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.
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.
Two retreats are being planned for fall 2019 and two for spring 2020. Dates and locations are in process.
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.