VALLEY FORGE, PA (7/9/20)—American Baptists are invited to participate in a webinar series hosted by the American Baptist Churches Creation Justice Network. The four session Thursday webinar series, entitled “Praying with Creation: Sabbath, Lament, Restoration/Resiliency, and Resurrection,” will meet weekly from July 23, 2020 to August 13, 2020 at 12:00pm EDT/9:00am PDT. Each session will center on a theme: Sabbath, Lament, Restoration/Resiliency, and Resurrection and will include scripture, prayers, reflections, insight from a guest speaker, and an opportunity for discussion on that week’s chosen theme. Join guest speakers from across the denomination as we reflect on how we as individuals and as congregations can collaborate to restore/heal God’s creation and communities in this time. Join the American Baptist Churches Creation Justice Network, along with the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary’s Minister for Creation Justice, Rev. Rebecca Driscoll, as we explore what God’s creation can teach us about living and responding to these times of global pandemic and ongoing racial injustice. Register for the webinar series here.
Praying with Creation: Sabbath
Thursday, July 23
Over the last few months, it is common to reference this pandemic time as a moment of Sabbath for God’s creation. The world is not consuming natural resources at the rate it was before the pandemic. As a result, there are more opportunities to notice God’s creation: the bird’s singing, cleaner water, and clearer skies. The Reverend Lauren Ng, Director of Leadership Empowerment at The American Baptist Home Mission Societies, will join the Creation Justice Network’s discussion as we reflect on Sabbath time sharing her experience in advocating for rest and Sabbath time for all of God’s creation, non-human creatures, and us. Join us July 23rd at 12:00pm EDT/9:00am PDT to explore what practices of rest and Sabbath keeping you and your congregation can embody as a way to honor God’s creation during this time.
Praying with Creation: Lament
Thursday, July 30
The Bible describes the land mourning and creatures suffering. We can see the physical marks of abuse and neglect on God’s creation. Living in the time of a global pandemic and ongoing racial injustice these signs of pain are even more visible. Sometimes the best response we can give to this deep pain is a cry of lament. The Reverend Kadia Edwards, National Coordinator of Volunteer Mobilization and Disaster Response Ministries at The American Baptist Home Mission Societies, will join the Creation Justice Network for this conversation on lament bringing her unique experience with congregations and volunteers in the midst of loss from natural disasters. Join us on July 30th at 12:00pm EDT/9:00am PDT to explore how we might embrace lament as a healthy Christian spiritual practice for ourselves and all of God’s creation.
Praying with Creation: Restoration/Resiliency
Thursday, August 6
As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues, many people are feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. It leaves many of us wondering what will feel normal again. Looking toward nature, we can see that God’s creation has the innate ability to rebound over and over again. Often ecosystems come back stronger and healthier after experiencing fires, flooding, or other human caused destruction. Katherine Smith, Executive Director of The Baptist Creation Care Initiative, will join the Creation Justice Network for a conversation sharing the stories of resilient congregations as they navigate experiences of environmental racism. On August 6th at 12pm EDT/9am PDT, come explore the ways God’s creation builds resiliency and practices restorative habits, and how, as part of God’s beloved community, we can, too!
Praying with Creation: Resurrection
Thursday, August 13
In this time of global pandemic and ongoing racial injustice, death is all around us. However, Paul reminds us in Romans 8:22-23 that the whole of creation has been groaning in labor pains, that perhaps we and creation are dying to one way of life only to be born into a new life. Paul’s message affirms that not only humans, but all of God’s creation is made for resurrection to be an Easter community together. International Ministries global servant Dwight Bolick will join the Creation Justice Network for this conversation on resurrection, and will bring examples from his experience serving in Chile teaching local pastors there about bee keeping. Join the Creation Justice Network on August 13th at 12:00pm EDT/9:00am PDT for a conversation exploring what God’s creation can teach us about living as Easter people in the midst of uncertainty.
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.