Spring event will focus on ?Caring for God’s Creation’
Feb. 24, 2006
The Rev. Jimmy Carr
By United Methodist News Service*
A training event in April will help churches and individuals respond to
an often-overlooked area of stewardship, yet one that has roots in Genesis:
The call to care for the earth and its resources.
The event, “Caring for God’s Creation,” will be April
20-22 at the Lake Junaluska (N.C.) Conference and Retreat Center. It is open
to “anybody who’s interested in caring for the earth,” said
Loy Lilley, event coordinator and Good Word Resource Center director at Lake
The early bird registration deadline has been extended to March 1.
“In a time when many are complacent about the environment, a new
emphasis can assist the church in taking leadership,” said Jimmy L.
Carr, executive director for the United Methodist Church’s Southeastern
Jurisdiction, with offices in Lake Junaluska. “Local church members
will learn effective ways of being stewards of creation, allowing them to
be the best disciples possible.”
“The earth is our home,” Lilley said, “and
we need to learn how to take better care of that home given us by God.”
The event is sponsored by the United Methodist
Women of the Southeastern Jurisdiction, the Ministry Team of the Southeastern
Jurisdiction and the
Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. People and churches from any
of the United Methodist Church’s other geographical areas are welcome,
This is the first of what will be multiple events
focused on stewardship of the earth. “We’re looking at care of the earth so that it
can be more sustainable, and we’ll be moving next year to what we can
do (about) the causes of what’s happening to the earth,” Lilley
Eleven workshops (each offered three times) will cover such subjects as
sustainable agriculture, earth care and Christian spirituality, simpler living,
earth care and Bible basics, political advocacy, practical ideas for saving
energy, and saving water.
Climate change will be one of the issues addressed. “There are those
scientists who say, ?Don’t worry about it, it’s just a
cyclical thing and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Lilley
said. “It’s happened before and it’s going to happen again,
so don’t worry about it.’”
However, he said, if you live on an island in
the Pacific, where the water level is rising, or if you live in Greenland,
glaciers are melting,
you are concerned, he said. News reports this month have stated that Greenland’s
glaciers are melting at a more rapid rate than previously believed.
Keynote speakers will include:
- Tom W. Mann, a United Church of Christ
minister who at one time taught Hebrew Bible at Princeton Theological Seminary.
His most recent book
is God Of Dirt: Mary Oliver And The Other Book Of God.
- The Rev. Miriam Burnett, vice chairperson of the National Council
of Churches USA’s Justice and Advocacy Commission. She is a practicing
physician and associate minister at Victory AME Church in Atlanta.
- Bishop Kenneth Carder, professor of pastoral education at United
Methodist-related Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C. Carder served as the
leader of the United Methodist Church’s Tennessee and Mississippi annual
- Freeman Owle, a Cherokee storyteller
The Rev. Miriam Burnett
Participants also will learn about resources available in local areas, and
how to develop a Creation Care Ministry at the annual conference, district
and local church levels.
The early bird fees are $65 for an individual and $175 for a team of three.
After March 1, the fee increases to $85 and $195, respectively.
More information is available at www.sejumc.org.
Click on “Events
Calendar” and then “Caring for God’s Creation.” Details
are also available by calling Lilley at (828) 454-6750.
*This story was compiled with information from Tom Nankervis, Tennessee Annual
Conference coordinator of communications, Cintia Furtado, Southeastern
Jurisdiction communications specialist, and United Methodist News Service
News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.