People of the land?

MILES TO GO — Cyclists on the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions climate ride set out on an early leg of their journey in Washington state. MILES TO GO — Cyclists on the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions climate ride set out on an early leg of their journey in Washington state.

Lately my son has been asking some deep questions. He just turned 5, and the question I get on a pretty regular basis these days is, “Mom, why did God create humans?” 

I won’t claim any special knowledge or that the answer I give is the best one. As I’ve fumbled through several variations, I’ve become most comfortable with this: “I think God created humans first because God loves us and second because it’s our job to love each other and take care of each other, the animals and the planet.” 

I tried to connect my answer to things he already knows and understands. He knows the love that I and his father and other family and friends have for him. He can grasp taking care of one another in 5-year-old terms. He knows the love that he has for his pets. At our house, we care for a dog, a cat, chickens and rabbits and the occasional stray or otherwise needy animal. 

He also knows plants need water and sunshine to thrive. He delights in picking strawberries from our yard. In these and other 5-year-old ways, he can make connections to his own life.

In my answer, and in other efforts as his mom, I’ve tried to plant examples of caring for God’s creation that he can witness and participate in. 

At this moment in history, it is clear that our work of caring for the planet has reached a critical point.

In this issue we are featuring the ­climate bike ride, organized by the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions (page 8). Riders began in Seattle and ended in Washington, D.C., where they spoke to legislators about the need to support climate justice.

I’m so grateful for their efforts and want to point out that Sierra Ross Richer, who was Anabaptist World’s first intern, was one of the riders who made the 3,737-mile journey. (Go Sierra!) 

I hope their work can remind all of us of the urgency of climate justice efforts and inspire us all to do our part. 

Also in this issue, the Mennonite Creation Care Network shares opportunities to join in ongoing work with them and their resources. Check those out at

Last year, one of the first stories AW published was an article about forest fires on the west coast. A year later we have seen even more weather-related devastation — droughts, larger forest fires and more hurricanes. We are told that unless we take climate change seriously, the toll of devastation will continue to grow, not only on the environment but on human life.

As Anabaptists, historic people of the land, what do we have to offer the rest of the world in this moment? 

Danielle Klotz

Danielle Klotz is executive director of Anabaptist World. Read More

Sign up to our newsletter for important updates and news!