The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions held its first consultation March 24 to 25 at Goshen College, Goshen, Ind. The occasion brought together about 25 representatives from Mennonite schools and agencies to discuss the mission of the new organization and brainstorm future projects. Sharon Kniss of the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution facilitated the process.
Scott Barge, a researcher at Eastern Mennonite University, presented findings from a nationwide survey the center had taken regarding attitudes toward creation care and climate change. According to the 7,357 responses they received, 61% of people in the Mennonite Church USA are alarmed or concerned about climate change, 14% are doubtful or dismissive and the rest fall in the middle. The survey used categories from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication entitled, Global Warming’s Six Americas.
The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions was launched last August with a donation from Ray Martin. Eastern Mennonite University is leading the initiative; Goshen College and Mennonite Central Committee are also partners. Representatives from Mennonite Creation Care Network, Anabaptist Biblical Seminary, Everence and Mennonite Mission Network also attended the consultation.
In the photo, Glenn Gilbert, sustainability coordinator for Goshen College, leads a tour of green features at Goshen College for attendees. Also pictured are Ron Byler of Mennonite Central Committee U.S.; Harrison Horst, a student at Eastern Mennonite University; Janeen Bertsche Johnson of Anabaptist Biblical Seminary; Vurayayi Pugeni of Mennonite Central Committee Canada and Deirdre Longacher Smeltzer of Eastern Mennonite University.