Frontier Ventures conference to address ‘overlooked need’ for Evangelicals’ involvement in taking better care of the planet
PASADENA, Calif. — A gathering of missions leaders aims to help close the long-standing gap between evangelism and environmentalism by calling the church to greater involvement in caring for the planet. Clean air, health, environmental, ethnic and economic justice in polluted environments are some of the topics evangelicals will be discussing.
Bringing the two important emphases together April 6-7 will have two benefits, organizers say: In striving for the wholeness caring for creation brings, God will be honored and people will be drawn to the good news of Jesus.
The two-day event is attracting university professors and students, as well as environmentalists, missionaries, organizational leaders, and American pastors. The Creation Care at the Frontiers of Mission conference (www.creationcaremissions.org) is being held in collaboration with William Carey International University (www.WCIU.edu), and Care of Creation (careofcreation.net), and will be hosted by Frontier Ventures (www.frontierventures.org) on WCIU’s Pasadena, Calif., campus.
“With this conference we hope to help awaken evangelicals to the opportunities Creation Care as Mission offers,” said Paul Dzubinski, director of innovation for Frontier Ventures. “Caring for creation is our spiritual obligation. Coupling it with missions is an opportunity to share Jesus’ love at the borders of world Christianity.”
“Environmental stewardship has largely been overlooked in the missions world because we have tended to see missions as being focused primarily on people’s spiritual needs,” said Ed Brown, Care of Creation CEO. “However, as Christians, we are called not only to go into all the world with the gospel, but to care for the world God created.”
Founded in 1976 as the U.S. Center for World Mission and renamed two years ago, Frontier Ventures has a long history of promoting critical thought and creative action in missions efforts among the world’s unreached people groups.
The Creation Care at the Frontiers of Mission conference will feature presentations and workshops addressing environmental trends and issues, examples of missions projects that focus on environmental needs and concerns, and ideas for better creation care practices in American churches and overseas.
Keynote speakers will include leading Christian thinkers, such as Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist and associate professor of political science at Texas Tech University, where she is director of the Climate Science Center; Ed Brown, director and ceo of Care of Creation and Lausanne Catalyst for Creation Care for the world missions Lausanne Movement; and Ruth Padilla DeBorst, provost of the Centro de Estudios Teológicos Interdisciplinarios in Costa Rica.
Other speakers will include Peter Harris, co-founder of A Rocha International, based in London, England, which promotes community-based conservation projects, and Lowell Bliss founder of Eden Vigil.
“Even when mission organizations began to take poverty and problems like HIV/Aids seriously, they often failed to understand that many of the underlying causes of things like poverty are environmental in nature,” said Brown.
“We want to explore how a biblical understanding of the gospel leads to a holistic approach to individuals and communities, and will both improve their lives and create multiple opportunities to share the love of Jesus with people who might otherwise not listen,” he added.
More information about Creation Care at the Frontiers of Mission is available at www.creationcaremissions.org.
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Based in Pasadena, Calif., Frontier Ventures (www.frontierventures.org) promotes the cause of mission among the world’s unreached people groups through research, education, and mobilization. Founded in 1976 as the U.S. Center for World Mission by the late missionary statesman, Dr. Ralph D. Winter, its subsidiary ministries include the acclaimed Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course.