Green Faith event

Thanh -- April 25th, 2009

On Saturday April 18th, about 125 people participated in an event called “Green Faith: Communities Linking Faith & Sustainability” at the Harrisonburg First Church of the Bretheren. This event was sponsored and organized by at least 10 local Mennonite USA and Church of the Bretheren congregations as well as local colleges (Eastern Mennonite University, Bridgewater College) and other local organizations (including Camp Bretheren Woods,  Harrisonburg Mennonite Church‘s Creation Care Group, New Community Project, and Mennonite Mutual Aid).

Upon entering the building, attendees saw lots of exhibits by displayers including Valley Conservation Council, Friendly City Food Co-Op, Eastern Mennonite University, New Community Project, Climate Action Alliance of the Valley, Brethern Woods Camp & Retreat, and BUGS of Manasas. There were rain barrels (flickr) and composters (flickr) on display, and information about climate change, local camps, gardening, and how “you can combine your faith, caring for the Earth, and everyday living.”

There were two sessions, with multiple workshops occurring at the same time ranging from a variety of topics including Green Investing, Energy Efficiency at Home, Growing Local Food & Green Collar Jobs, and Cultivating Spirituality in Creation Care. At one of the sessions, Tom Benevento and Adam Campbell illustrated different ways one can create an edible garden (perennial and forest gardens) at home, and demonstrated  how to sheet mulch (aka lasagna gardening) which is an easy and earth friendly way to make a new garden- see flickr.

This is likely the first community-wide, faith-based creation care event in this area. The idea for this event was started by Beryl Jantzi of MMA who said he set out to publicize their new publication “Creation Care” by Luke Gascho (a speaker at the event) among local Mennonite USA and Church of the Brethren pastors. From that emerged the idea of putting together an event on the subject with representatives on the planning committee from interested congregations. With the additional interests and ideas from a variety of other congregations and groups in the community Joseph Lapp and others organized a very successful Green Faith event.

Side Bar: What is Creation Care? “[Creation Care] refers to the mandate from the Creator in Genesis “to till and to keep” the creation–to use and sustain it.  It also refers to “dominion over creation” which does not mean domination, but responsibility.”

* Thank you to Anne Nielsen for the information she provided to help write this post.

8 Responses to “Green Faith event”

  1. Renee says:

    I’m so glad to see my “home church” Manassas Church of the Brethren participating in these “green faith” events!

  2. Renee says:

    P.S. Thanks for the idea about “lasagne gardening” – I just might use it to garden in a corner of my backyard I am too lazy to dig up!

    I found more info here:

  3. Margo Jantzi says:

    It was refreshing this past week to teach lessons with our Cub Run Elementary Students focusing on environmental care issues and celebrating Earth Day/Arbor Day. I saw first hand that elementary students care deeply and want to make positive changes by recycling and reducing the waste. Thanks for the great ideas and resources to be proactive with our responsible creation care.

  4. David Miller says:

    What a beautiful concept.

  5. Anne Nielsen says:

    Thanks, Thanh for attending and encouraging, and for the great post here. Any errors are my own. I hope we can keep this going as a part of caring for creation.

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