Wendy Janzen began her role as Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s eco-minister, a new quarter-time position, on Jan. 1. She will work closely with both the leadership and the mission portfolios within the regional church.
“As a church we are aware now more than ever of the necessity for a faith response to issues of climate change and environmental impact,” says Norm Dyck, MC Eastern Canada’s mission minister.
This vision, emerging from years of increasing conversation, seeks to empower congregations in their worship and witness with their communities engaging in the important work of caring for God’s creation.
“I long for us to reawaken our call to faith that invites us into a relationship with God and with creation,” says Janzen. “Our faith speaks into how we live and how we relate to the world.”
An ordained minister, Janzen leads Burning Bush Forest Church, an expression of church within MC Eastern Canada of a worshipping group of individuals who have found themselves longing for connection with God in the natural world.
“I have been working as a pastor at Burning Bush . . . for the past five years,” she says. “During that time I have experienced an up-swell of interest and curiosity . . . about what it means to connect what we’re doing as a church with the whole question of how we relate to our environment in this huge looming environmental crisis.”
“Wendy is a leading voice in the Wild Church movement and has already been a resource to many pastors and congregations across denominations seeking to respond locally to climate change and environmental sustainability,” says Marilyn Rudy-Froese, MC Eastern Canada’s church leadership minister.
“We can become overwhelmed by the global environmental crisis,” Janzen says, “but if every congregation was aware of one particular place in their local environment where they could be involved, what an impact that could make! My prayer is that we can work collectively to expand our understanding and experience of God in a way that transforms how we live and how we view the world.”
Janzen is available to preach or consult with congregations about engaging in restorative relationships with God’s creation in their local watershed. To learn more, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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