Registration is open
for the UMC Creation Care Summit, Thursday, July 11 - Sunday, July 14 (worship opportunity Sunday morning) in Nashville, TN at the United Methodist Women's Scarritt Bennett Center.
Folks from Minnesota who are interested in attending and would like to travel together should contact Isaiah Friesen (firstname.lastname@example.org
/ 612-230-6128) to arrange car-pooling.
The keynote speaker
will be Heather McTeer Toney
. Ms. Toney is currently National Field Director of Moms Clean Air Force, an organization dedicated to fighting air pollution and climate change. She was the first African-American, first female, and the youngest (at age 27) to serve as Mayor of Greenville, Mississippi where she served from 2004-2012. In 2014, she was appointed by President Obama as the Regional Administrator for the EPA's Southeast Region. She will be an excellent speaker for our theme of building a movement!
Purposes of the Summit:
- Make creation care a central priority of the United Methodist Church. (Strategizing and setting goals for how to accomplish this will be a major focus of the Summit.)
- Give participants additional tools for effective action in our different settings (learning from each other).
- Affirm and empower grassroots leaders in this movement.
- Worship together.
- Leave inspired and encouraged.
- Plenary Sessions (speakers; panels; open conversation)
- Small Group Work (workshops; field trips; strategy sessions)
- Worship and Music (worship and music will be built into every day with a final service on Sunday for those who can stay)
Currently, the plan is to offer some field trips Thursday morning. The Summit will officially kick off with lunch on Thursday. The last working session will be late Saturday afternoon. There will be a worship service at Edgehill United Methodist Church (a few blocks from Scarritt Bennett Center) on Sunday morning.
These figures include meals but not lodging:
Full Conference: $160
Friday and Saturday only: $100
Saturday only: $50
We have reserved a block of 35 rooms in a dormitory on the beautiful Scarritt Bennett Center campus. These are single rooms (one twin bed) with a shared bathroom with the adjacent room. The cost will be $50/night for the first 35 people who sign up (very inexpensive by Nashville standards), but you must reserve for all three nights (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). Note: To get that rate, reserve through Summit registration not directly with Scarritt Bennett!
There will be limited possibilities of staying in homes of Nashville folk. Of course, many of you will stay in commercial lodging, though keep in mind that rooms can fill up quickly with tourists on weekends.
Music City USA is a fun/interesting place to visit. Some of you may want to consider building some vacation/tourist time around the Conference (come a few days early or stay a few days after, or both). Our current plan is to have Friday evening free to get out and see the sights (or rest) and Saturday evening will definitely be free time. Scarritt Bennett Center is in the center of the city located next to several UMC agencies and just blocks from the downtown honky tonks (duck in for a taste of country music or just stroll around and people watch). The Grand Ole Opry may not be for all tastes, but for those who are country music fans, it is Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00. And for those of you who are not country music fans, there are lots of other music venues scattered throughout the city. If you like to dance, Saturday evenings feature dancing with a live band in our big city park, Centennial Park, where you will also find a full-scale replica of the Parthenon. Related to our Summit, Nashville was the center of student action for the Civil Rights movement. One possibility we are considering is a field trip featuring historical sites related to that. Anyway, might give some thought to what you might want to check out in Nashville while you're here.
We are really looking forward to being with you this coming summer as we strategize, equip, inspire, and encourage each other in this very important work on behalf of God's good creation. Please let us know if you have questions about any of the above.
For God's Good Creation,
Rev. Paul Slentz, Pastor for Creation Care and Environmental Justice, Tennessee Conference, UMC
Dr. Dan Joranko, Coordinator for the Creation Care Ministry (Stewards of God's Earth), Tennessee Conference, UMC