June 2019
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Members of New Creation Fellowship Church, Newton, Kans., discovered that a cherished mulberry tree on their property needed to come down. Here's how they found a creative way to acknowledge the tree's passing and incorporate its trunk into the ongoing life of the church. Read more

Creation Care Council Transition
Founder Leaves Behind Solid Foundation

June 30 marks a major transition for Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College. Dr. Luke Gascho is retiring after 22 years as its executive director. This means he will also conclude his role as a sponsor representative on MCCN's Creation Care Council.

Luke is the primary founder of MCCN, and headed the organization until 2016. Luke led the strategic planning processes that shaped the character and goals of MCCN. He is the author of Creation Care: Keepers of the Earth (MMA's Living Stewardship Series, 2008). He also authored a 2013 resolution on creation care that passed at the Mennonite Church USA convention in Phoenix, Ariz.  Read more

Shared Practice: July - December 2019
Hold a Potluck of Sustainable Foods

MCCN encourages congregations to participate in two shared practices per year to help us all feel a part of something larger than our own efforts. Fill out the quick form on our shared practice page to let us know your congregation will join us.

Many churches regularly eat together. But do we use this time to inspire healthy food choices for both our bodies and the planet? Invite people to a themed potluck. The theme could be vegetarian, backyard grown, low sugar or a related idea. Participants could share their recipes or facts about where the food comes from. Consider connecting your potluck to the Season of Creation, which falls in September.

Giving Opportunity:
Help Young Adults Grapple with Climate Change

Tamara Shantz is a Canadian pastor who works with Pastors in Exile, an Anabaptist-rooted movement that connects young people in the Waterloo Region with vibrant faith experiences outside and inside of church walls. She is seeking funding for an intergenerational retreat focused on praying with climate change and discerning responses. Participants will consider personal vocation in the context of climate change and seek ways to transition to a life-sustaining system.

To offer financial support, email by August 1. This is one way traditional churches with a scarcity of young adults can contribute to faith development of the next generation. 

Coming to MennoCon19? 

Visit the MCCN Booth

Coming to MennoCon19 in Kansas City, Mo., July 2 to 6? Many faces and gifts will appear at the MCCN booth this year. Thanks to those of you who shared yourselves for this purpose. We can still include you if you fill out this form today. Passersby will have the chance to add their own names to the display—and to build something with the blocks.  A modified display will also be present at the Mennonite Church Canada Assembly, June 28 to July 1.

Attend a Gathering with the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions
Wed., July 3, 4 to 5:30 p.m., Rm 2209

Learn more about CSCS; then break into discussion groups. Options include: 
  • Equipping congregational leaders to engage climate change: pastoral workshops with Doug Kaufman  
  • Voices from the Global South: Hearing about the impacts of climate change on those most affected, with Dr. Sibonokuhle Ncube and Vurayayi Pugeni 

Faith and Climate Webinars 

The Security and Sustainability Forum convenes global experts to guide decision-making on a range of environmental issues. Recently they have begun a Faith and Climate series of webinars. The first was on the youth climate law suit, Juliana vs. the U.S. The second was on the papal encyclical, Laudato Si. Watch them at your convenience. 

Listening to the Empty Chairs

In Job 38 to 40, God reminds Job that he is not the center of the universe. Eric Kurtz, director of Mennonite Central Committee Great Lakes, wonders whether we need the same message. He calls readers to  connect the dots between climate change and the Mennonite theology of peacemaking. See The Mennonite, May 28. 

Left Behind for the Good of Creation

Ascension Day was May 30. "Why do you stand looking up toward heaven?" two men in white ask the disciples in Acts 1:11. In his "left behind" sermon, MCCN Member Wendell Wiebe Powell brings a 21st century lens to this question and the call to be witnesses “to the ends of the earth.”

Global Report on Internal Displacement, 2019

Many North Americans assume that developed countries are "disaster proofed." Not so, according to the latest Global Report on Internal Displacement. With over 1.2 million new displacements due to environmental disasters in 2018, the U.S. ranked fourth in the world behind the Philippines, China and India. 

A column based on tips by Carole Suderman, Boulder Mennonite Church, Boulder, Colo. Carole has been offering her congregations challenges like these for the past 20 years. Tips are adapted for a broader audience.
  • Did you know that indoor air is often more polluted than the air outdoors? Due to heating ducts, carpets, and closed windows which trap germs and other harmful particles, indoor air can contribute to illness and allergies. One solution is to nurture more houseplants. While artificial plants collect dust, nature's live plants have varying levels of capacity to clean the air we breathe!

    See Top Ten Plants for Removing Indoor Toxins at
  • Last week in the northern hemisphere, we celebrated the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. With all that light, challenge yourself and those around you to avoid turning on indoor lights all day. If you can, spend the whole day exploring God's creation in your neighborhood eco-system. If time is limited, just go out to the nearest patch of nature and lay out a 4-5 foot piece of yarn in a circle. Spend 10 minutes observing life in that small space.

    Here's an account from one person who did that for a year: The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature 

When it comes to wildlife conservation efforts, urban environments could be far more helpful than we think, according to new research mentioned in this article.

On Earth Day 4/22/19, NPR released the results of their poll about climate change education – and there’s plenty of good news in the results! See how the majority of U.S. parents support the teaching of climate change here.

Joy Harjo, of the Muskogee Creek Nation, became the first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate this month. Read more about her and her work in this New York Times article.

Comforting thought: 

"We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly."   - Anne-Marie Bonneau @ZeroWasteChef
Copyright © 2019 Mennonite Creation Care Network, All rights reserved.
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Wolf Lake, IN   46796

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Mennonite Creation Care Network · P.O. Box 263 · Wolf Lake, IN 46796 · USA

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