About the Retreats

Mennonite Creation Care Network (MCCN) and Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions (CSCS) have partnered to bring the 2018 pastoral retreats “Who Cares About Climate Change: Pastoral Responses to Denial and Despair.” Retreat locations are being planned at Mennonite camps throughout the US and Canada.

Background

Do you care about climate change? If you are like most people, you think that the warming of the planet is real and caused by human activity, but give it a low priority. Do you think God cares about climate change? God’s ongoing care for creation seen in Job 38-41, Psalm 104 and Genesis 1-2 indicates that all creatures are deeply valuable to God.

Through these retreats, pastors and congregational leaders may begin to understand the niche Christian morality and ethics can have in conversations around climate change and creation care. Many times, these conversations are predominantly scientific, offering solutions based on data and policy, ladened with debilitating emotions like denial or despair. These are challenging for anyone to digest and tend not to inspire action. With these ever-evolving strings of scientific discoveries come a unique role and influence that pastors can have in their vocations. A pastor’s role as spiritual leader allows him or her the opportunity help guide others through theological, emotional, and ethical reconciliation of worldviews and values challenged by scientific discoveries. A pastor’s voice surrounding creation care in congregations and locals should be an important part of working towards climate solutions. Join Doug Kaufman and others to address these unique role pastors can play in conversations around climate change and creation care.

What to Expect

Pastors who attend a retreat can look forward to increasing their understanding of climate change and creation care, engage in peer-to-peer exchanges with fellow pastors on environmental stewardship and listen for God’s guidance as we face the environmental issues of our time and seek to become change agents together.  

Main Presenter

Doug Kaufman pastors at Benton Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind. and serves as the director of pastoral ecology for the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions and Mennonite Creation Care Network. Doug calls himself a river pastor, having baptized people in the Elkhart River for over 15 years and led a Hoosier Riverwatch group monitoring the health of the river. Doug has also been a conference minister with the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference. He is pursuing a Th.M. in theology and ecology at Toronto School of Theology and will be presenting at each retreat.

Dates and Locations

Retreats are free to Mennonite pastors, including meals and lodging. Others pay $225.

Camp Friedenswald, MI

Date: Sept 17-19, 2018, beginning at 5pm on Wednesday through 1pm on Saturday.

Housing: Attendees will stay in Camp Friedenswald’s Sandhill Lodge. Directions are here.

Register Here. by Aug 31, 2018.

Local Presenter

Amy Huser is the Sustainability and Outdoor Education Director for Camp Friedenswald and holds a master’s degree in Resilient and Sustainable Communities from Green Mountain College. She will be presenting with Doug at the September retreat at Camp Friendenswald, MI.

 

Hidden Acres, ON

Date: Nov 19-21, 2018, beginning at 5pm on Wednesday through 1pm on Saturday

Housing: Attendees will stay in Hidden Acres’ Woodhouse Retreat Centre. Directions are here.

Register Here by Oct 31, 2018.

Local Presenter

Wendy Janzen joined the pastoral team at St Jacobs Mennonite Church in 2002 after graduating from AMBS. In 2016, she founded Burning Bush Forest Church, an outdoor worshiping community that meets in and around Kitchener-Waterloo. Wendy will be presenting with Doug at the November retreat in Hidden Acres, ON.

 

Retreat Location #3

Date:

More information and registration details to come.

Retreat Location #4

Date:

More information and registration details to come.

Registration

Future Retreats

If you or someone you know is interested in having a retreat in your area, please contact mccn@goshen.edu.

Please direct any questions or concerns to Doug Kaufman at ddkaufman@goshen.edu.