coop, with a CSA and has raised pastured chickens.
Lillie is a member at Hutterthal Mennonite Church in Freeman.
Goshen, IN. Luke is the executive director of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College and the representative of this sponsoring organization on the council. Luke is grateful for the way three major interests of his life merged when he accepted his current position: educational leadership, care of the earth, and theology. “Working to help form Mennonite Creation Care Network is another way of engaging these three interests,” he says. Luke frequently works on sustainable building issues and was deeply involved in the design and construction of Merry Lea’s Rieth Village, which earned a platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. Luke enjoys reading and speaking about the connection between faith and stewardship of the earth. He envisions people from many backgrounds within the church making a commitment to caring for the earth in new and deeper ways. Luke is always looking for ways to learn about the earth and how it functions. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, planting trees, and photographing nature.
Corvallis, OR. Dave is a geographic information systems (GIS) analyst with the Aquatic and Riparian Effectiveness Monitoring Program of the U.S. Forest Service. Dave has earned an M.A. degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon, with an emphasis on the role of religion in motivating sustainable behavior. His research focused on the environmental attitudes and behaviors of Amish and Mennonite farmers in Belleville, Pennsylvania. In the past, Dave has worked with sustainable forestry in southern Oregon and watersheds in central Pennsylvania. Presently, the idea of responsible consumption energizes him. Dave challenges his ingrained Mennonite tendency toward frugality with the mantra, “Cheaper isn’t always better.” He’s learning to vote with his dollars, purchasing products and services that support the kind of world he wants to live in.
New York, NY Lawrence was drawn to the Mennonite Church largely because of the Anabaptist/Mennonite emphasis on living out the radical teachings of Jesus. He has been involved in community/economic development in Harlem and the Bronx for more than three decades. He has worked with Rev. Addie Banks and The Groundswell Group; the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition; and Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI). Since becoming a GreenFaith Fellow in 2013, his work has increasingly focused on faith-based environmental advocacy. Lawrence is also a member of the Board of Reference for the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions.
Phil Kniss serves as senior pastor at Park View Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, VA. since 1996. With the help of his leadership and that of committed lay leaders, his congregation installed solar panels, began a climate change reparations fund and follows a lawn care plan involving youth and a rotary mower. Phil says, “If we Christians had read Genesis and Jesus right, we would have been admired worldwide for our courageous and sacrificial love for our planet and cosmos. I’m trying to correct that.”
Goshen, IN. Marlene is a stewardship consultant at Everence working in the Michiana core market. She helps congregations and individuals discern where they are on their stewardship journey and where they’d like to go.
Marlene’s passion for the earth comes from her family of origin where she learned that resources were not to be wasted but to be used as needed and with care.
Marlene enjoys spending time ruminating. She has spent the last several years contemplating how our understanding of power and strength impacts how we do just about everything we do. Her hobbies include gardening, hiking, skating, skiing and storing up food items for the winter.
Edmonton, AB. Joanne is assistant professor of Environmental Studies and Geography at The King’s University, where she enjoys the opportunity to integrate faith into her teaching on environmental issues. Her recent research explored faith-based organizations engaged in environmental work in Canada, and her broader research interests centre on the relationships between humans and their socio-ecological environments, the factors that influence these relationships, and how these relationships can be modified and improved. Joanne has worked as an environmental consultant for various research and writing projects, including the Mennonite Central Committee’s 7 Days website, which was later published as Earth Trek: Celebrating and Sustaining God’s Creation. She also volunteered with Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba Peace Advisory Committee and Mennonite Church Canada’s Climate Change Working Group.
Caleb Gingrich Regehr
Caleb Gingrich Regehr, Kitchener, Ont., has spent most of his life in the Grand River Watershed in Ontario. His educational background is in systems design engineering and ecological economics. Caleb now works to build a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship by integrating faith, community, technology, and love for Creation through his employment with a variety of organizations. He enjoys biking in all weather, gardening and fixing his computer.
Jennifer Halteman Schrock
Goshen, IN. Jennifer is the leader/staff person for MCCN and is also the communication manager for Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College. Jennifer has used her M.Div. as a curriculum writer and authored Just Eating: Practicing Your Faith at the Table and Every Creature Singing: Embracing the Good News for Planet Earth. Jennifer loves learning about ecology and natural history and has many friends in the plant kingdom. She is a member of Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship.