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.
The 2018 Creation Care Council is pictured above. Back row, left to right: Luke Gascho, Jennifer Schrock, Joanne Moyer, Dave Hockman-Wert, Lillie Koerner Eisenbeis, Lawrence Jennings, Marlisa Yoder-Bontrager, Haroldo Nunes, Jim Smith.
Meet the Current Council Members
Abbotsford, BC. He has joined the MCCN Creation Care Council as a Canadian representative. Mike works as an environmental scientist cleaning up contaminated sites with Levelton Consultants, a firm committed to providing “efficient solutions for ever-changing environmental issues…and observing the principles of sustainable development.” His background is in earth and ocean sciences. Mike is a member of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford and serves on the Mennonite Church British Columbia’s Service, Peace and Justice Committee. He enjoys snorkeling and playing bass guitar.
Lillie Koerner Eisenbeis
Freeman, South Dakota. Lillie Koerner Eisenbeis is a recent 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. Last summer, Lillie and Andre worked on farms in France through the Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms program. They are also 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. He is executive director of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College and holds degrees in biology, Christian school administration and educational leadership. 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 also 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. He is a geographic information systems (GIS) analyst with the U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center. 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.
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. 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 was drawn to the Mennonite Church largely because of the Anabaptist/Mennonite emphasis on living out the radical teachings of Jesus. He is also a member of the Board of Reference for the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions.
Edmonton, AB. She 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.
Pastor Haroldo Nunes
Wooster, OH. Pastor Haroldo Nunes is an ordained Mennonite pastor who works with a Hispanic ministry at Salem Mennonite Church and with Open Arms Hispanic Ministries, a nonprofit that meets the physical and spiritual needs of immigrants. Both are in Wooster, Ohio. He also serves on the board of Mennonite Central Committee Great Lakes. Haroldo is originally from Brazil. He and his wife, Esmirna, have two daughters and a son: Gabriela, Paulo and Laura.
Haroldo says: “The Hispanic activities at Salem Mennonite Church are drawing a good group of people to worship and fellowship and giving people new options. God is changing their hearts and inviting them to a new life full of joy and happiness in Christ Jesus. Our family can feel God’s hand in our lives and ministry.”
Jennifer Halteman Schrock
Goshen, IN. She coordinates public programs and teaches in the Sustainability Semester in Residence at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College. She is active in Christian education and worship planning at Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship and has also used her M.Div. as a curriculum writer. Just Eating: Practicing Your Faith at the Table is one of her publications. Jennifer enjoys gardening with native plants and has many friends in the plant kingdom. She loves outdoor travel and learning about ecology and natural history. Her workday includes overseeing the Mennonite Creation Care web site.
Goshen, IN. He is a church relations representative and a group/member support specialist for Everence, and board of directors, president for ADNet (Anabaptist Disabilities Network). He has also served as a pastor and held denominational and conference leadership roles. Jim has a personal interest in creation care and has taught biblical and theological creation care perspectives to congregations. How can congregations implement creation care theology in practical ways? What forms of ministry might grow out of a focus on creation care? These are questions that intrigue Jim.