2021 EarthKeepers, from left: Isaiah Robinson, Rev. Sheri Smith and Taylor Smith
Global Ministries is preparing to commission 17 new EarthKeepers in December. Among them will be three from New England:
Global Ministries EarthKeepers
- Isaiah Robinson
- Rev. Sheri Smith
- Taylor Smith
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. Participants develop plans in conversation with their peers, troubleshooting ideas and sharing strategies. This was the second training to be offered online due to COVID-19.
The commissioning service will be shared via livestream at 8 pm ET on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, on the Global Ministries website at https://umcmission.org/ekcommissioning/
. This service will affirm the EarthKeepers in their call to the ministry of creation care and will bless their work in their communities.
“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.
Other EarthKeepers in New England are: Michael Leonard, Katahdin District co-lay leader; and four from Cape Elizabeth (ME) UMC: Rev. Priscilla Dreyman, Steve Hill, and Linda Webster and Bob Webster.
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.
Also being commission are:
Katherine Baker Sarah Flint
Jan Nicholson Angle Dave Winston
KD (Kelli) Randle
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Bulacan Philippines AnnualConference
Romuel “Dojoe” Flores