[MCCN Recent News]

Reabsorbing the Rooted and Grounded Conference (Part 2)

Over 170 people participated in Rooted and Grounded: A Conference on Land and Christian Discipleship, offered at Anabaptist Biblical Mennonite Seminary September 18-20. With 56 presentations to choose from, the event was a feast for the mind and heart, with a year’s worth of ideas packed into one weekend. For those of you who missed the conference, or those who attended and couldn’t take it all in, we offer a snack-size review of some of the questions encountered there. This is part two in a series of four reflections.

How do we hold together human grief and ecological grief? Or can't we?


Rural Ministry Seminar and Course with Roy Kaufman

[Upcoming Learning Opportunity]

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary-Kansas Center
2015 January Term


From the AMBS website: AMBS-Kansas Center, in conjunction with Central Plains Mennonite Conference and Western District Conference, will be hosting a Rural Ministry Seminar this coming January. This seminar is presented by S. Roy Kaufman, author of Healing God's Earth: Rural Community in the Context of Urban Civilization. This seminar will explore the unique mission of the church in a rural context and will include lecture, case studies, discussion groups, and a catered lunch. Cost is $39 per individual and $100 per congregation to bring an unlimited number of congregation members.

Zero Waste Events with Vegware

[MCCN Resource]

MCCN member Greg Bowman has two friends involved with a local company that distributes Vegware, a brand of compostable food ware. He recommends this brief video and the steps it recommends for planning a zero-waste event.

Vegeware's 5 steps to a zero waste event:
  1. Insist all traders go completely compostable
  2. Recruit & train recycling volunteers
  3. Design your bin system & communicate it clearly
  4. Volunteers “police” the bins
  5. Discuss, measure & evaluate

Course Offering: Environmental Education and Faith

A FREE Online Course through Cornell University

Duration: 4 Weeks
2014 Dates: November 3-December 3
Course Fee: Free
Registration Dates: Before November 1
Register Here: http://tinyurl.com/ee-and-faith
Course Facilitators: Justin Smith, PhD (jgs225@cornell.edu) – Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University.

Course Overview: This is a professional development course designed for both environmental educators and faith leaders working at the intersection of faith and the environment. The link between faith, community and the environment puts religious groups in an important position to be leaders in transforming attitudes and behavior with respect to promoting environmental stewardship. By working together, we can increase our capacity to develop programs that support environmental awareness, equity, and sustainable communities while honoring a diversity of spiritual traditions.

Mennonite Round Table Discusses the Doctrine of Discovery

In late August, a round table of over 20 Mennonites from the US and Canada met in San Francisco to explore ways for MC USA to pursue change regarding the Doctrine of Discovery. The doctrine justifies the way in which colonial and post-colonial powers claimed the lands of sovereign indigenous nations. This doctrine continues to influence United States Indian Law and has been cited as recently as 2005 in the decision, City of Sherrill V. Oneida Indian Nation Of N.Y.

Luke Gascho, Creation Care Council chair, was part of the discussion. “Many European Mennonites benefited from the doctrine’s application across North America. It is important to recognize how the lands we call our own have this heritage,” reflects Gascho.

Read the Doctrine of Discovery Fact Sheet created by Katerina Friesen and Sarah Augustine who were part of the round table.

Doctrine of Discovery Interview with Sarah Augustine [Resource]

Sarah Augustine is a member of the Seattle Mennonite Church whose life's work involves research and mediation in the areas of racial justice and land justice. Sarah led a team of Indigenous and church leaders to draft the World Council of Churches Statement on the Doctrine of Discovery and its enduring impact on Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted on February 17, 2012. She also participated in a Mennonite roundtable on the Doctrine of Discovery in August 2014.

An interview with Sarah appears in a blog entitled, Breathing Forgiveness. It is entitled, "Current & Historical Harms Fueled by the Doctrine of Discovery: Breaking the Chains of Indigenous Peoples." Read the interview.

Ferocious Love Fuels People's Climate March

by Marlisa Yoder-Bontrager, East Chestnut Mennonite Church

Don’t be a fossil fool
There is no PLANet B
Jobs. Justice. Clean energy.

Signs like these were sprinkled throughout the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21.  These, along with a generally energetic crowd, kept those of us going despite being on our feet for eight hours. What a powerful experience it was to be with more than 300,000 people raising their voices to express their love and concern for our planet.