2022 EarthKeepers Commissioning Letter and Press Release

September 7, 2022

Media Contact: Dan Curran for Global Ministries and UMCOR media@umcmission.org

Global Ministries to Commission EarthKeepers for Environmental Stewardship
29 new Global Ministries EarthKeepers will launch creation care projects

ATLANTA, Aug. 30, 2022 — Global Ministries will commission 29 new EarthKeepers in an online service on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. ET. This service will affirm the EarthKeepers in their call to the ministry of creation care and will bless their work in their communities.

Register here to join the service via Zoom.

Global Ministries EarthKeepers is a training program to equip United Methodists in the United States for environmental stewardship. Participants discuss theology, United Methodist resources, community organizing and anti-racism, and then use what they learn to develop an environmental project for their churches and communities. The program is both a launchpad for people looking to turn an idea into action and an incubator for people who want to deepen an existing ministry. Participants develop plans in conversation with their peers, troubleshooting ideas and sharing strategies. This is the third year Global Ministries has offered this training online.

This year’s EarthKeepers include clergy, laity, conference disaster response and UMVIM coordinators, a mission advocate, and agency and conference staff.

“Each of these EarthKeepers is a channel for God’s mission of redemption for all God’s people and God’s creation,” said Roland Fernandes, general secretary of Global Ministries and UMCOR. “Together, their projects will form a powerful response to the environmental concerns of the church and the world.”

“The projects of these EarthKeepers intersect with issues that touch all of us,” said the Rev. Jenny Phillips, senior technical advisor for Environmental Sustainability and leader of the Global Ministries EarthKeepers program. “Their work will support sustainability in finance, disaster response, energy, food production, waste management and more. Tools and resources in discipleship, education, spiritual formation, community organizing, advocacy and mission will support their efforts, all to ensure the just restoration and flourishing of God’s creation.”

This is the sixth year that the EarthKeepers commissioning service has been held online. The online service allows EarthKeepers to participate along with their family, friends and church community. In addition to Fernandes and Phillips, it will be led by Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, bishop of the Baltimore-Washington Conference and interim bishop of the Peninsula-Delaware Conference.

This year’s participants span the country, from the uppermost reaches of the Pacific Northwest to southern Texas to a barrier island off the North Carolina coast. They reside in 17 different annual conferences in all five U.S. Jurisdictions. Headshots of the participants are available for annual conference communications use at: Global Ministries EarthKeepers 2022

To read more about their projects and to get updates on 2023 trainings, join the Global Ministries Creation Care Network at http://creationcare.umcmission.org/signup.

The 2022 Global Ministries EarthKeepers reside in the following conferences:

Thea Becton
Rev. Neal Christie
Cynthia Taylor
Sharee Wharton

East Ohio
Barbara Dawson
Claire Jencson
Kevin Schaner

Greater New Jersey
Rev. Cricket Denton

Maureen Horsley

Mountain Sky
Rev. Courtney Randall (clergy, New England)

New Mexico
Rev. Sarah Allen

North Carolina
Rev. Stephanie Campbell
Rev. Logan Jackson
Rev. Gayle Tabor

North Georgia
Chuck Pugh

Northern Illinois
Jake Barnett (staff, Wespath)
Karen Clausing

North Texas
Christine Guldi

Pacific Northwest
Rev. Ronda Cordill
Anita Dygert-Gearheart
Rev. Dr. Bob Dygert-Gearheart (clergy, Indiana)
Ann Mayer
Rev. Kathy Neary

Rio Texas
Rev. Mark Brechin

Sheila Noss

Tennessee-Western Kentucky
Andrea Zink

Dr. Karen McElfish

Western North Carolina
Brian Mateer

Western Pennsylvania
Dr. Saundra McKee

Photos are available at: Global Ministries EarthKeepers 2022

About the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church

Global Ministries is the worldwide mission and development agency of The United Methodist Church. Founded in 1819, Global Ministries today supports more than 200 missionaries in over 60 countries, including the United States. It has personnel, projects, and partners in 115 countries. Learn more about Global Ministries by visiting www.umcmission.org or by following www.facebook.com/GlobalMinistries and www.Twitter.com/UMCmission.

#BeUMC Creation Care