Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Many creation justice leaders feel isolated and discouraged. We are writing to you as the “Baptist Resilience and Adaptation Community” to invite your participation in a national, and global, support group community.
For the past five months, five of your colleagues have been receiving both encouragement and studied focus for our efforts as Christ followers to care for the entire Earth community and all of creation. The purpose of this email is to invite you to join us. If you are already primed to sign up, just contact one of us:
Katherine Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need more of an explanation, read on.
In the fall of 2020, Ken Whitt was anticipating the publication of his new book, hoping that the book and his ministry would support families caring for the creation and preparing to adapt to the consequences of the damage that has already been done. Feeling the need for a community that could support him in this work, he began to reach out to other climate justice leaders among American Baptists.
Ken connected to Tom Carr, the Coordinator of the Creation Justice Network of the ABC/USA. Tom has been a pioneer of this work in our denomination for many years. He helped to establish the network, which is housed within the General Secretary’s office. Yet, as Tom and all of us have experienced, it has remained very difficult to engage others in effective action.
Tom recommended that Ken get to know Rebecca Driscoll, then a part time staff person of the ABC, working with the Creation Justice Network. However, funding was ending for her position and she needed to move on and has landed in Massachusetts doing similar work with TABCOM and is about to candidate at a Baptist church in that state.
One person referred another to Ken and he was able to hold many zoom meetings with Creation Justice leaders across the country, including some not directly part of the ABC. Eventually that led to two on line conferences last October and November. Participants included Dan Buttry, David Wheeler, Ian Mevorach, Katherine Smith, Don Ng, Betsy Sowers, Karyn Bigelow, Ricardo Mayol Bracero, Bryan Jackson, Owen Owen, Kathleen Moore and others.
One of the critical needs that was identified during these gatherings was the isolation and discouragement felt by most Creation Justice leaders as the confronted the truth about the depth of our predicaments and the resistance and denial that are prevalent in our culture. Five participants decided to begin meeting monthly as a support group. Katherine, David, Rebecca, Ken and Tom began calling this ministry of support, “The Baptist Resilience and Adaptation Community.” We gather as a community of support and to embrace a vision of hope in order to release a flow of energy of the Spirit that cannot be overcome; Light in the darkness.
We believe we are called to alert Baptists across North America, and our global servants around the world, to the availability and the importance of this community. If you are ready to find support and encouragement for you creation justice work, contact one of our members listed above. We can also share more information, especially our experiences caring for each other as we care for the creation.
Please feel free to forward this letter to other Baptist climate justice leaders.
I am personally looking forward to talking with many of my friends and colleagues about how we can care for the creation as we care for each other.