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August 2019
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NETWORK NEWS
Photos and blurbs about the contributions of nearly 40 people helped make Mennonite Creation Care Network concrete for those visiting the exhibit hall at MennoCon19 in Kansas City, Mo., the first week of July. Some of the photos were mounted on blocks to create an interactive challenge for youth. 
 
MennoCon19
Seeing the Intersections Between Forms of Injustice
by Jennifer Schrock


Compared to previous years, the Mennonite Church USA’s biennial convention July 2 to 6 had fewer workshops about specific issues such as land care, sustainable agriculture and greening your congregation. Rather, creation care came up in multiple settings in discussions about intersectional justice. read more
Above, a group of organizations that focused on the connections between justice issues prepare their joint exhibit for MennoCon19. The tree on the left looks barren in this photo, but visitors rapidly filled it with paper leaves containing prayers for peace. The prayers ranged from the personal to the communal to the global.
Photo by Tim Nafziger.
 
MennoCon19
MCUSA Convention Offers Opportunities for Creation Care Conversation
by Olivia Smucker


The 2019 MCUSA Convention in Kansas City brought lots of great opportunities for connection, dialogue and personal stories from people experiencing the effects of climate change. For more information check out this article about some of the sustainability-themed events at Convention. 
 

MennoCon19
Shifting Climates Podcasts: Personal Stories and Big Questions

by Jennifer Schrock

The three young adults who created the Shifting Climates podcasts concluded their fellowship with the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions this month. At MennoCon, they spoke about their experiences interviewing people from all walks of life about climate change. read more
The podcast producers in the exhibit hall at the MCUSA convention in early July. From left to right, they are:
  • Sarah Longenecker, photographer and website designer
  • Michaela Mast, co-host 
  • Harrison Horst, co-host
Photo by Katie Isaac
Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions
PASTORAL RETREATS     
 
When: September 9 to 11, 5 p.m. Monday to noon Wednesday.
Where: Twin Rocks Friends Camp, Rockaway Beach, Ore

The Oregon Coast is the site for the next pastoral retreat on climate change. It's a tough subject, but the beauty of the natural world and the wisdom of fellow pastors make it easier to bear. Doug Kaufman, Sarah Augustine and Ken Pitts will lead the retreat. register now
Photo by Paul Hamilton, Flickr, labeled for reuse. 
MCCN 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.

Mennonite Central Committee Names Climate Change a Strategic Priority

The U.S. and Canadian boards of Mennonite Central Committee completed a strategic plan for 2020 to 2025 this summer. The plan names four priorities, one of which is:

Design and assess MCC’s program and operations in light of our commitment to care for God’s creation and accompany marginalized communities harmed by climate change.

See this 7/15 article from The Mennonite.

CONGREGATIONS
Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship, Goshen, Ind., is enjoying a blaze of purple monarda and yellow coneflowers this month. The 100' by 100' pollinator planting was the idea of Lowell Nafziger, who oversees the church's community garden. An abundance of bumble bees, swallowtail butterflies, monarchs and hummingbird moths are among the beneficiaries.

Rockway Mennonite Church, Kitchener, Ont., was among the congregations that held an intergenerational conversation on climate change during the last six months. The conversation included both adults and youth. Young adults from Watershed Discipleship, a group associated with Pastors in Exile, facilitated the discussion. Laura Enns and Scott Brubaker-Zehr organized the event. Laura is the coordinator of worship and neighborhood engagement at Waterloo-Kitchener United Mennonite Church and Scott Brubaker-Zehr pastors as Rockway. 

East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church, Lancaster, Pa., appeared in Mennonite World Review on June 17. Read about their new car charging stations. 

MCCN Announces 2019 Solar Grant Recipients

Mennonite Creation Care Network’s Pam De Young Net Zero Energy Fund will assist two congregations planning to install solar panels in 2019. Metamora Mennonite Church, Metamora, Ill., will receive $5,000, and Millersville Mennonite Church, Millersburg, Ohio, was awarded $7,500. The next grant deadline is June 30, 2020. 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.

Do you always use the AC in your car out of habit? Here are ways to keep cool in a car without wasting fuel:
  • Roll down car windows instead. Tests have shown that the drag from open car windows at 65 mph reduces fuel consumption by 2 to 3% while the AC reduces efficiency by 15%. 
  • When returning to a hot car, open all the doors for a minute to let the hot air out. Then, for best fuel economy, wait to turn on the air conditioning until you reach cruising speed. AC reduces mileage most during acceleration. Once the car has cooled, turn the AC off or to a lower temperature.
  • Keep a spray bottle of water in the car.
RESOURCES

Online course
Creation Care: Theology, Ethics, Spirituality
Are you looking to study up on "the theological context of environmental stewardship"? Want to tackle the ethical dilemmas encountered in the call for ecojustice? Look no further than Luke Beck Kreider's online course through Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Register now. 

The Tempestry Project   
A "tempestry" is a knitted or crocheted record of temperatures in a given region. Multiple tempestries create a mosaic showing climate history. The tag line for this organization is, "visualizing climate data in a way that is accurate, personal, tangible and beautiful. 

Shifting Climates Podcasts
Not sure how to discuss climate change with your congregation? The podcasts described above would work well as discussion starters in a Christian education class. They are 30 to 60 minutes long, but you could select shorter segments. 

More on Intersectional Justice: These articles relate to Seeing the Intersections above. 

Panama Mennonites Request Prayer for Land Struggle 
A 2015 article from Mennonite World Conference.

Climate Justice Impossible Without Racial and Economic Justice
The first in a series of articles Sojourners is doing on the intersectionality of climate change.

The Intersectionality Wars
This article from Vox describes Kimberle’ Williams Crenshaw’s thinking and provides socio-cultural background on intersectionality.

GOOD NEWS FROM ALL OVER

Yet Another Reason to Protect Old Growth Forests

The U.S. Forest Service reports that fires in old growth forests burn at a lower intensity than younger forests even though they may contain more fuel. In fire-prone areas, old growth forests serve as a refuge for plants and animals whose habitats in younger forests nearby have been destroyed. Read more.

Wishing You Practical Creativity Too

On the look out for new alternatives for plastic straws? Check out how this cafe owner from the Philippines created her own out of coconut leaves.

Nuclear Power Plant Conserves Crocodiles

Thanks to the 168 miles of man-made canals at Florida's Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station, the once endangered American crocodiles now have a safe place to thrive. Read more about them in this Huffington Post article.
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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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