December 18, 2018
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Pastors Prepare to Become Climate Leaders

Hopelessness…denial…grief…guilt…despair. Pastors face these emotions in their congregations as they walk with people suffering from personal losses. How does this experience transfer to climate change? Through a series of retreats funded by the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions, Harrisonburg, Va., church leaders are grappling with this and similar questions.

Eighteen people met at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp, New Hamburg, Ont., November 19 to 21 for the second of multiple retreats planned for different locations. Above, Wendy Janzen of St. Jacobs Mennonite Church, St. Jacobs, Ont., leads an outdoor worship session. Deus Okong’o, Dodoma, Tanzania and Glyn Jones, Wanner Mennonite Church, are also pictured. 

MCCN Congregational Focus for Winter 2019:
Hold an Intergenerational Conversation on Climate Change

Mennonite Creation Care Network (MCCN) periodically suggests shared practices for member congregations. Our first 2019 practice will be to hold an intergenerational conversation about climate change. What do your youth and young adults know about climate change? How do they want the Church to respond? A discussion guide will be available in January. 

Luke Gascho at his desk at Merry Lea.Founder of MCCN Announces Retirement

Since its formation in 2006, Mennonite Creation Care Network has benefitted from the leadership of Dr. Luke Gascho, executive director of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, Goshen, Ind. Luke was instrumental in creating the network and continued as its leader until 2016. Currently he serves on MCCN's Creation Care Council as the sponsor representative for Merry Lea. Luke plans to retire on June 30, 2019.   
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Giving Invitation Reminder

Does creation have a place in your end of year giving? There are two ways to support Mennonite Creation Care Network. The first is general support, which helps with expenses such as our annual council meetings and advertising. The second is the Pam De Young Net Zero Energy Fund, which supports congregations who want to install solar panels or car charging stations. We appreciate your encouragement and commitment to the issues we care about. Donate now.

Everence Advocates for Clean Energy

How many of us would love to enter a board room and ask our utility companies to use more renewable energy? We might also suggest that they reduce methane output and tie compensation packages of top executives to emissions reductions. 

The good news is, if you have money in Everence Praxis accounts, you've already been part of conversations like that. Everence is a faith-based financial services organization that focuses its shareholder advocacy on environmental sustainability, ethical labor practices and responsibility issues. Recent dialogs with Nisource have contributed to the leaders of this Midwestern power company speeding up its phase-out of coal and taking the steps mentioned above. See what Everence's bond funds are doing.

Grounded for the Climate
In the November 16 issue of Eco-Justice Notes, Peter Sawtell braves an unpopular topic: the high carbon cost of flying:

"A month ago, right after the release of the amazingly challenging report from the IPCC about what must be done to stabilize climate change, a friend wrote to me. She said,

"Did you notice that the NYT editorial on the IPCC report couldn't bring itself to mention flying less as something 'we' need to do? Unbelievable to me ... it's apparently the 3rd rail."    Read Grounded

Flushing Peace Down the Toilet:
Strategies for the End of the World as We Know It

Not many lectures in dignified spaces use words like toilet, poop and crapper. But Sarah Thompson Nahar did in her address at the Kroc Institute’s Dialogues on Nonviolence, Religion and Peace, South Bend earlier this fall.

As a former executive director of Christian Peacemaker Teams, Sarah is well positioned to understand how a scarcity of clean water leads to violence. In her address, she explores the fact that 40% of the world lacks adequate sanitation facilities and challenges her audience to get over their squeamishness in talking about it. 

War of Words

Kate Yoder, an ethnic Mennonite, Goshen College graduate and climate journalist with Grist draws on her heritage to question the value of warlike language when discussing climate change.   Read the article

Thoughts on Durability

Anthony Siegrist pastors at Ottawa Mennonite Church, Ottawa, Ont., and blogs in his spare time. In this post, welcoming babies leads him to reflect on what is durable and what isn't. read more

Biblical Foundations
of Creation Care

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary is offering an online course entitled Biblical Foundations of Creation Care January 9 to February 19. The early registration deadline is December 18. This is a non-credit lifelong learning opportunity open to those willing to invest 5 to 10 hours per week. Dr. Ben Ollenberger will teach the course.

blue and red Kinsler logo
2019 Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute
Indigenous Justice and Christian Faith:  Land, Law, Language
February 18 to 22, 2019

The Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute will feature a great lineup of Indigenous resource people including Randy and Edith Woodley, Rev. Robert Two Bulls, Julie Tumamait-Stenslie, Jonathon Cordero, Brooke Prentis, Jim Bear Jacobs. The acclaimed theater production “Discovery,” workshops, art and music are also part of the event.

The Hidden Costs of Unused Electricity 

Vampire energy refers to electric power wasted on devices that are plugged in but not in use. Did you know that nearly 14% of the average electric bill goes toward this unused energy? That the average American family has nearly doubled their standby electricity costs in recent years? This practical site will help you spot vampires and could save you $200 per year.

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.
  • G.K. Chesterton once said, "There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less." How can you give gifts of experiences or time instead of things this Christmas? What about contributions to people who lack basic necessities in honor of friends or family members? 
  • How could a resolution for the New Year have a great impact on saving God's creation? One woman started her "vegetarian career" on New Year's Day over 20 years ago, thus saving water, creatures and rain forests every day. Others resolve to bike to work, volunteer for environmental organizations, contact lawmakers or live simply. 

George H.W. Bush Leaves Ocean Legacy 

Coral, humpback whales, kelp forests and other sea life are better off thanks to the presidency of George H.W. Bush who died November 30. Bush was a naval officer, beach fan and avid fisherman who acted on his love of water by designating six marine sanctuaries: more than any other president. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is one example; the others are off the coast of California and Hawaii. 

Tres Hombres Shipping Moves Cargo by Wind Power

Tres Hombres Shipping, a Dutch company founded in 2007, was the 21st Century's first emissions-free cargo company to ship non-perishables by wind. Tres Hombres, a schooner, sails between Europe, the U.S. and the Caribbean. A second ship, the Nordlys, operates in European waters. The company also takes trainees. They are part of the Sail Cargo Alliance, a cluster of similar companies.

Children Rally to Our Rescue

The Our Children's Trust lawsuit is currently stalled, but that doesn't mean the world's children are sitting quietly waiting for the temperature to rise. Over 20,000 students have walked out of school to protest inaction on climate issues. One of them is 15-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden, whom the Daily Kos described as delivering "a thundering smackdown" to adults at the United Nations conference in Katowice, Poland, regarding their sluggish progress. 
Copyright © 2018 Mennonite Creation Care Network, All rights reserved.

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

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