We are a team of laity and clergy of the Tennessee Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church who are committed to working toward appropriate care of God’s creation.
Creation Care Ministry (CCM), a Faith Partner of Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light (TIPL), is a past Love and Justice Grant recipient. They not only engage in direct services, but also in direct actions that advocate for laws and policies that help the earth and all inhabitants to live life abundantly.
Love and Justice: Red Solo Cups and Environmental Justice
During the 2016 Annual Conference, under the leadership of Rev. Paul Slenz, the CCM practiced what they preached by keeping 100s of plastic bottles, paper lunch boxes and discarded paper out of a TN landfill. They responded to an immediate need – get those red solo cups off the lawn. They performed acts of mercy – acts of Love for God’s Creation.
The CCM team knew that they had to do more than wait for the next soda can thrown out a car window. They developed and gathered resource materials for congregations, communities and individuals, including energy audits, worship and devotional guides and talking points for legislators.
In July 2019, the team worked without ceasing to organize and host The United Methodist Creation Cares Summit that brought in over 200 Creation Justice Disciples from throughout the connection. CCM Coordinator Dr. Dan Joranko and volunteers accomplished the Summit’s goal to “strategize how to build a strong movement for creation care and environmental justice within The United Methodist Church.”
Even before the Summit, the CCM volunteers brought people together from across the greater Nashville Area and TN to join the March for Science and to attend a candlelight vigil for the U.S. to join the Paris Climate Agreement. The CCM gathered signatures to urge the Tennessee Valley Association “to significantly step up its programs to help low-income households become more energy efficient.”
In October 2019, the team reached out to Representative Jim Cooper and John Rose as well as their constituents to support the bipartisan “Reclaim Act (HR – 2156) that would support new jobs for coal workers and their communities as our country transitions to a clean energy economy.”
The CCM advocates and mobilizes for climate protection and policies – They perform acts of Justice for God’s Creation.
CCM responds to individual and groups’ immediate needs and works to break down the systems that created that need. For these reasons and more, the TNUMC Board of Church and Society awarded their ministry with a Love and Justice Grant.
Creation Care Team
Dan Joranko, Creation Care Ministry Coordinator
Rev. Paul Slentz, Pastor of Creation Care and Environmental Justice
Contact us — firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailing address: Creation Care Ministry PO Box 120081, Nashville, TN 37212
We seek to be instruments of God’s renewal of creation — the restoring of humanity and all things to God’s intended harmony.
We give thanks for the complex richness of creation and affirm the divinely-created interconnectedness of earth, air, water and all living things.
We acknowledge that the Creator has made humankind in such a way that our well-being is tied to that of the whole created order.
Thus we embrace the inseparable link between love of neighbor and the protection of all creation.
As United Methodists, we affirm the mission of our denomination “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” and undertake this work as a crucial piece of that mission.
The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein. (Psalm 24:1)
God has given Humankind “dominion” over the works of God’s hands, meaning that God has chosen to share with us his creating power and sovereign caretaking. (Genesis 1: 26-31 and Psalm 8: 3-6)
Stemming from our love of God, we are to treat our neighbors like ourselves, doing no harm, sustaining this good created order, living as interconnected and interdependent people. (Luke 10: 27)
The Social Principles of The United Methodist Book of Discipline (2012) speak to this gift and this responsibility: We believe in God, Creator of the world; and in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of creation. We believe in the Holy Spirit, through whom we acknowledge God’s gifts, and we repent of our sin in misusing these gifts to idolatrous ends.We affirm the natural world as God’s handiwork and dedicate ourselves to its preservation, enhancement, and faithful use by humankind…..(Read more)
Climate Change: any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). It may result from natural factors such as changes in the sun’s intensity, natural processes within the climate system such as changes in ocean circulation or human activities.
Ecological Economics: a policy-oriented perspective that addresses the interdependence and coevolution between human economies and their natural ecosystems
Sustainable: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged. More
Hymns: The United Methodist Hymnal:
All Creatures of Our God and King (#62); All Things Bright and Beautiful (#147);
Morning Has Broken (#145); How Great Thou Art (#77);
For the Beauty of the Earth (#92); God Created Heaven and Earth (#151); (More…)
Scripture Texts: Genesis 1-2: The Creation Stories
Luke 10: 25-28: Love God with all your heart … and your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 6: 25-30: Consider the lilies of the field
Psalm 8: How majestic is your name in all the earth;
Psalm 24: The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; (More…)
Prayers: The United Methodist Book of Worship:
Prayers of Confession — # 472, #473, #494, #552, #554
Scarritt Bennett Center | Nashville, Tennessee The summit will bring together United Methodists and others from congregations, annual conferences, agencies, and other organizations at all levels of The United Methodist Church. We will:
Dream boldly of ways we can play a key role in healing the planet
Strategize how to build a strong movement for creation care and environmental justice within The United Methodist Church
Learn from each other effective practices for this work
Gain strength and inspiration by worshiping together
Connect with interfaith partners in this work (July 13)