[MCCN Recent News]

Find Creation Care Activities at MCUSA Kansas City

It can be a challenge to find the topics that interest you in the thicket of opportunities at a large event. So much is happening at the Mennonite Church USA convention in Kansas City, MO, June 30 to July 5! We've sorted through the break-out sessions and identified events related to creation care, environmental justice, the doctrine of discovery, simple living, and so forth. Download the list to take with you if you are attending, or see what people are talking about if you aren't. Many of the presenters listed are MCCN members. Please forgive us if we missed someone.

Kansas City Events

Hyde Park Mennonite Fellowship Reduces Collective Energy Use

A creation care small group at the Hyde Park Mennonite Fellowship, Boise, Idaho, sponsored a congregational action to reduce home electricity use. Families from the congregation shared their power bills from 2013 and 2014 with the goal of reducing total congregational usage by 10%. Results were collective and anonymous.

Menno Gardens Creates Abundance

 

In early 2013, a member of our congregation brought up the idea of a starting a community garden. The idea took hold and in late spring 2013, the congregation banded together and built four or five raised beds in which to grow vegetables. Menno Gardens was born!

Our experimental plan was 1) to grow our produce to share with the congregation and 2) any produce that was harvested during the week of our monthly Fairfield Community Food Pantry would be donated to the Food Pantry. Our little garden experiment was such a success in 2013, the church decided to expand and continue the gardens into the foreseeable future.

Kern Road Mennonite Church Establishes Memorial Garden

The "before" picture features a gray casement window, garden hose and former entrance sandwiched two sides of a building. The "after" pictures show an attractive sitting area with a cross, potted plants, in ground plants, a large flowering dogwood and a and a columbarium with niches for ashes.

Among the reasons that the Kern Road Mennonite Church, South Bend, Ind., installed a memorial garden was a desire to show financial and ecological stewardship. Their brochure about the garden says, "Cremation is more sustainable than traditional burial because it does not use land resources, require concrete vaults or harmful embalming chemicals to enter the environment."

Don Yoder, a member of the congregation who is a landscape architect, designed the area. 

Mennonite World Conference to Compost All Food Waste

The organizers of Mennonite World Conference plan to compost all of the food waste involved in feeding the 6500 people expected to attend this event July 21 to 26. Composting on this scale will be a first for the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa., where Mennonite World Conference will take place. Read more about this and other green endeavors planned for the worldwide gathering.

Southern Hills Mennonite Church Exerts Leadership in Community Gardening

Southern Hills Mennonite Church, Topeka, Kansas, has been a promoter of community gardening for well over sixty years. We have always maintained a congregation garden. Many of the church founders in the early 60’s came from agricultural backgrounds and understood the importance of good stewardship and care for natural environment. Community gardening has always been a critical enterprise for congregation and local community well-being. 

About 30 years ago our church created an outreach initiative known as Common Ground. Its goal was to use gardening as a way to build a healthy urban community in Topeka. Common Ground made a presence in local schools and community centers for demonstrating and encouraging gardening and teaching healthy family nutrition practices.

Fairfield Liaison Shares Gospel of Nature Suggestions

MCCN Liaison Bonnie Portzline, Fairfield Mennonite Church, Fairfield, Pa., has compiled a collection of suggestions to share with other congregations. They range from book suggestions to worship tips to community outreach ideas. One way Portzline shares her love of creation is through a program entitled, "Birds with a Gettysburg Address." She is an avid nature photographer. The insect she captured above is a clearwing hummingbird moth.

EMU Cyclists Ride to Resist Atlantic Coast Pipeline

After 300 miles, 10 days and several flat tires, a group of 30 college students, including four from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), has crossed Virginia on bike, sparking dialogue and voicing concerns about the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The event, officially called the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Resistance Ride, was organized by the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition, a group committed to “growing an student environmental movement in Virginia.”