May News

The postponed 2020 General Conference of The United Methodist Church finally happened, and monumental decisions were made to set the course of our worldwide denomination for the future. While news media will focus on removal of harmful human sexuality language and international regionalization, the revised Social Principles were an amazing update to the UMC voice, as well. And, when it comes to Creation-focused legislation, accomplishments also abound. Over the next several months, this Newsletter will continue to share how the seeds of these decisions are being planted in United Methodist soils, being tended, and producing much fruit for the Kindom. This May edition is packed with events, activities, and legislation that now guide our ministry.

This was my first experience attending General Conference, and it did not disappoint. Kicking off on Earth Day with dinner, worship, and a vigil for creation was a Spirit-filled time of setting our hearts for the work to come. Standing on the square in Charlotte with Greenfaith and other creation justice groups to speak out against big banks’ investing in fossil-fuel companies was the equivalent of shouting from the rooftops. Our United Methodist voices were the largest assemblage of any denomination at one of these monthly gatherings in the Queen City. Over the next two weeks, almost all the legislation on caring for God’s creation was passed. You can read all about the creation care efforts of General Conference in the featured articles of this month’s issue. One of my personal highlights was to introduce the newest UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) solar microgrid trailer out in front of the convention center. Delegates from around the world (and even some local folks from Charlotte) could actually see, touch, walk through, and get excited about the possibilities of clean energy for mission and ministry. 

We now have new and updated official UMC statements and backing for creation care and justice ministry. It’s time for all of us to get busy on the work of implementing what our church now shouts from the steeples. The United Methodist Creation Justice Movement is here to help resource your efforts, connect you with others stewarding God’s more-than-human world, and keep you updated as great ministry continues to develop. And if you have an idea to develop into action, the fall Global Ministries EarthKeepers training might be right for you! Together, we can tend the garden of the Lord and bless all the world with the harvest! 

Rev. Jonathan Brake
UMC Global Ministries Environmental Sustainability Program Manager
Global Ministries EarthKeepers Program