Our shared home, planet Earth, is a miracle. I've known this intuitively since I was a child growing up under the expansive skies of the Saskatchewan prairies. Stunning sunsets, stars, aurora borealis, long winter nights and long summer days with brilliantly clear skies, thunderstorms rolling in from a distance.
Once upon a time I hitchhiked to a park visitors centre nestled beneath Wyoming’s Grand Tetons. Next to other quotes by famous American wilderness gurus were the words of a far-less recognized teacher of ecological wisdom.
There is more grace in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
That does not let anyone off the hook; it promises that we can face the grim fate of the Earth and the compromises of our lives without being utterly overwhelmed. (And it means I can break bread with sisters and brothers who do not believe there is a hook that anyone needs to be let off of.)
At a recent annual gathering, Colombian Mennonites pray for outgoing denominational president Yalile Caballero, who was an influential advocate for peace and justice. Jeanette Hanson, MC Canada’s director of International Witness, says of the Colombian Mennonites that they do ‘amazing peace and justice work because they love Jesus.’ Reports produced by Justapaz, the peace and justice arm of the Colombian Mennonites, weave an overt spiritual intimacy into documentation of human-rights violations. (Photo by Jeanette Hanson)
Some Mennonites raise their hands when they sing. Others don’t.
Some attend climate rallies and examine decolonization. Others don’t.
Some Mennonites hear sermons focused on the Word and personal relationship with Jesus. Others hear sermons that draw on Pete Enns; Mary Oliver, a modern day mystic; or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Humanity wastes 931 million tonnes of food each year. This figure—from the 2021 United Nations Environment Programme Food Waste Index Report—is an estimate with an admittedly wide margin of error, but it is probably the best of the wildly varying estimates of food waste in the media.
A global survey conducted by Mennonite World Conference (MWC) shows that Mennonite-Anabaptist congregations around the world are being impacted by environmental issues such as climate change in diverse ways, are feeling anxious and sad due to those impacts, and are talking about creation care in their churches.
Climate change has been on the agenda of our global village for a generation. The science, the discourse and the mood have shifted over time. As has reality. What was once a dark cloud in the distance has become an atmospheric river overhead.
(Photo by Luis Poletti/Unsplash)
If you are anything like me, you are missing singing hymns as a congregation during this pandemic. Hymns are such a vital part of expressing our faith. We find comfort in the melodies and texts from prophets, mystics, church leaders and hymnists. The formation of a new hymnal shows what we as a church body believe, what issues we are struggling with and how our faith is evolving.
Muscovy ducks dabble in one of their favourite mud puddles in the Wiederkehrs’ barnyard. They are kept for eggs, meat, fly control and because they are fun to have around. (Photo by Theo Wiederkehr)
My family farms, raising plants and animals on a small scale—40 hens, five cows, two sows—both to feed ourselves and as a source of income.
“The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it” (Psa. 24:1) a congregation declares in its worship service.
It’s as if we are on a ship heading straight for the rocks in spite of warning buoys, lighthouses or even the jagged shoreline looming ahead. Individual efforts seem insignificant, a choice between rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic and trying to turn the ship with our bare hands. (Photo by Wollox / Creative Commons Licence (bit.ly/3rLhdz4))
The shipwreck of the SS American Star on the shore of Fuerte-ventura, one of the Canary Islands. (Photo: By Wollox / Creative Commons Licence (bit.ly/3rLhdz4))
When considering how to act against the damage of climate change, too often the focus has been only on the economic reality (i.e. Can a profit be made?), while ignoring the effects on environmental and social systems. But true sustainability only occurs at the place where all three spheres overlap. (Graphic by Betty Avery)
Every time you walk into the church building, that threadbare carpet stares up at you. Everyone agrees it’s time for a change, but how do you replace a worn-out carpet without destroying the planet?
Tim and Donita Wiebe-Neufeld of Edmonton First Mennonite Church own an electric Nissan Leaf car. Tim’s cousin, Arlyn Friesen Epp, owns a Leaf. Another cousin, Kendall Jongejan Harder, owns a Leaf. Tim laughs, “I guess our family cheers for the Leafs!”
WINNIPEG—On Earth Day 2020 (April 22), Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) announced that it was now officially Climate Smart certified. This certification marks a significant milestone in CMU's effort to address its role in climate change, and sets the university on a path towards continuous improvement in the stewardship of the resources, people and planet entrusted to its care. Climate Smart certification is based on a quantified commitment to greenhouse gas emissions reduction, reflecting standardized measurements of sustainability discerned at a global scale.
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?
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.
This September, Andre Wiederkehr moved into the Conrad Grebel University College residence at the University of Waterloo in a unique way—he biked.
The second-year science student cycled the 90 km. from his home near Mildmay, Ont. to Grebel in Waterloo, a trip that took him nearly eight hours. He transported everything that he would need to live at Grebel in a homemade bike trailer.
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.
God’s creation is now facing unprecedented destruction brought on by human activity. Attentive hunters know this just as well as vegan environmentalists.
Wildwood Mennonite Church recently became the first Mennonite Church Saskatchewan congregation to go solar. But, as with all major spending decisions, this one wasn’t made overnight.
A vision for incorporating sustainability into seminary education came to fruition in the fall of 2018 when two students from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Ind., joined the Sustainability Leadership Semester at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen (Ind.) College.
Warmed by a campfire and the scent of wood smoke, pastors prepare for a forest church experience outdoors. (Photo by Jennifer Schrock)
Hopelessness. Denial. Grief. Guilt. Despair. Pastors face these emotions in their congregations as they walk with people suffering from personal losses.
Shawn Klassen-Koop never thought he would write a book before his 30th birthday but that’s exactly what he’s done.