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February 2018
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An inspiring garbage truck, spotted in Harrisonburg, Va. 
FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS
Snippets from all over:
 

Mr. Trashwheel, Baltimore"Mr. Trashwheel" Gobbles Waste in Baltimore River
 
The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore has found a way to both keep trash out of the ocean and appeal to tourists. Their inner harbor water wheels snarf up plastic bags, cigarette butts, styrofoam and other waste flowing into the Inner Harbor from the troubled Jones Falls River. Since 2014 two of these contraptions have retrieved over 1.5 million pounds of trash from the harbor. The water wheels draw their energy from river currents and the sun. read more


Cost of Renewable Energy Continues to Fall
 
According to a January 29, 2018 article in Vox, by the early 2020s, it will be cheaper to build new renewable energy than to operate existing coal and nuclear plants. The source they quote is not an activist but Jim Robo, the CEO of NextEra Energy, an energy company with over 45,000 megawatts of generating capacity. The World Economic Forum concurs.


Africans are Building a Great Green Wall
 
Over 20 African nations are partners in an African Union project aiming to span the width of their continent with regenerative agriculture, green jobs and fertile land.  While the original vision of a wall of trees holding back the Sahel proved impractical, the Great Green Wall has become a metaphor for the revival of indigenous land use techniques. This article in The Smithsonian describes little-known progress in Niger, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Mali.

 

REFLECTION
Are You an Interfaith Leader? 

By Jennifer Schrock 

A few months ago I attended a lecture by Eboo Patel, the founder and president of the Interfaith Youth Core. I also read his book, Interfaith Leadership: A Primer. I had never thought of myself as an interfaith leader before, but while processing the encounter with Patel, it struck me that this is an important identity for all of us who care about the creation. read more

RESOURCES

green patchwork quiltBecoming One of MCCN's Green Patchwork Congregations

Philip J. Yoder
, a seminary student at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, VA, made a short video to introduce Mennonite Creation Care Network to his congregation. The video features an interview with Brian Martin Burkholder, who has been active in creation care at Community Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Va., for many years. This is a great resource for anyone hoping to join our group of Green Patchwork congregations. Find it.

Greening Your Congregation: Going to the Next Level

By David Rhoads, Web of Creation website. This essay provides a grab-bag of thought-provoking questions for those who have already done the easy stuff and are now asking, "What's next?" Find it.

Greening Your Church: Transformational Ministries

The Ecojustice Ministries website provides another vision of what the next level in caring for creation might look like. "Transformation deals with matters of identity and purpose that are deeper that behaviors and policies," the page says. Practical suggestions and resources for moving a church toward an alternate vision of the good life follow. Find it.

NETWORK NEWS

solar panelPam De Young Net Zero Energy Grant Deadline Moves to June 30

If your Mennonite Church USA congregation is thinking about applying to MCCN for funds for renewable energy or car charging stations, start now. We have moved the deadline from October to June 30 for bookkeeping reasons.

The Pam De Young Net Zero Energy Fund distributes up to $12,000 each year, typically in grants between $5,000 and $10,000. So far, all applicants have requested help with solar panels. The grants are due to the generosity of Russell De Young, Newport News, VA, in memory of his late wife, Pam. More info

Mennonite Camping Association’s Bi-National Conference to Meet

Camping professionals will gather to retreat renew and reconnect at Camp Friedenswald, Cassopolis, Mich., March 19 to 22, 2018. They will also contemplate topics such as land management, ecological leadership and creating a camp sustainability plan.
 
Dr. Luke Gascho of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College is the keynote speaker and Janeen Bertsche Johnson of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary will lead worship.  More info


Camp Moves Forward with Five-Year Sustainability Plan
 
Camp Friedenswald, Cassopolis, Mich., completed a five-year sustainability plan in 2017. Among their goals are reduced use of fossil fuels, increased biodiversity and additional education for sustainability and creation care. See ways they practice  environmental sustainability or read the complete plan.

The Future of Food

This mini-documentary (7 min.) from Retro Report features Will and Sherilyn Ortman, Mennonite farmers from Freeman, SD. The couple has chosen to farm organically partly due to climate change. You may already have seen this on our Facebook page back in October, but it's worth viewing again.  

MEET MCCN MEMBERS
 
Find out who has taught the sustainability merit badge at the Boy Scout Jamboree, who can explain what is meant by a plant guild and where you can get a slice of locally sourced pizza. Read more.

To share what you’re doing with other network members, visit our Creation Care Update form and fill out any questions that interest you.
ECO-CHALLENGES 

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.

dog eating
Reuse, recycle or compost 90% of household garbage: The Environmental Protection Agency (US) sponsors a Gameday Recycling Challenge for universities aiming to make football games zero waste events. Schools that divert 90% or more of waste from a football game are named on a Zero Waste Wall of Fame. Can we take this as a personal challenge? Does your household reuse, recycle or compost 90% of its garbage?

Reduce your carbon “pawprint.Our four-legged furry friends' consumption of meat is costly in terms of climate change. The production of one kilogram of beef results in 1,000 kilograms of CO2 entering the atmosphere. The annual eating patterns of dogs and cats in the U.S. have the same impact as driving 13.6 million cars for a year.
Editor's note: An article in Science Daily suggests avoiding premium pet foods that pamper animals with cuts of meat that could be used to feed humans. It also suggests choosing vegetarian pets. Before adding a dog or cat to the family, consider what you hope to gain from the animal and whether these needs can be met in a different way.

 
Copyright © 2018 Mennonite Creation Care Network, All rights reserved.


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