ANNANDALE, Va. — More than 30 United Methodists from throughout the country and many more who participated via Web-based video recently discussed founding a denomination-wide ministry of caring for God’s creation.
The meeting at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church here, just outside Washington, D.C., was hosted by Caretakers of God’s Creation, a ministry of the Virginia Conference.
United Methodist Annual Conferences represented were Florida, North Georgia, Virginia, Upper New York, Kansas East, Baltimore-Washington, Missouri, Susquehanna, West Michigan, Holston, Kentucky, Tennessee, Iowa and New Jersey.
“Several Annual Conferences and individuals from around the connection are already hard at work expressing their Christian faith, their United Methodist theology, and their Wesleyan heritage by engaging in a mission to God’s creation,” Watkins said. “We believe that by bringing together so many incredibly talented scientists, theologians, advocates and passionate Christians all around the world, we will not only advance the cause of God’s creation, we will contribute to the revitalization of the church as well.”
Caretakers of God’s Creation, under the leadership of the Rev. Pat Watkins, has been serving the Virginia Conference for the past three years. Watkins is the first Church & Community Worker, a domestic missionary classification of the General Board of Global Ministries, assigned to raise awareness to the relationship between one’s faith and responsibility to care for God’s creation.
Caretakers of God’s Creation carries out its mission by equipping and empowering congregations and individuals to live out their faith in relationship to God and God’s creation by protecting and healing God’s earth.
The attendees confirmed that United Methodism worldwide would benefit from a denomination-wide Caretakers of God’s Creation to raise awareness and promote action. They discussed possible goals, operational structure and resources to make this effort a success. Their specific focus was on the next three years.
The group authorized a steering committee be formed by Watkins.
Sense of relevance
“A mission to God’s creation already has and will continue to give the church a sense of relevance for so many people out there for whom the church has lost importance in their lives,” Watkins said. “God created an amazing place and called it ‘very good.’ The time has come for us to declare God’s creation ‘very good’ as well.”
You can contact Watkins at Caretakers of God's Creation.
More information about Caring for God’s Creation is available on the Website of the Virginia Conference.