The Episcopal Church has received two-years of funding for creation ministries in Tennessee. The $48,000 stipend is part of an environmental stewardship fellowship awarded from the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, an internal Episcopal mechanism that advocates solutions to a variety of pressing issues, including domestic poverty, environmental protection and global justice.
Their current project is focused on involving children in community gardening, to educate them on sustainable agricultural practices, an approach which participants view as multifaceted. Through community gardening initiatives, children learn the importance of sustainable living and how this relates to social justice, providing them with the tools necessary to become climate leaders.
"The Justice and Advocacy Mark 5 Fellowships are crucial to the future of our Church as we seek to reconnect with our food sources, lift up the intersections of poverty and environmental issues, and understand what we can do as individuals and church communities to mitigate and adapt to our changing climate," said Jayce Hafner, a Domestic Policy Analyst for the Episcopal Church.
Additionally, participating children are reconnected to God's creation by experiencing firsthand how the earth operates, grows and provides if properly cared for. Cindy Coe shares, "they learn to appreciate God's creation."
Reconnecting people to nature is the first step to communicating on climate change. Rather than telling people what to care for, show them by advocating outdoor ministry care at your church today!
tBy Mary Frances Schjonberg for Episcopal News Services
The Episcopal Church is addressing the call of the fifth Mark of Mission to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth in a number of ways, including through the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s support for the work of two women who want to bring Episcopalians of all ages in closer touch with the earth.
In Tennessee, Cindy Coe’s focus is “getting children outside” to grow a lifelong concern for creation and, in California, Sarah Nolan’s is helping the church see “good agriculture and good food as a justice issue.”