The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions (CSCS) and Mennonite Creation Care Network (MCCN) have partnered to offer retreats for pastors willing to confront climate change. Retreat locations are at Mennonite camps throughout the U.S. and Canada. Retreats are free to Anabaptist pastors, including meals and lodging. Others pay $225. Register here.
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. Do you think God cares about climate change? God’s ongoing care for creation seen in Job 38-41, Psalm 104 and Genesis 1-2 indicates that all creatures are valuable to God.
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.
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 a presenter who is in touch with the ecology of the locale.
Camp Deerpark, Cuddebackville, N.Y.
Date: Friday, May 3 to Saturday, May 4, 2019
Local Presenter: Lawrence Jennings
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.