Mission u 2017: Moving from Earth Day toward climate justice

April 27, 2017
The Rev. Sherry Ferriman
Photo and story submitted by the Rev. Jim Gulley
Co-dean of Mission u 2017

Melting ice, rising oceans, acidification, deforestation, climate change, decreasing biodiversity, pollution and a growing refugee diaspora are some of the global threats that humans face daily. These are some of the realities highlighted each Earth Day, observed by many last week. Mission u 2017 offers opportunities to both adults and children to see these threats to humanity and all of God’s good creation in a course on Climate Justice: Call to Hope and Action (adults) and God’s Extravagant Garden (children).
Adults: Drs. Miok and Michael Fowler, experienced educators, will, for the second year at Mission u, “explore with new participants how climate change issues are interconnected to multiple justice issues, including racial, social, economic, class and gender justice.”  Adult participants will not only expand their Biblical, theological, and ethical insights related to climate justice but will be inspired to grow as advocates for and caretakers of God’s good creation.
Children (July 22): Rev. Sherry Ferriman, a pastor and experienced Mission u study leader (pictured left), invites parents to bring their children to Mission u to participate in God’s Extravagant Garden: Climate Justice, a learning experience designed specifically for Grades 1-5 as of Fall 2017.  Rev. Ferriman notes that a part of the learning experience will  “intentionally get kids away from their screens (phone, computer, video games) and outdoors … allow(ing) children to experience the great outdoors” in ways that “so many children … are not doing today.”  Participating children will not only have opportunity “see nature, but (will) experience it and learn to appreciate the finer details of creation.” She adds, “I have found, over the years, that Mission U changes the perception of children and allows them to begin seeing the world through a mission focus.”
2-day Event: St. Andrew United Methodist Church, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, will host Mission u 2017 in a new 2-day format on Friday and Family Friendly Saturday (with activities for children and youth), July 21 to 22.  You will have a choice of two studies, one each day. In addition to Climate Justice, course offerings at St. Andrew include: Missionary Conferences of the United Methodist Church in the U.S. and Living as a Covenant Community. See descriptions and schedule of courses at www.rmcumc.org/mission_u.
1-day Events: From July 19-Oct. 7, 1-day events will be held in six other districts where participants will pick one of two studies being offered. You may find a schedule of all events, study descriptions, registration forms and online registration for selected events at www.rmcumc.org/mission_u.