Is "Ecology" just the latest fad for the church or is it a crucial call for the body of Christ? What is our role as Christians in the stewardship of the earth and its resources? How can we be committed to ecological concerns over the long haul without becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of its scope and size?
These are some of the questions that will be explored during “A Sustainable Faith: Ecology, Incarnation and the Interconnectivity of All” April 20-21, 2012, at the Christ United Methodist Church and MissioDei Community in St. Petersburg.
Everyone, laity and clergy alike, who values caring for creation, social action and sustainable living, is invited to this two-day conference. It will feature varied perspectives of authors, activists and educators discussing long-term commitment to sustainable ecological concerns.
Among the speakers are:
- best-selling author and social activist Brian McLaren, who speaks on ecological concerns and social justice
- Rick Bennett, author and Interim Director of Justice and Outreach for Florida Conference of the Methodist Church
- Andy Bell, an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, licensed clinical social worker and teacher of Ecotherapy and Ecopsychology
- Doug McMahon, Campus Ministries Director and Chaplain at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, local pastor at The Missio Dei Community and founder of Solomon’s Porch church in Minneapolis
- David Smith, leader of the Lake House, an intentional community in Tampa that utilizes a homemade solar water heater and a community garden among other ecology-minded initiatives and
- G.W. Rolle, the justice pastor at the holistic, missional, Christian community, The MissioDei, where he strives to curate sustainable forms of social justice in communities.
- In addition, Rev. Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson, a United Church of Christ Pastor and a member of World Council of Churches, will offer her perspective as a long-time activist in peace and justice initiatives all over the world. She served on the national staff of the UCC for nearly twenty years, most recently as one of the five officers of the church and as head of Justice and Witness Ministries. Previously, she served as director of the Bishop Tutu Scholarship Fund in the United States.
Designed to facilitate learning for individuals and groups, the conference also features exhibits on local and national initiatives regarding creation care and the Christian faith, as well as nightly social activities at venues around town. Attendees also will have the opportunity to see sustainable ecological practices in action as they visit The Edible Peace Patch Project, a 501c3 non-profit corporation dedicated to the development of sustainable urban agriculture, healthy food systems, and economic opportunity located on the south side of St. Petersburg. Since January 2009, when the organization built its first a schoolyard garden at Lakewood Elementary School, the Edible Peace Patch Project has been developing innovative community-oriented food system and nutrition educational programs in south St. Petersburg.
Until March 31, the cost for the weekend is $49 per person, with $10 discounts for students and groups. Registration and more information are available online at www.asustainablefaith.com or by contacting Greg Stevens, (813) 767-3738 or firstname.lastname@example.org.