The Creation Care Council sets the direction for Mennonite Creation Care Network. It is composed of four U.S. representatives, two Canadian representatives and three ex officio members from MCCN’s sponsoring organizations, Merry Lea and Everence. The Creation Care Council meets once a year in person and several times electronically. Consult the Council Minutes page to read minutes from past meetings and annual reports.
The 2016 Creation Care Council is pictured above. Back row, left to right: Mike Currie, Dave Hockman-Wert, Greg Bowman, Todd Wynward, Jennifer Schrock. Front row, left to right: Joanne Moyer, Marlisa Yoder-Bontrager, Jim Smith, Luke Gascho. See below for the bio and contact information for each council member.
Meet the Current Council Members
Salem, Ohio. He is executive director ofGoodness Grows, the outreach ministry of Common Ground Church Community (PC-USA). Goodness Grows works with partners to transform individuals and neighborhoods through ecologically sound agriculture that builds community, cherishes land and creates new opportunities. Greg and Ellen, his wife, returned to their home area in 2010 after 38 years in other locations, from serving with Mennonite Central Committee in Louisiana to working in Montessori and church preschools (Ellen) and communicating about organic farming systems (Greg) for the Rodale Institute in eastern Pennsylvania. He engages family farmers, brave neighborhood leaders in Youngstown, New Agriculture economic development specialists, spunky young urban ag-rivists, collaborating chefs, congregations doing gardening as missional work, and a former gang member dedicated to helping his community. He co-leads a new effort to bring faith-based anti-racism training to the area. The Bowmans are members of Midway Mennonite Church.
Abbotsford, BC. He has joined the MCCN Creation Care Council as a Canadian representative. Mike works as an environmental scientist cleaning up contaminated sites with Levelton Consultants, a firm committed to providing “efficient solutions for ever-changing environmental issues…and observing the principles of sustainable development.” His background is in earth and ocean sciences. Mike is a member of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford and serves on the Mennonite Church British Columbia’s Service, Peace and Justice Committee. He enjoys snorkeling and playing bass guitar.
Goshen, IN. He is executive director of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College and holds degrees in biology, Christian school administration and educational leadership. Luke is grateful for the way three major interests of his life merged when he accepted his current position: educational leadership, care of the earth, and theology. “Working to help form Mennonite Creation Care Network is another way of engaging these three interests,” he says. Luke frequently works on sustainable building issues and was deeply involved in the design and construction of Merry Lea’s Rieth Village, which earned a platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. Luke also enjoys reading and speaking about the connection between faith and stewardship of the earth. He envisions people from many backgrounds within the church making a commitment to caring for the earth in new and deeper ways. Luke is always looking for ways to learn about the earth and how it functions. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, planting trees, and photographing nature.
Corvallis, OR. He is a geographic information systems (GIS) analyst with the U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center. Dave has earned an M.A. degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon, with an emphasis on the role of religion in motivating sustainable behavior. His research focused on the environmental attitudes and behaviors of Amish and Mennonite farmers in Belleville, Pennsylvania. In the past, Dave has worked with sustainable forestry in southern Oregon and watersheds in central Pennsylvania. Presently, the idea of responsible consumption energizes him. Dave challenges his ingrained Mennonite tendency toward frugality with the mantra, “Cheaper isn’t always better.” He’s learning to vote with his dollars, purchasing products and services that support the kind of world he wants to live in.
Edmonton, AB. She is assistant professor of Environmental Studies and Geography at The King’s University, where she enjoys the opportunity to integrate faith into her teaching on environmental issues. Her recent research explored faith-based organizations engaged in environmental work in Canada, and her broader research interests centre on the relationships between humans and their socio-ecological environments, the factors that influence these relationships, and how these relationships can be modified and improved. Joanne has worked as an environmental consultant for various research and writing projects, including the Mennonite Central Committee’s 7 Days website, which was later published as Earth Trek: Celebrating and Sustaining God’s Creation. She also volunteered with Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba Peace Advisory Committee and Mennonite Church Canada’s Climate Change Working Group.
Jennifer Halteman Schrock
Goshen, IN. She coordinates public programs and teaches in the Sustainability Semester in Residence at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College. She is active in Christian education and worship planning at Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship and has also used her M.Div. as a curriculum writer. Just Eating: Practicing Your Faith at the Table is one of her publications. Jennifer enjoys gardening with native plants and has many friends in the plant kingdom. She loves outdoor travel and learning about ecology and natural history. Her workday includes overseeing the Mennonite Creation Care web site.
Goshen, IN. He is a church relations representative and a group/member support specialist for Everence, and board of directors, president for ADNet (Anabaptist Disabilities Network). He has also served as a pastor and held denominational and conference leadership roles. Jim has a personal interest in creation care and has taught biblical and theological creation care perspectives to congregations. How can congregations implement creation care theology in practical ways? What forms of ministry might grow out of a focus on creation care? These are questions that intrigue Jim.
Taos, New Mexico. He is an author, educator, small-scale farmer, wilderness trip leader and Mennonite minister for watershed discipleship affiliated with Albuquerque Mennonite Church. He has been engaged in education reform and social change movements for twenty years, and has spent more than a thousand nights outdoors. He and his wife Peg founded a wilderness-based public charter school in 2001 and are now creating TiLT, an incubator for intentional living in Taos, NM. His 2015 book, Rewilding the Way: Break Free to Follow an Untamed God, was published by Herald Press. Find more of his writings and doings at taostilt.org and rewildingtheway.com.
Lancaster, PA. She lives with her husband in a four unit apartment building in the city of Lancaster where she enjoys the challenge of making a small city yard both beautiful and food producing. An array of solar panels on the building’s roof gives enough energy to power their home plus channeling about two thirds more back into the electric grid. She has provided leadership for her congregation’s Creation Care Committee which uses funds from a voluntary gas tax church members assess on themselves to do things like install better insulation into the church and subsidize the cost of planting trees for neighbors of the church.
Marlisa is a nurse whose day job is working with low-income first-time mothers for up to two years of their baby’s life as they learn to be good mothers. She likes working with mothers who have migrated to Lancaster from all parts of the world. Along with her husband and 2 children, she lived in Latin America for almost nine years; she continues to enjoy good Latin music, merengue dancing and food from a variety of countries.