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Metzger blogging for Creation Care

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Willard Metzger is the General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada.  He currently writes a blog in which he shares experiences and reflections focused about his time of leadership, and has an inspiring message about creation care.

Recently, Metzger was in Durban, South Africa, where approximately 20,000 people gathered from around the world for the UN Forum on Climate Change 2011.  Said Metzger in his Nov. 28 blog, “I came in response to a request to strengthen the presence of the Canadian Church leaders.

During his presence at the 10 day climate change forum, Metzger kept a daily blog of his observations.  “If the earth cannot sustain my neighbour consuming what I consume—then obedience to Christ must compel me to strive for a consumption practice that can also be shared with my neighbour,” wrote Metzger in his first blog entry from Durban.

On day four at the UNCCF, Metzger wrote of the frustrations and fragility of the conference.  With the larger economies hesitating and the smaller economies growing impatient, as Metzger wrote, he was feeling disheartened—until he attended a global youth forum.

A teenage South African girl spoke, encouraging the leaders present to focus on the future.  After first acknowledging the economic dynamics and financial costs involved in climate change she said with emphatic stance, “We need you to make the biggest decision of our lives.  Forget about the money you have to save, you are in a big debt already…You owe this to us!!”

The 10 day blog is a wonderful resource for us involved with MCCN.  As Metzger wrote on Day 9, “Creation care requires all the gifts and strategies we possess as a global family. We need new technologies. We need gifted entrepreneurs. We need committed governments. We need active sacrifice. With this portfolio of gifts, we have all we need to maintain a healthy global community.”

See the entirety of Metzger’s blog here.

EMU alum’s research on land development wins award

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Click here to read an incredible story of success!

Creation Care at Mennonite Church of Normal Includes Raingarden!

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Read this amazing story about Mennonite Church of Normal’s creation care activity.

Also, check out the wonderful slideshow at the bottom of the story.

Finally, share it!

To see story, click here.

Week of Farming at EMU

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Eastern Mennonite University’s annual Food and Farming week, which started on Oct. 3, was a look into the world of sustainability.  The week hosted opportunities for students to engage area farmers, eat locally grown foods and learn about preserving fresh foods.

Food and Farming week was sponsored by the Earthkeepers student club; their mission is to “encourage, simplify, and implement environmentally friendly practices such as recycling, composting, reducing waste, and monitoring water quality in the Harrisonburg area.”

Activities during the week included:

-Baking bread with Tara Kishbaugh, associate professor of chemistry

-A coffeehouse chat at the local Common Grounds coffeehouse with professors.  Participants learned about cross-cultural experiences and different perspectives regarding food, nature and environment.

-A local farm tour of a CSA

-A local meal with local fare from area farms and gardens.

-Canning with Sustainable Food Initiative.

For more information, click here.

Photo from EMU.

Berea Mennonite Farms Three Acres

Friday, November 4th, 2011

“Before we dug up the church yard and planted potatoes, I don’t think people even knew we were here,” John Wierwille, pastor of Berea Mennonite Fellowship chuckled. “Now we’re growing, and the farm is no small part of that.”

Berea Mennonite Church is one of at least four 100 Shades of Green congregations with community gardens—though in this case, farm is a better term.

The small urban church has three acres under cultivation and grows over 70 different organic vegetables on the east edge of Atlanta. Now in its second year, the church sells its food at local farmers’ markets and also provides a first fruits tithe to the community, distributed through a free clinic.

Children at Oakleaf Farm

Wierwille, who pastors the congregation and also serves as its MCCN liaison, sees the farm as an integral part of the church’s ministry. “Our relationship with the land is just as important as our relationship with brothers and sisters and enemies and strangers,” he says. For Wierwille, salvation is not primarily individual. “It happens when we work together, risk together, celebrate the harvest together,” he says.

The farm gives the congregation that opportunity, as nearly every member is involved, even the toddlers. Meanwhile, curious neighbors drop in to get food or offer advice on wringing food from Georgia clay.

- Jennifer Halteman Schrock

Lancaster Mennonite Schools welcome back students

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

This article from Lancaster Online, focuses on the 1,500 Mennonite students in Lancaster, PA who had their first day of school on Tuesday, August 23. Along with the excitement of a new school year and the various new programs, many students noticed the solar collectors on the Kraybill campus.  The Kraybill solar collectors will provide most of the school’s energy.

