Learn more about WNCC Creation Care and Justice in the WNCC
August 4, 2021
All clergy members in the WNCC are invited to join in a conversation with Rev. Jonathan Brake, an ordained elder serving Mount Pleasant UMC (Sherrills Ford), and Kim Richmond, a lay member and organizer of Creation Care Ministry at Maple Springs UMC (Winston Salem), as they discuss The Mission of Creation Care and Creation Justice in the WNCC. These conversations will take place via Zoom on three consecutive Tuesdays during the Season of Creation – September 14th, 21st, and 28th – from noon to 1pm, so bring your lunch and eat, relax and listen, then share comments and questions after each presentation.
On September 14th, the conversation topic will be What Is the Problem? Why is there a need to focus on caring for God’s creation anyway? What does creation justice even mean? If I have a comfy home, a good job, my own car, all the clean water I want, What’s the Problem? I don’t do anything that would ever intentionally hurt someone: I recycle my plastic water bottles, decline a straw at restaurants, and always make sure I turn the lights out when I leave a room, so What’s the Problem?
On September 21st, we will explore Why Should We Care? As Christians, and more specifically, as United Methodists, do we have any “guidelines” that direct us towards caring for God’s creation? What does the Bible say after the creation stories in Genesis? If we are not doing any intentional harm to others, is that enough? Do our spiritual leaders of The UMC take a position on creation care? What do our Social Principles and our Book of Resolutions have to say on this topic?
And on September 28th, ideas for some practical steps that can be taken will answer the question What Can We Do? Don’t most people know these things already? Is this going to cost a lot of extra money? Does it really matter if my church plants an organic community garden? How does that help? Does this mean I need to preach on creation care every week? What about our other ministries? And what if my congregation isn’t really into creation care? What can we do?
This series of conversations on creation care will include a preview of a new program called the Green Church Initiative (GCI) which the Creation Care Ministry Team plans to launch in October. The GCI offers practical steps available for congregations to take in five areas of local church life: Worship, Discipleship, Stewardship, Evangelism, and Mission. Implementation of these steps will allow churches to earn points towards certification as a Green Church, and recognition of such status at Annual Conference. A Zoom-based training for interested laypersons who may wish to lead such a program will be offered in October to provide guidance and answer questions about the program.
Both Jonathan and Kim are UM EarthKeepers, commissioned by the General Board of Global Ministries, who have engaged in bringing creation care practices not only to their own homes and families but to their home churches and local communities, as well. Jonathan and Kim are working together, along with other members of their Conference team, on “growing an attitude of caring for God’s creation and translating this attitude of caring into intentional acts of caring and justice” in the local churches throughout the WNCC. For more information on WNCC Creation Care Ministries, visit https://www.wnccumc.org/wncc-creation-care-ministry.
Again, these conversations will take place via Zoom on three consecutive Tuesdays during the Season of Creation – September 14th, 21st, and 28th – from noon to 1pm. For more information and to register for The Mission of Creation Care and Creation Justice in the WNCC, email us at CreationCareWNCC@gmail.com.