[MCCN Recent News]

Welcome, New Congregations!

Meet our new Shades of Green congregations, added in early 2016. Congregational members have a liaison to MCCN and are committed to working at creation care in ways appropriate to their contexts.

Emmaus Road Mennonite Fellowship, Berne, Indiana, USA

Creation Care Liaison: Amy Huser

Emmaus Road is a member of MCUSA's Central District Conference and is located in a rural community founded by Swiss Mennonites in 1852.  Amy describes the congregation as follows: "We are a small, vibrant, nurturing faith community, extending hospitality and welcome to all who choose to gather with us.  A few results of our journey in caring for the environment include switching to reusable mugs, using fair trade organic coffee, signing petitions to support the Clean Power Plan, joining MCCN, and educating ourselves in a variety of ways.  We are currently completing a four session study of the MCCN Every Creature Singing curriculum."

Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Ibagué, Tolima – Colombia

Creation Care Liaison: José Antonio Vaca Bello

The city of Ibagué has a warm climate of about 28° C/82° F and is suffering from water scarcity, partly because of global warming, deforestation, large-scale mining and the El Niño phenomenon. Therefore, the congregation is committed to water conservation and is active in initiatives for environmental care.  In June 2015, Iglesia Cristiana Menonita participated in the Septima Gran Marcha Carnaval, a march against mining in Tolima. Water pollution is one of the problems associated with the mining.  See photos here.

The congregation's liaison learned about the work of Mennonite Creation Care Network at Mennonite World Conference last summer.

Grace Communion, San Salvador, El Salvador

Creation Care Liaison: David Agreda

"We are a Christian fellowship, on mission with the Father, Son and Spirit, living and sharing the gospel in ways that birth all kinds of churches, for all kinds of people, in all kinds of places," David says. The congregation is a small group of 20 people who worship on homes. Members are interested in creation care projects in their community. Deforestation, water contamination and air pollution are concerns in San Salvador.

Mountain States Men's Retreat Draws on Every Creature Singing Curriculum

 

The Mountain States Mennonite Conference invites men of all walks of life to a men's retreat at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp, Divide, Colorado, Feb. 26-28, 2016.

The weekend focuses on singing together under the leadership of Tim Shue, a choral director and member of Honeytown, a progressive bluegrass/folk band from Kidron, Ohio. Worship times will also include discussion on the theme of nature and creation care using portions of MCCN's Every Creature Singing curriculum. Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey, the creation care liaison from Boulder Mennonite Church, is one of the retreat organizers.

See details and register.

Real Life: Waking Up to God's Creation

 

Everence offers a three-session curriculum for youth on being good stewards of God's creation. The sessions begin with relevant scriptures and relate them to contemporary problems. The first session is an introduction to creation care; the second focuses on water and the third on climate change. Download the .pdf for free.

Are you Thankful for Transmission Lines?

I don’t think I have ever given thanks for electric transmission lines. If anything, I consider them a blot on the landscape. But without the support of those towers and the electricity quietly humming through the wires, what I can accomplish in a day’s time would be limited.

Funding Mennonite Creation Care Network is a bit like paying for transmission lines. The bulk of MCCN’s budget is taken up with "boring" expenses like website fees, transportation and staff time. But I got pretty excited when I took a year-end tally of things that happened because MCCN exists.

Here are just a few beneficiaries of the juice flowing through our network:

Birds: Because of his visibility through MCCN, Luke Gascho has received calls from conservation groups that need help communicating their missions to Old Colony Mennonites in Latin American settings.  In October, Luke traveled to Chihuahua, Mexico, to meet with members of the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. While there, he helped one of the colonies think about their faith in relation to the needs of migrating birds.

“People call me when they are looking for Mennonites who care about the environment because they are frustrated with Mennonites who appear not to,” Luke remarks.

Still Waving to Us: A Response to the Paris Climate Talks

- Jennifer Halteman Schrock

My reaction to the Paris climate talks is an odd juxtaposition. Superimposed on the photographs of crowded streets and the words of commentators, I see a man sitting sleepless at a window on a dark night, uncertain what to do next. His name is Paul, and though he died many years ago, we can still read his story because it is recorded in Acts 16.

As Acts tells it, Paul has a vision one night: he sees a man from Macedonia pleading with him. “Come over and help us,” the man begs. Paul boards a ship immediately, convicted that God had called his team to proclaim the Good News in that region.

Today, I believe God is calling people of faith to proclaim the Good News in the Region of Climate Change. In fact, there are scientists pleading with us to do so. 

Inspiration and Resources Related to Climate

What the Paris Agreement Does and Doesn’t Do

You may or may not find this inspiring, but if you’re still trying to figure out what the Paris climate talks accomplished, here is an easy-to-read summary from 350.org.

Fast for the Climate 
At this site you can sign up to join thousands of people around the world in fasting once a month as a way of calling for action on climate change. The suggested fast day is the 1st of the month.

Meetup Connects People with Common Interests

MCCN encourages its members to network with other MCCN members regionally or with other environmental groups with similar goals. Joseph Cook, an MCCN member from San Antonio, TX, has a suggestion on how we might do that. He writes:

Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting face-to-face. More than 9,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities.

Meetup's mission is to revitalize local communities and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world—or the whole world—by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference.

Launch a meetup group       Find a meetup group

Now's the Time for a Carbon Tax...Even if You Have to Tax Yourself

MCCN member Amy Huser of Emmaus Road Mennonite Church, Berne, Ind., has a challenge for us. She writes:

I bought gas for $1.66 not long ago. I also recently read an editorial in the Scientific American on why now is the time to tax carbon, while energy prices are low. What if we all chose to give ourselves a self-imposed carbon tax--such as $1 per gallon--since gas is so inexpensive right now?  We could donate the money to favorite environmental groups, make energy efficiency upgrades to our homes or officially buy carbon offsets.  In addition, we should write a letter to our legislators describing this self-imposed carbon tax and asking lawmakers to officially put a price on carbon.