Global Ministries will commission 17 new EarthKeepers in an online service on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. ET. The service will affirm the EarthKeepers in their call to the ministry of creation care and will bless their work in their communities.
West Ohio’s Tim Wood, a student at the Methodist Theological School of Ohio, will be commissioned with this class. His work is focused on expanding a faith-based organization, Asset Based Community Development, helping community members to develop thriving lives to encompass creation as a whole.
Global Ministries EarthKeepers is a training program to equip United Methodists in the United States for environmental stewardship. Participants discuss 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. The program is both a launchpad for people looking to turn an idea into action and an incubator for people who want to deepen an existing ministry.
Wood Days, “The Earthkeepers are a key element in the disciplining infrastructure we need to build to unleash the United Methodist heart for creation care in order to transform the world.”
“These Global Ministries EarthKeepers are visionaries and innovators,” said the Rev. Jenny Phillips, senior technical advisor for Environmental Sustainability and leader of the Global Ministries EarthKeepers program. “They aren’t waiting for the pandemic to end; they’re responding to the environmental crisis now with creativity and resilience.”
This year’s projects include gardens, creation care resources for youth and adults, tree canopy restoration, renewable energy and more. This is the fifth year that the EarthKeepers commissioning service has been held online.
The online service allows EarthKeepers to participate along with their family, friends and church community. It will be led by Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, episcopal leader of the Baltimore-Washington and Peninsula-Delaware conferences, Roland Fernandes, general secretary of Global Ministries and UMCOR, and Phillips.
If you would like more information about this program or would like to recommend others, please contact Rev. Jenny Phillips at jphillips [at] umcmission.org.