The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions and Mennonite Creation Care Network have partnered to offer retreats for pastors concerned about climate change. Retreats are free to Anabaptist-related pastors; others pay $225. This includes meals and lodging. If you are interested in having a retreat in your area or have questions, contact Doug Kaufman.

The outdoor communion service concluding a pastoral retreat.

The outdoor communion service concluding a pastoral retreat.

Who Cares About Climate Change?

Pastoral Responses to Denial and Despair

Do you care about climate change? If you are like most people, you think that the warming of the planet is real and caused by human activity, but give it a low priority. Conversations about climate change are often laden with denial or despair. These emotions do not inspire action. What do pastors have to offer this vexing worldwide dilemma?

A pastor’s voice can play an important role in working toward climate solutions. As spiritual leaders, pastors are schooled in Christian ethics and speak from communities rooted in hope and joy.  They have a unique ability to guide others through the theological and emotional process of reconciling world views challenged by scientific discoveries. Join other pastors in wrestling with what you might have to offer conversations around climate change.

What to Expect

Pastors who attend a retreat can look forward to:

  • supportive peer exchanges 
  • reimagining creation texts with a focus on humans as members of a broader community of creation.
  • understanding the ethics of climate change with a focus on climate justice.
  • developing practices of care and hope as ways to respond to the denial, despair and distancing that climate change evokes.
  • listening for God’s guidance as we seek to become change agents together.
  • developing a plan of action for life-giving changes in household, congregational and societal life back home.

Next Retreats

Register Now

  • Monday, April 8, 5 p.m. to Wednesday, April 10, 1 p.m.
    Camp Mennoscah, Murdock, Kansas         
    download flier

  • Friday, May 3 to Saturday, May 4, 2019
    Camp Deerpark, Cuddebackville, New York

Retreat Leader

Doug Kaufman pastors at Benton Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind. and serves as the director of pastoral ecology for the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions and Mennonite Creation Care Network. Doug calls himself a river pastor, having baptized people in the Elkhart River for over 15 years and led a Hoosier Riverwatch group monitoring the health of the river. Doug has also been a conference minister with the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference. He is pursuing a Th.M. in theology and ecology at Toronto School of Theology and will guide the retreats.

Each retreat will also include input from one or more presenters who bring local insights.

Camp Mennoscah, Murdock, Kansas

Monday, April 8, 5 p.m. to Wednesday, April 10, 1 p.m., 2019    

Local Presenters

Dr. Christy Miller Hesed is an environmental anthropologist and conservation biologist working on climate change. She is the director of Engaging Faith Communities for Coastal Resilience, an applied research project that is working with rural church communities to address climate change on the Chesapeake Bay. Her doctoral research focused on three rural African American communities on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in order to understand environmental justice, vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience to sea-level rise. She is currently living in Hesston, Kans.

Rachel Myslivy is assistant director of the Climate and Energy Project, Hutchinson, Kans.—a nonprofit that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in America’s Heartland through both policy and practice. Rachel is energized by bringing diverse groups together to focus on common ground solutions that preserve natural resources and create community resilience. Rachel also has a master’s degree in Religious Studies. Her research focused on faith-based responses to  environmental crises, particularly as seen in the activism of Catholic sisters in Kansas.  

register now: April 8 to 10, 2019     Murdock, Kansas

Camp Deerpark, Cuddebackville, New York

Friday, May 3 to Saturday, May 4, 2019

Local Presenter

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. Since becoming a GreenFaith Fellow in 2013, his work has increasingly focused on faith-based environmental advocacy. He is also a member of the Board of Reference for the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions and serves on the Creation Care Council of Mennonite Creation Care Network.