October 2019
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Mennonites Join Global Climate Strikes

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind., held a service of confession on September 20, the day most U.S. climate strikes took place. Afterward, worshippers gathered for a photo between a parking lot full of cars and the school's solar panels, aware of the inconsistencies we all live with. Benjamin and Rianna Isaak-Krauss designed the worship service and are sharing it here. 

Left: Jacob Curtis of the AMBS community softens a lump of clay with water during a ritual asking God to soften our hearts. Center: Martina Steiger, chair of the Rockway Mennonite Church environment committee, and Kai Reimer-Watts, producer of the film, Beyond Crisis, prepare to attend their local climate strike. Right: Jennifer Schrock represented MCCN at the climate strike in South Bend, Ind.

A cohort of Mennonite pastors in Ontario continues to network following a pastoral retreat on climate change that they attended in November 2018 at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp and Retreat Centre, New Hamburg. They’ve been planning worship and Christian education series, designing outdoor worship experiences and leading with prayer—to name a few things.
Read more

College Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind., was featured in the Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light newsletter recently. The blurb mentioned College Mennonite’s solar panels, creation care retreats, a youth vermicomposting project and table where members share garden produce. One of the students in the congregation was part of bringing a climate resolution to the Goshen City Council earlier in the year that the council passed.

Do Churches Matter in the Environmental Crisis?
by Anthony Siegrist

We could see the green copper roof of the Parliament building through the wide glass windows surrounding us. We were on the top floor of the University of Ottawa’s business building, just a few blocks from the center of Canada’s federal government. It was day one of our orientation to a program of studies in environmental sustainability. We had to introduce ourselves: I described myself as a pastor and a theologian. I felt entirely out of place. read more

Short Takes

MCC's Washington Memo Focuses on Climate Policy
The newsletter describes how a changing climate is affecting Mennonite Central Committee's partners around the world and suggests policy principles for a U.S. response. read more

Sierra Club Ranks Eastern Mennonite University a Cool School
Five campus gardens and solar innovations that expanded capacity by 65% are among the initiatives that landed EMU on the Cool Schools list. read more
Goshen College Hosts Climate Leadership Summit
David Orr, a leading thinker on ecological design, was the keynote speaker. ‘We can’t solve climate as an issue without fixing democracy first,’” Orr said, quoting James Hansen. read

National Solar Tour
October 5 and 6 across the United States. Attending a solar open house is a great way to learn about the process and benefits from those who have done it. Check the map for locations near you.  

The Violence of Climate Change
Online discussion via Zoom, October 31, 1 to 2 p.m., EST
Join pastors who attended CSCS/MCCN's pastoral climate change retreats for a book discussion. register here

Grounding: Discovering our Sacred Gifts in a Climate Emergency
Nov.15-17 at Loyola House, Guelph. Organized by Student Christian Movement and Pastors in Exile. read more

Who Cares About Climate Change? Pastoral Responses to Denial and Despair
  • January 13, 9 am to 12 noon:  School for Leadership Training, Eastern Mennonite Seminary. 
  • January 31 to February 2, 2020: Next pastoral retreat at St. Paul's Commons Retreat and Conference Center, Los Angeles More at MCCN's retreat page.
“It was a blue that flowed like smoke over the woodland floor, so that the trees appeared to be rising out of it,” Michael McCarthy writes, describing an English bluebell wood in his memoir, The Moth Snowstorm. Photo by Sarah Doffman on Unsplash.

A book review by Jennifer Schrock
The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy

Sometimes when I read nature writing, I close the book and go outside. It makes me feel like I would rather have my own encounter with birds or orchids or weather than someone else’s warmed over. Michael McCarthy’s The Moth Snowstorm is not one of those books. read more

Bartcast - the podcast from Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries 
Listen to monthly podcasts from Ched Myers and Elaine Enns. They weave together contemporary issues and a fresh take on scripture. Two recent examples are, Climate Crisis through the Lens of Exodus Plagues and Christian Mission Disrobed: The Road Not Taken (Luke 9:1-6).

Beyond Crisis: A Story of Hope for a Rapidly Changing World. The creator of this film on climate change has Mennonite connections. Several Ontario congregations have discussed it together.

Mesothelioma Justice Network: Asbestos Recycling
If your home is older than the 1990s, consider the possible presence of asbestos before tackling any remodeling project. Asbestos was used widely from the 1930s to the 1980s. Because it is fireproof, it was put in paint, linoleum, drywall, insulation, roofing shingles and many other products. When these are disturbed, asbestos particles can become airborne. 

Economics of Oil Slant in the Planet's Favor

According to this article in Forbes, oil would need to remain "priced at $10-$20 a barrel to remain competitive as a transport fuel."  The report concludes "that the economics of oil for gasoline and diesel vehicles versus wind- and solar-powered EVs are now in relentless and irreversible decline." 
Ethiopia Sets a Tree-planting Record

Meserete Kristos College, an Anabaptist university in Ethiopia, brought out 1,000 people to plant trees on July 29. This was part of a nationwide effort that put an estimated 350 million saplings in the ground in one day. The Ethiopian Government's Green Legacy Tree Planting program aims to plant over four billion more trees to address famines and climate change. Photo and information from Meserete Kristos College Newsletter.

This is our last Eco-Challenges column. Many thanks to Carole Suderman, Boulder Mennonite Church, Boulder, Colo. for the challenges she has shared with us each month. 

Would you like to lower your carbon footprint? If you use hot or warm water to wash clothes, that energy is a large percentage of total household heating costs. Most modern laundry detergents are designed to break down stains in cold water as well as hot, so choose a lower temperature. Save energy, money and pollution; then save even more by not using a dryer.

Mennonite Creation Care Network exists because of the support of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College and Everence. Learn more about how caring for the earth is a part of these nonprofits' ministries through our monthly quiz question:

Which of the following issues has Everence pursued through shareholder advocacy recently?
  1. Encouraging ConocoPhillips to set greenhouse gas reduction goals.
  2. Asking Sherwin Williams to join the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paint.
  3. Asking Statoil to withdraw from the Canadian oil sands
  4. a and c 
  5. All of the above   
    Answer here; scroll down to environmental section
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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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