ATLANTA, GA—Global Ministries will commission 67 new EarthKeepers from 23 conferences in an online service on November 19, 2019 at 8pm ET at www.umcmission.org/live. This service will affirm the EarthKeepers in their call to the ministry of creation care and will bless their work in their communities.
Commissioning online creates the opportunity for all three classes of EarthKeepers trained in 2019 to be commissioned together while minimizing the carbon footprint of the service. It also allows EarthKeepers to participate with family, friends and church community alongside them. Bishop Larry Goodpaster of the Southeast Jurisdiction, Roland Fernandes, Global Ministries COO and UMCOR Executive Director, and Rev. Jenny Phillips, Creation Care Program Manager, will lead the service.
EarthKeepers is a training program to equip United Methodists in the United States for environmental stewardship. Participants spend three and a half days immersed in discussions on theology, United Methodist resources, community organizing, and anti-racism, and then use what they learn to develop an environmental project for their churches and communities. It serves as both a launchpad for people looking to turn an idea into action, and an incubator for people who want to deepen an existing ministry. Participants develop plans in conversation with their peers, troubleshooting ideas and sharing strategies.
This year’s participants range in age from 13 to 83 and are from annual conferences in every United States Jurisdiction. Trainings were held in Philadelphia, PA, Austin, TX and Chicago, IL.
“Creation is in crisis. Global Ministries EarthKeepers recognize the many ways in which the Bible calls people to participate in the health and flourishing of Creation,” said Rev. Jenny Phillips, Creation Care Program Manager. “EarthKeepers are empowered to turn big ideas into powerful action by developing projects that address urgent environmental concerns in their communities.”
Upon completion of the training, EarthKeepers are expected to launch an environmental project in their communities and can apply for UMCOR grants to support their work. This year’s projects include community gardens, green building programs, waste-management initiatives, and more. To receive information on 2020 trainings, please email Alicia Stromberg, Sustainable Development Program Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.