Summit after convention to gather youth for action on climate change

Mennonite Church USA Youth & Young Adult Climate Summit Mennonite Church USA Youth & Young Adult Climate Summit

Mennonite Church USA will host a climate summit July 7 in Kansas City, Mo., to help young people put their faith to work by addressing the spiritual and human crisis caused by climate change.

The event for people ages 14 to 25 will bring together experts in climate change, spiritual activism and social justice.

It will follow MC USA’s July 3-6 convention and take place alongside the July 7-8 delegate session.

In organizing the summit, MC USA is collaborating with the Mennonite Creation Care Network and Anabaptist Climate Collaborative to provide resources for understanding the climate change crisis and ­offering ways to cope and get involved.

Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz, MC USA denominational minister for peace and justice, noted that climate change disproportionately impacts low-income communities around the world who carry the least responsibility for creating it.

“Addressing the root causes by ­focusing on and implementing solutions that provide renewable energy and address land use is a justice issue we should all be concerned about,” she said. “I have no doubt our youth and young adults will be leading us as we move forward.”

The keynote speaker is Talitha Amadea Aho, author of In Deep Waters: Spiritual Care for Young People in a Climate Crisis. She has worked with children and youth as a Presbyterian minister in Oakland, Calif., and now serves as a chaplain at a children’s hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Panelists for the event are:
— Luke Beck Kreider, assistant profes­sor of religion and sustainability at Goshen College.
— Lynn Hur, a recent graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied sociology and conducted community-based participatory research in sustainability.
— Sarah Nahar, a nonviolent action trainer and interspiritual theologian and former executive director of Community Peacemaker Teams.
— Sibonokuhle Ncube, former director of Compassionate Development Services of the Brethren in Christ Church in Zimbabwe and currently Mennonite Mission Network regional director for Africa and Europe.

Jennifer Schrock, who directs the Mennonite Creation Care Network, said: “I hope youth and young adults will come away from the conference surprised and hopeful: surprised by the broad spectrum of ways that creative, faith-filled people are working on climate change, grateful to know they are not alone and eager to find a way to contribute that works for them. Most of all, I want youth to see that the church is walking beside them in this and values their presence and partnership.”

The planning team includes Stutzman Amstutz; Schrock; Kaufman; Sara Garulé, constituent engagement representative at MMN; Sarah Werner, MC USA climate justice intern; Galen Fitzkee, legislative associate with Mennonite Central Committee U.S.; Eva Webb, environmental educator at the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College; Hur; and Tai Linklater, a student at Canadian Mennonite University.

Registration is at

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