VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/10/16)—The ABC Creation Justice Network, a new ABC initiative, met September 22-23 in Sherborn, Mass. The Network, which received a grant from the Mission Initiative Fund, was formed based on the premise that each day we see God’s magnificence in creation. As God’s creations, Christians are called to become good stewards of God’s world.
The Steering Committee met due to awareness of the growing concerns over climate change and other environmental injustices that disproportionally affect the poor and vulnerable, including working people whose livelihoods are threatened when new sustainable energy sources replace old ones.
The Network calls all American Baptists to live into the hope and possibility of God’s justice and peace being established on Earth as it is in Heaven. Through practices of dialogue, prayer, education, action, and contemplation we are seeking to cultivate spiritualities of care for creation, support sustainable lifestyle convictions, and integrate justice concerns for ecology, race, and economy into ABC life. Instead of separateness and a consumer mentality, the Network will work to help us see the interconnectedness in life and to move toward an ethic of care and justice for all life.
“Nearly fifty years ago, American Baptists were on the leading edge of the movement among religious communities in the ministry of ecological stewardship and human justice – eco-justice. Individuals and American Baptist congregations around the country have continued their commitments to or initiated this vital work in our time when people and Earth are crying out for justice, healing and renewal. The American Baptist Creation Justice Network is a way to inspire, resource and connect American Baptist congregations in a common ministry on behalf of all of God’s creation,” said Tom Carr, Suffield, CT, co-coordinator of the group serving along with Ian Mevorach, Natick, MA.
The main target audience is the local church; our mission is to support congregations to work locally toward creation justice, whatever that looks like for them in their particular context. Practical and useable resources will be developed and recommended for use in worship, Sunday school classes, and retreat settings. Through our Network, we will share our stories, inspire and teach one another, and find ways to work together and partner with others to achieve even greater impacts for creation justice on state, national, and international levels.
At the November 2016 Board of General Ministries meetings to be held in King of Prussia, Penn., the groups co-coordinators Mevorach and Carr, along with Owen Owens who authored Spiritual Helps in Hard Times: The Bible’s Hope for Life on Earth, will lead the board in a small group Bible study on creation justice.
Members of the Steering Committee are: Ashley Anderson, Boston, MA; Karyn Bigelow, Washington, D.C.; Dwight P. Davidson, Granville, OH, Stacey Simpson Duke, Ann Arbor, MI; Kathleen Moore, Albany, NY; Jamie Washam, Providence, RI, David Wheeler, Portland, OR; and Don Ng, Sausalito, CA.
In addition to the above Steering Committee, there is an Advisory Board comprised of many people who bring expertise on many areas of creation justice concerns. There are plans to sponsor a number of events at the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit, June 30-July 2, in Portland, Oregon. For more information, please contact: Ian Mevorach: firstname.lastname@example.org and Tom Carr: email@example.com.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.