The Butterfly Effect: Praise God!

There’s something about butterflies.
malachite butterfly
Malachite butterfly MILENIUSZ SPANOWICZ/WCS

Madidi National Park, located in northern Bolivia, holds at least 1,500 species of butterfly.  That’s more butterfly diversity in a SINGLE PARK the size of New Jersey than in the entire United States and Canada, as Discovery News wrote on March 18th.

One thousand, five hundred “sky-flakes…flowers that fly and all but sing,” according to Robert Frost’s poem, Blue-Butterfly Day. Continue reading

Here am I, an environmental scientist. Send me!

Building homes and other structures with common materials in Malawi.
Building homes and other structures with common materials in Malawi.  By creatively recycling materials on hand, people divert trash from being burned and creating pollution.  This could be the work of an environmental missionary!

Environmental missionaries are those sent cross-culturally to labor with Christ-the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of all creation-in caring for the environment and making disciples among all peoples.  ~pg. 17

Lowell Bliss, Environmental Missions: Planting Churches and Trees.  William Carey Library, 2013

In 2009 I was a college student attending my first Urbana Missions Conference, and the book “Environmental Missions” was a twinkle in Lowell’s eye.  I was not interested in overseas missions because I was studying wildlife ecology, and enjoying it very much.  I thought that I would need to be a medical professional or pastor in order to be a proper missionary.   I thought my wildlife ecology studies precluded me from missionary work.

However, the idea of environmental missions is exactly the opposite: we can care for God’s good earth and His very good creation: people…at the same time.  Join me as I reflect on a few quotes from Lowell Bliss’ book, Environmental Missions, and explore the possibility of expanding our current understanding of missionaries to include those who love God’s world.
Continue reading

Connecting Missions with Climate Action and Creation Care

Originally posted on yecaction.org. 

Read our previous post about Urbana Here.

Brittany Urbana 2015 booth_smallIt might be too early to tell what God is doing in and through the hearts and minds of over 16,000 college students who participated in the Urbana Missions Conference in St. Louis a few weeks ago. However, I left the conference hopeful for the Church’s participation in the restoration of creation, specifically in addressing climate change. I had the opportunity to exhibit at the conference through my work with Care of Creation and was able to support a range of conversations on creation care and climate action among conference participants.  Continue reading

Joint Statement: Global Evangelical Leaders Welcome Paris Agreement

lausanne_creation_care_networkFour evangelical entities, the World Evangelical Alliance, the
Lausanne Creation Care Network, Tearfund and A Rocha International  have issued a joint statement praising the Paris Climate Agreement has an historic and landmark document, and pledging support for it through their members around the world.

As evangelical leaders, we commit to bringing the Paris Agreement home to the countries where we are represented all around the world, and to play our part in celebrating and promoting it, in working for its implementation and delivery, and in challenging governments and world leaders in the months and years ahead to strengthen it in the ways still needed. We also commit to supporting and engaging with other national and global processes which promote care for God’s creation and love for our neighbours suffering the impacts of environmental degradation such as the Habitat III conference in October 2016.

Read the entire document here:

Global Evangelical Leaders Welcome Paris Climate Agreement as Historical Accomplishment

We have an agreement! Video clips of comments at the final session of COP21

The final agreement, accepted unanimously by 195 or 196 countries (we’ve read both figures) is an historic event, as evidenced by the following brief clips of various dignitaries.

(All from the official UNFCCC video feed, archives of the full comments will be available here later.)

US Secretary of State John Kerry:

UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon:

Francoise Hollande, President of France:

Philippine Delegation (includes a shout-out to the world’s faith communities for their part):

Singapore Delegation:

Video: Hayhoe and Cizik on “Acceptance and Avoidance among Evangelicals

Here’s a video interview from Paris via climatematters.tv and the United Planet Faith & Science Initiative discussing the status of climate attitudes among US evangelicals.  Features a not-so-bad definition of evangelicalism in the first few minutes that might help any readers who are not that familiar with this group.

Runs about 30 minutes, and thanks to the engaging personalities of both Hayhoe and Cizik, very easy to listen too.  Might be worth sharing with others.  (At Care of Creation we have contact information for both of these speakers – let us know if you would like to reach out to either of them.)

A Conversation about God, His Creation and Our Role in Creation