Called to Creation Care
Elizabeth Abbey, coordinator
"God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good." ~Genesis 1:31
Calling Community Context: As God’s children, we are called to love him and love his people. One way that the Church can fulfill this charge is through the care of and advocacy for our natural environment. God wants us to enjoy the playground that he created. Too often, however, we have confused stewardship with exploitation. When the earth is debased, people suffer as well, and inequalities and injustices grow. Taking an active stance toward conservation is not only a biblical mandate, it also benefits people and their relationships with God and one another. The Creation Care Calling Community will explore these intersections and how an ethic of environmental stewardship can build up our personal faith, the Church, our community and our world. This will be accomplished through study, discussion, relationship-building and the development of a creation care project. Participants will be eligible to apply for grant money to implement this project.
Calling Community Goal: Equip churches in the Spokane area to live out an ethic of environmental stewardship that will enrich personal faith, the Church, our community and our world.
Participants: Anyone involved in a local church or parachurch organization within the greater Spokane area may apply to participate. Applicants make a one-year commitment and agree to be regular participants/contributors to calling community gatherings and events.
Content: The Creation Care Calling Community is centered around activities that form the foundation of our learning and work together:
- Regular dinner/discussion–Held approximately every three weeks during the school year, these gatherings form the core of our work together and provide opportunities to learn, share and build relationships with one another. All meals, books and other materials are provided to all participants.
- Field trips/hikes–One cannot appreciate the natural world without exploring it! Therefore, a key characteristic of this calling community will be opportunities to get outside and enjoy God’s creation.
- Whitworth Ministry Summit and other special events–Our group will participate in the Whitworth Ministry Summit (formerly the Whitworth Institute of Ministry) with sessions designed particularly around our theme. In addition, at least two guest speakers will be brought in during the year for lectures or workshops.
- Projects–Our learning together will inform projects that we will develop to nurture faithful worship in our own churches. Project proposals will be developed through the year, and the results will be celebrated in a culminating banquet in January 2020.
Since "creation care" is an incredibly broad and diverse theme, we will not be able to tackle every issue under this umbrella in our time together. We will begin the year with a general overview of creation care topics and the theological basis for environmental stewardship and then dive deeper into specific areas of interest that come from these discussions. Potential topics areas include: air quality, climate change, ecology and ecosystems, environmental health, environmental justice, food systems, and water. Participants will develop projects that engage at least one topic area (though many may overlap) and apply for funding to implement them.
Tentative Time Frame: During the spring, regular dinner gatherings will be held in the evening from 6–8:30 p.m. on the Whitworth campus. The initial dinner will be held at the beginning of March, and future dates will be set depending on participants' schedules. A final culminating celebration dinner will be held in January 2020. The Whitworth Ministry Summit (June 24–27) and other special lectures and workshops will be held during the year (dates TBD).
Application Process: Apply here and download the Creation Care Calling Community application form. Applications are due Friday, Feb. 1, and participants will be notified of their status by Feb. 11.