Click here to see the entire story.

To view a previous article about the solar panels at the Kraybill campus, click here.

From EMU: University students enjoy fruits of labor

Monday, August 1st, 2011

By Mike Zucconi (EMU), July 19, 2011.  Photo from EMU.

HARRISONBURG, VA. – Future Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) students will not have to go far to enjoy an apple, pear or fig on their way to class.

Will Hairston, EMU grounds supervisor, and his team, have worked throughout the summer to cultivate and maintain edible gardens on campus.

“A few of the trees are already bearing fruit and we hope to have more plants producing shortly,” said Hairston.

“When these plants reach maturity and are producing, we hope to supply the cafeteria and have student groups harvesting them,” added Hairston.

Edible gardens have been around campus for years, according to Hairston, and will become more prominent thanks to a grant from the student group Earthkeepers. Hairston was able to buy more than 1,000 plants for landscaping around the Elmwood dormitory, turf field and Suter Science Center.

“We have apple and pear trees along the hill behind Roselawn dormitory and persimmon and pau pau trees around the EMU turf field.”

In addition, Hairston also maintains fig and crab apple trees, grape vines and cornelian cherry and black raspberry bushes.

Aly Zimmerman, a junior from Staunton, Va., said the push for edible landscapes around EMU began with the on-campus showing of the film “Food Inc.” The film focuses on the industrialized food system and its effect on environment, health, economy and workers’ rights.

“Almost immediately after see the movie Earthkeepers met and decided we needed to do something,” said Zimmerman.

Earthkeepers began using what they learned in “Food Inc.” to make changes around campus, including expanding the edible gardens. In addition to the fruit trees and plants that already existed they planted asparagus beds around the Elmwood dormitory and the Science Center. Asparagus can be harvested in March and April, so students will have ample opportunity to enjoy the vegetable before the end of the spring semester.

“We want to raise awareness to the availability and health benefits that these plants can provide,” said Zimmerman. ”EMU is an environmentally aware university and we hope to attract more students to science and environmental sustainability through our work.”

Tyler Groff, a senior from Lancaster, Pa., adds that the edible garden landscapes around campus will also benefit from increased use of technology, specifically Google Docs.

“We will be able to schedule watering cycles for all plants to make sure that none are missed,” Groff said.

“We hope to build an interactive display that can showcase where each plant is on campus and how they can be best utilized,” he continued.

Groff, like Zimmerman and Hairston, notes additional benefits to edible gardens.

“Edible gardens can provide enjoyment and add a new experience to campus. Hopefully, this will get people thinking about other ways they can make an impact while they enjoy something grown right here on campus.”

Mennonite Central Committee Ontario wants to win!

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

A message from MCCO:

Help Win Solar Panels for MCC!!!
MCC Ontario has entered the Watt’s Next video contest to win a 10kW solar panel (valued at $70,000!) and all we have to do to win… is WATCH IT.  Easy.

Most views = WIN.

We have until September 24 to rack up as many views as we can so please:
1) Watch this video a couple times a day every day until Sept 24th.

2) Share this video on your facebook pages, blogs, and email lists to any and all … and encourage them to do step 1)

MCCO is committed to caring for our creation and winning this solar panel would really help put a boost to our eco-initiatives …

It has never been easier to REALLY help out MCC… no work, no donations, no volunteer hours… all it takes is a bunch of clicking and sharing. THANK YOU!

Peace camp focuses on earth care

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

reported in Mennonite Weekly Review:

Earth Care-People Care was the theme at a children’s peace camp, co-sponsored by Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va., and local faith communities. Campers learned about sustainable living on visits to Jewish, Christian and Muslim places of worship. They also made ice cream using bicycle power.  Read more here.

Kraybill Mennonite School has solar panels

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

This informative article from Lancaster Online discusses Kraybill Mennonite School’s recent purchase of 385 solar panels.  They are the first school to use solar panels in Lancaster County.  In addition to the economic and environmental reasons for using solar energy, another main reason Kraybill Mennonite installed solar panels was to model their faith through care for creation.  Read more.


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