Global Ministries EarthKeepers equips United Methodist laity and clergy to develop or deepen environmental initiatives in their communities. This is a great opportunity for United Methodists who:
• Feel a deep sense of God’s call to care for the environment, recognize the urgency of the environmental crisis, and are ready to take bold action;
• Need to strengthen their organizing skills and deepen their theological resources to support the development or growth of an environmental project or initiative in their churches and/or communities;
• Want to join a broader community of United Methodists who are engaged in environmental ministries;
• Have some previous experience with environmental issues and/or ministry.
EarthKeepers may have professional experience in science, environment and/or ministry fields, or they may be engaged in religious or environmental work as volunteers.
• Eco-theology basics
• Strategies for social change
• How to discuss challenging issues
• United Methodist entry points for engagement
• Intersectionality—how experiences of environmental issues are influenced by social factors
Each training will also have a special focus topic:
• In Atlanta, GA, we’ll focus on green infrastructure and meet with leaders at SouthFace, a non-profit that promotes sustainable building.
• In Detroit, MI, we'll focus on sustainable community development and meet with leaders at Cass Community Social Services, an agency that provides food, housing, health services and job programs in green industries.
• In Salt Lake City, UT, we’ll engage in a deeper discussion on climate, disaster, and sustainable development, and visit and serve at UMCOR Depot West.
There is no fee for this training. Global Ministries will provide lodging and vegetarian meals for participants. Lodging in Atlanta will be single occupancy; lodging in Salt Lake City will be double occupancy. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the training site before and after the training.
Participants must complete five hours of homework in the month prior to the training. They should plan to commit 10 hours/month to their projects for at least six months following the training. Participants may join or be invited to help form a regional or online cohort group following their training.
Participants will either develop a new project or build on a project on which they are already working. Applicants will be asked to describe their idea for a project in their applications. All ideas are welcome! The project should be an expression of the participant’s faith in response to a creation care need in their church and/or community. Types of projects EarthKeepers have developed include:
• Solar campaigns and other renewable energy initiatives
• Sustainable church gardens in food-insecure communities
• Recycling center in a community where there was none available
• Local church, district and conference creation care ministries
For questions, contact Rev. Jenny Phillips, Creation Care Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.