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April 2018
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A solar installation at Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship, Goshen, IN, December 2017. The church was able to complete the installation with volunteer labor. Pictured left to right: Curt Wenger, Amos Hostetler, Jonathan Neufeld, Dan Schrock, David Birky, John Hooley, Rick Hostetter. One helper dubbed the slide on the right a "solar relocator." Another just called it ingenious.
NETWORK NEWS

Pam De Young Net Zero Energy Fund:
Grant Deadline Approaches
Considering solar panels on your church building? What about an electric car charging station? The application deadline for a grant from Mennonite Creation Care Network's Pam De Young Net Zero Energy Fund is coming up on June 30.

In its first two years, the Net Zero Energy Fund has helped a total of four congregations with grants between $5000 and $10,000. The 2017 recipients were Walnut Hill Mennonite Church and Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship, both of Goshen, IN. (See above.) The 2016 recipients were Taftsville Chapel Mennonite Fellowship, Taftsville, Vt., and Albuquerque Mennonite Church, Albuquerque, N.M.
Learn more 


Akron Mennonite Solar Project Seeks Investors 

Is this you? Looking for ethical places to put your money? One way nonprofits can take advantage of the tax credit that individuals gain from purchasing solar panels is by forming a limited liability corporation with private investors who own the system for a number of years. Akron Mennonite Church, Akron, PA, is seeking investors for a solar project that will benefit not only the congregation but also its day care. If you have resources to invest in this project, contact Akron Mennonite Church. 


April is Annual Report Month at MCCN

One way to celebrate Earth Day is to reflect on the creation care initiatives your congregation has undertaken during the past year and let MCCN know about them. Our analytics show that what other congregations are doing is one of our readers' main interests. 

Technically, this is the responsibility of your congregation's creation care liaison. But not all of you are part of congregations that have joined our Green Patchwork congregations, and we're eager to hear from anyone with a story to tell. Reviewing our score sheet may remind you of areas that slipped your mind. Use the quick form on our website. Or email mccn@goshen.edu if you prefer.


Sustainability Alumni Network (SAN) Unites Young Adults

Young adults from Mennonite colleges are linking up to collaborate on mutual passions in the areas of sustainability and climate. They've formed a network--now at 90 strong-- written a vision and mission statement and started a newsletter. 
See their Facebook Group.
Join their database of students and recent alumni.


SAN Alumni Profile: Cecilia Lapp-Stoltzfus

Cecilia Lapp-Stoltzfus is one of the organizers of the Sustainability Alumni Network. She currently lives in Pittsburgh and is a fellow with Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE). Through her PULSE partnership, she serves at The Door Campaign, an nonprofit that offers hands-on aquaponics/STEM programming in local middle and high school classrooms. Read a feature about Cecilia in the SAN newsletter. 




Research on Sustainable Housing Yields Unexpected Finding

Jim Leaman, a professor of business and economics at Eastern Mennonite University, spent a sabbatical researching best practices for creating affordable carbon neutral housing. What he and his architect partner learned surprised them and inspired the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions to fund further research. read more

Communication Tip

Have you ever wanted to share the MCCN Newsletter as a link in your own church newsletter or with your Facebook friends? It's easy. See instructions.
BOOK REVIEW           by Douglas D. Kaufman

Doug Kaufman mugThe Bible and Ecology:
Rediscovering the Community of Creation

by Richard Bauckham

Many Christians committed to sustainability know that our faith and our ecological commitments go together. But some of us struggle to know how to articulate that connection. How do the creation stories of the Bible form our faithfulness to the other creatures? How does our understanding that Jesus is the Word made flesh change how we view creaturely existence?  read more
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.

1. Address Nature Deficit Disorder: The Nature Fix is a new book by Florence Williams who was skeptical of the claims that a lack of time outdoors was harmful to humans. So she set out to investigate the scientific validity of these claims.

Conduct a study of your own life: are you a better person when you spend more time outdoors? Plan your time accordingly. If being in a natural environment makes people happier, healthier and more creative, how can we design schools, hospitals, prisons and other settings in ways that take advantage of nature's healing?

2. Support an environmental group: Over 125 years ago, John Muir and a small band of activists began the Sierra Club in order to protect the Sierra Nevada Mountains. What is your strategy to protect land you love? Consider supporting an environmental group that can keep you informed of issues you care about. 
RESOURCES

Earth Day 

* Creation Justice Ministries produces curricula and worship resources for Earth Day each year. This year's theme is, Sense of Place.  The resource "offers insights about living in harmony with local ecosystems and watersheds, rightly sharing places with a diversity of peoples, and respecting the history of your place."  They also have a Facebook event page  where you can see what others are doing for Earth Day. Find ideas for the whole year.

* According to Earth Day Network, a billion people worldwide participate in Earth Day activities. Their 2018 theme is End Plastic Pollution. If you're feeling small and alone this Earth Day, visit this site. 

Climate Change 

* Joe Cook, a scientist and the MCCN creation care liaison from San Antonio Mennonite Church, keeps up on the latest climate change research. At his creation care site, you'll find in-depth articles on topics such as melting in the arctic, climate change and the future and climate change and religion. Joe welcomes dialog partners. You can reach him at jlcapplevalleyca@gmail.com.
AT LAST, THE GOOD NEWS

soil in handsCan Dirt Save the Earth?

This article in the New York Times Magazine explores farming strategies that can return carbon to the soil. Read about soil success in California and Kansas. "This is excellent! Spread it far and wide!" MCCN liaison Dave Ostergren says.

Beekeeping Links People to the Land

Mennonite World Review ran a feature on March 19 about Ken Regier and Ryan Goertzen-Regier, ex-farm boys who have reconnected with the land through beekeeping. 

"Beekeeping has helped me work at becoming more patient and being more at peace,” Goertzen-Regier says. Apparently, bees can sense anxiety and have their own way of tutoring their human caretakers in spiritual disciplines. 


Surfers Confront Their Politicians About Plastic Habits

Most advocacy groups focus on getting legislation passed, but the British nonprofit, Surfers Against Sewage, expects their politicians to walk the talk as well. The group has been cleaning up beaches and working on water quality since 1990. Now, they are asking their Parliament members to give up bottled water, plastic cutlery and straws. See their Plastic-free Parliament campaign.
Copyright © 2018 Mennonite Creation Care Network, All rights reserved.


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