When Luke Gascho and Jennifer Schrock of Goshen College’s Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center invited me to help lead efforts to engage Mennonite churches on climate change, it felt like a call from the Spirit. I felt prepared because I had been leading Benton Mennonite Church in Goshen, Ind., in creation care for 15 years and had just spent a sabbatical studying ecology and theology.
How do you reckon with the feeling that everything is changing? That sense that crises are converging? With the notion that we have some big choices to make individually and collectively?
Those questions get at some of the ideas at play in “Caring at the End of the World,” a new video from Eco-Anxious Stories that you can watch below.
'I believe the one thing individuals can do to have the greatest impact in the fight against climate change is to give up their cars.' (Image by tookapic/Pixabay)
The climate strike in Waterloo last month raised awareness and got people talking about climate change, which is a good thing. What's a lot more important but a lot more difficult to organize and be a part of is the action that is taken after a strike like this. How can we build off this energy?
From left to right: Laurel Smith and Juniper Giesbrecht, both of Charleswood Mennonite, Lena Klassen of First Mennonite, and Alayna Smith of Charleswood Mennonite, attend the Winnipeg climate strike. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
The Westgate Mennonite Collegiate Concert Choir performs at the morning prayer service at Broadway Disciples United Church. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
More than 12,000 people take part in the climate strike in Winnipeg. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Kyle Penner, associate pastor of Grace Mennonite in Steinbach, and Paul Loewen, a member of Douglas Mennonite in Winnipeg, with Penner’s sign of Dirk Willems with an environmental twist. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Mennonites Matthew Rempel, left, Kelsey Wiebe, Marta Bunnett, Marika Veith, Michael Veith, Sarah Janzen and Maya Janzen all strike for the climate! (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Mennonites from many different churches in Manitoba gather at the Manitoba legislature for the global climate strike. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Andrea De Avila, associate pastor of Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church, and Moses Falco, pastor of Sterling Mennonite Fellowship, both Winnipeg congregations, volunteer as marshals for the rally. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Mennonites took to the streets of Winnipeg on Sept. 27 with more than 12,000 others to strike for the climate. The rally was one of thousands happening around the world as part of the global youth-led movement that has seen millions protesting the climate crisis and advocating for environmental justice.
More than 10,000 people in Winnipeg joined the global climate strike last Friday, Sept. 27, including a strong showing of Manitoba Mennonites.
In the video below, Moses Falco—pastor at Sterling Mennonite Fellowship—shares footage from the Winnipeg strike, as well as a multi-faith prayer event that preceded it.
The climate crisis is top of mind for many these days, so here’s a story about Maureauto Colombia (AVIS), a car rental company in Bogotá, Colombia that is reducing its environmental impact.
'This is a prayer we are reluctant to pray because it is so hard to name what we fear out loud... We feel so small in the story of the world, and yet our actions have such big consequences.' (Image by Tumisu/Pixabay)
This is a prayer we are reluctant to pray
because it is so hard to name what we fear out loud.
We go through our days trying to pretend
that life as normal will continue forever,
but that is harder and harder to sustain.
And so we need this prayer where we lay out
the disaster of climate change to you, Lord, and to each other:
the loss of species never to be seen again,
the bleaching of the coral reefs,
the submersion of coastal regions,
the dislocation of populations,
Dann and Joji Pantoja with their seven grandchildren. (Photo courtesy of Dann Pantoja)
My peace and reconciliation ministry is motivated ultimately by my love of the Creator, my service to Christ and my submission to the Comforter. Yet, I also have familial motivations for the vision, mission and activities to which I’m committed—they are my family, especially my grandchildren.
What I’m doing now is a grandfather’s attempt to contribute to the care and sustainability of this planet, for their future.
I pray for my grandchildren as they grow up on a planet going through ecological crises because of climate change.