This article was originally published by The Mennonite

‘Learn, Pray, Join’ for climate justice

Mennonite Church USA encourages people and congregations to focus on climate justice by highlighting prayers, resources and ways to get involved in February and March. This is part of MC USA’s “Learn, Pray, Join” initiative in partnership with Mennonite Creation Care Network (MCCN) and the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions (CSCS).

“When we look at what’s happening in the United States and around the globe, it’s hard to deny the impact on God’s creation,” says Sue Park-Hur, MC USA denomination minister for transformative peacemaking. “We need to address this in community and find hope. Church is a great place to start.”

Learn

MC USA will provide a free webinar, “Caring for climate: Beyond denial and despair,” which will be held 7:30-9:00 p.m. ET Feb. 27. Led by Doug Kaufman, director of pastoral ecology at CSCS and pastor of Benton Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana, panel discussion will explore ways congregational ministries can help people navigate the myriad emotions they experience related to climate and how they can move from inaction to hopeful engagement and get others involved.

“We need to be actively talking about climate change in our congregations and to pray for the motivation to take action and the wisdom to guide our next steps,” says Kaufman.

Additional panelists are:

  • Christy Miller Hesed, an environmental anthropologist and conservation biologist whose work focuses on engaging underrepresented communities in climate change adaptation planning.
  • Ken Pitts, an environmental science school outreach specialist for Oregon Metro.
  • Sibonokuhle Ncube, who brings almost 20 years’ experience in various development contexts through her work in Zimbabwe, including climate change management and finance and disaster preparedness.

Register for the webinar here.

Podcasts and resources for adult Sunday school and small group study will be provided. In addition, MC USA will publish news stories and blogs from people across the church focusing on how they have engaged with climate justice during the two-month initiative.

Pray

MC USA invites individuals and congregations to intentionally pray for God’s creation and climate justice. Resources for individual and congregational prayer, worship ideas and sermon topics will be provided.

Join

Resources will be provided to encourage individuals and congregations to take action, including MCCN’s Greener Congregation Score Sheet, information on upcoming events, advocacy and support opportunities, renewable energy grants, pastoral retreats and more.

“We need to recognize climate justice as spiritual discipleship,” Park-Hur says. “It’s about changing the context of ‘living simply’ by asking ourselves: How do we live simply when everything around us is so complicated, toxic and disposable? How do we look at the environment in all settings? How do we learn from diversity of community? How do we impact structural policies? How can we work with other organizations to make a bigger impact?”

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