Tag Archives: ministry

Fire in the Engine Room! A Parable for Our Time

Most of us have long forgotten the Carnival Splendor debacle, almost four years ago, now.  I bet those passengers haven’t forgotten, though, and neither should we forget the powerful lesson from this incident.  (Published Nov 12, 2010)

The spectacular, ill-fated Carnival Splendor

The word “ordeal” was what caught my attention first.  It was a news story about the Carnival Splendor, one of the largest cruise ships in the world, disabled off the coast of California early this week.  Ordeal?  Amid all that luxury?  This must be journalistic overstatement.

Little by little, the details started to emerge as the ship was towed back to San Diego, then came a flood of reports yesterday after the ship reached port.  Smoky corridors.  Blocked up toilets.  Stench filled hallways.  Interior rooms with no light or ventilation.  And two hour waits to be served hot dog salad and Spam.  (It is a strange footnote to this entire episode that the only thing the cruise line has disputed is that Spam was served to the passengers.  What’s the big deal about Spam among all of the other hardships?  But I digress…) Continue reading

What’s in a calling?

Can you be “called” to environmental work?  It took me almost 10 years working in the creation care movement to discover a person who should have been one of my first heroes, Sigurd Olsen, and who was, he believed, “called” from missions to care for God’s creation.  Maybe he’s new to you, too?  [Originally published Feb 9, 2009]

I recently spent almost two weeks in the Library of Congress, discovering some new heros to add to my collection. One of the names that kept appearing was that of Sigurd Olson. Previously unknown to me (and I suspect to many others today), he was a genuine hero of the wilderness movement in the early 20th Century. Among his writings are Singing Wilderness and Listening Point, both written in the first half of the last century. Continue reading

Missionaries Changed the World Once – Can they do it again?

This is article is a repost from InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholar’s Blog.  Thanks to Tom Grosh for permission to cross-post.

The topic of a recent cover story in Christianity Today is shaking up not only the world of missions, but also academia. The World the Missionaries Made is a report on the work of Robert Woodberry, a sociologist currently researching at the Political Science Department of the National University of Singapore. CT’s Executive Editor Andy Crouch calls it the CT cover story of which he is most proud. Its thesis and Woodberry’s work support a remarkable conclusion – that a generation of “conversionary protestant missionaries” (see note) laid a foundation for democracy around the world. Continue reading

Ed Brown appointed to Senior Leadership post at Lausanne

The following is the text of a newsletter just sent out to friends of Care of Creation Inc. (If you are not on our e-newsletter list, please join us!)
We have some exciting news to share with you!  The Lausanne Movement has appointed me as Senior Associate for Creation Care.  This appointment represents a new chapter in the history of Care of Creation as an organization, and an exciting opportunity for me personally.  It also represents a dramatic advance for the evangelical creation care movement.
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Environmental Crisis in Haiti: Is the Church Waking Up?

I have recently returned from a Creation Care conference in the country of Haiti – an event that provides an exciting glimpse into one possible strategy for ‘mobilizing the church to respond to the environmental crisis’ on a nation-by-nation basis.  Let me know what you think.

Background

At Care of Creation our strategy, our goal and our dream has been to “mobilize the church” to respond to environmental challenges.  More recently, we’ve grown bolder by saying that we wanted to “mobilize the worldwide church to respond to the global environmental crisis.”  That’s a statement that serves well as a branding tool, but as an actual goal?  Moving the entire global Christian community in any direction seems like a big stretch, even to us.

That is what makes my recent trip to the country of Haiti so interesting.  I don’t need to tell you that Haiti is a country where disasters seem to happen almost on a schedule.  Where the level of poverty displayed on city sidewalks can shock even seasoned travelers.  And where more than one author has used the word “hopeless” to describe one of the world’s worst environmental situations.

But Haiti also has a church.  The people of God are represented in this nation.  And it might be that they are actually starting to wake up and to take responsibility for their own country in a way that they have not done before.  It is dangerous to proclaim that a particular event is historical when it has only just occurred, particularly when that event is a conference.  Can a conference actually accomplish something?

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Creation Care, Sri Lanka style

One of the highlights of my job is the opportunity to correspond with people from all over the world.  If it is true that the environmental crisis pays no attention to national boundaries, it is equally true that the Spirit of God is moving his people to respond to that crisis in every corner of the world.  Many of those involved in this kind of ministry are simply following their own instincts as they respond to what they see happening in their own regions.  Here’s a neat story from a friend and brother I haven’t met – Damitha – about how he and his family became involved with creation care as a means of ministry.  Enjoy – and if you like what you read, ‘like’ his work on Facebook (see the link at the end).

Sri Lanka is a country blessed with rich plant diversity, 4000 plant species and 800 are endemic to the country and long cultural heritage more than 2500 years combined with ancient agriculture and most of these plants were well utilized in building up healthy rural communities.

In Sri Lanka, God has blessed us with a wide variety of indigenous plant species that can be used for food, medicines, buildings, animals and birds. They are connected with ethical, cultural, spiritual and social activities recognized from earliest days of human history useful in solving global acute health problems.

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