MCCN Recent News

Mennonites, Land and the Environment: A Global History

The Mennonite Studies Department at the University of Winnipeg, Canada, will host its annual conference October 28 to 29, 2016. The theme is, “Mennonites, Land and the Environment: A Global History.”

The conference examines the relationship of Mennonites to the land in seven different Mennonite farming communities around the world: Neubergthal, Manitoba; Friesland, the Netherlands; Riva Palacios, Bolivia; Kalona, Iowa; Java, Indonesia; Matabo Mission, Zimbabwe; and Apollonovka, Siberia. How has a new agriculture of fossil fuels, herbicides, crop specialization and state intervention impacted old, organic-based Mennonite farm communities around the world?

See conference brochure.   See website.

Event: Bartimaeus Institute Explores Truth and Reconciliation

Join the Bartimaeus Institute October 14 to 16, 2016 to learn how the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission report impacts indigenous-settler relations and enjoins Christian communities to build right relations. The event will take place at St. Andrews College, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Green Patchwork Congregations: New Members

Taftsville Chapel Mennonite Fellowship
Taftsville, Vermont

Heather Wolfe, pictured at left, was affirmed as Taftsville's creation care liaison in August 2016 and the congregation is now in the Green Patchwork fold. Heather delivered the message on their creation care Sunday, August 21, and composting debuted at the church the same week. Even the toddlers received instructions during the children's time. 

Faith Mennonite Church
Goshen, Indiana

Faith Mennonite Church is an inclusive community, becoming followers of Jesus and friends to each other across differences of income, education, and religious experience.  Kay Bontrager-Singer, one of the pastors, recently focused a sabbatical in ways that encouraged everyone to practice a “loving eye gaze” toward all of creation.  Some of the ways the congregation has taken on that practice include planting bulbs locally and at a church camp, building bluebird houses for a local park and joining Mennonite Creation Care Network.  (Faith joined back in March, but was omitted in the news round-up.)

Liaison Grapples with Climate Change, Ecological Spirituality

This creation care liaison is no slacker. Joe Cook, the MCCN liaison for San Antonio Mennonite Church, San Antonio, Texas, prepared a 15-page article on Climate Change and Ecological Spirituality for his congregation last month. Joe is an environmental scientist with an interest in the intersection of social justice, spirituality and science. 

Green Patchwork Congregations: Congregations Pursue Solar Panels

Are solar panels affordable? Judging from the inquiries MCCN receives about grants from the Pam De Young Net Zero Energy Fund, a number of churches are working on that question. According to an article that appeared in the print version of theAugust 2016 issue of The Mennonite,

Resource: Eco-Prayer and

This website calls us to choose one place, plant or animal that we love close to home and another that is somewhere distant. The idea is to pray for them each day and also pray for the entire ecosystem that supports them. The vision comes from Scott Walker, M.D., of Albuquerque Mennonite Church, NM. He is a member of Mennonite Creation Care Network. 

Learnings from the Wilderness

"Coming to terms with the climate catastrophe is hard. It is a spiritual struggle. It confronts our deepest questions and values about ourselves," observes John Stoltzfus in a blog entitled, "Learnings from the Wilderness." The Stoltzfus family spent several weeks on a transformative wilderness trek in New Mexico that prompted John to see this desert country--and possibly even climate change--as sacred ground. Read more.

EMU Launches Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions

A new center focused on climate change launched in August with the help of a $1 million donation from Ray Martin, a Virginia resident. Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va., is the lead institution; Goshen College, Goshen, Ind., and Mennonite Central Committee, Akron, Pa., are also partners. The work aims to connect a national and global network, research best practices, educate by sharing findings and explore new ideas and methods. Planning is in process. Read more.