Seven Mountain Sky Conference members to be commissioned as new United Methodist EarthKeepers

October 24, 2018
Submitted by the Rev. Jenny Phillips
Creation Care Program Manager, EarthKeepers, General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church

45 new EarthKeepers will launch creation care projects.
Global Ministries plans to commission 45 new EarthKeepers in an online service on Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. at This service will affirm the EarthKeepers in their call to the ministry of creation care and will bless their work in their communities.
Commissioning online creates the opportunity for all three classes of EarthKeepers trained in 2018 to be commissioned together while minimizing the carbon footprint of the service. It also allows EarthKeepers to participate with family, friends and church supporters alongside them. Bishop Larry Goodpaster of the Southeast Jurisdiction, Thomas Kemper, General Secretary of Global Ministries, Rev. Jenny Phillips, UMCOR Creation Care Program Manager, and Rev. Dr. Jerome Sahabandhu, Global Ministries Mission Theologian, will lead the service.
EarthKeepers is a training program of Global Ministries to equip United Methodists in the United States for environmental stewardship. Participants spend three and a half days immersed in discussions on theology, United Methodist resources, community organizing, and anti-racism, and then use what they learn to develop an environmental project for their churches and communities. It serves as both a launchpad for people looking to turn an idea into action, and an incubator for people who want to deepen an existing ministry. Participants develop plans in conversation with their peers, troubleshooting strategies and sharing wisdom.
This year’s participants range in age from 13 to 80 and are from annual conferences around the United States. Two trainings have already been held in Atlanta, GA and Detroit, MI, and a third training will take place in Salt Lake City, UT November 1-4.
“This training empowers United Methodists to harness Biblical, theological and denominational resources to develop bold initiatives to address the grave environmental challenges of today,” said Rev. Jenny Phillips, Creation Care Program Manager. “Participants build relationships and skills that strengthen their leadership as stewards of creation.”
“People worldwide are suffering the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation,” said Thomas Kemper, General Secretary of Global Ministries. “EarthKeepers equips United Methodists to address the root causes of that suffering.”
Upon completion of the training, EarthKeepers are expected to launch an environmental project in their communities. This year’s projects include community gardens, advocacy campaigns, green building projects, education initiatives, and more. To receive information on future trainings, please email Rev. Jenny Phillips at
Mountain Sky Conference EarthKeepers:
Kristen Bell
Steve Bell
Mary Beth Downing
Terry Haven
Stephanie Moffit
Tevita Ofahengaue
Jay Vestal