Plans moving forward for Caring for Creation conference

Early registration is currently under way for the 2011 Caring for Creation experience at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center on March 31-April 3, 2011.

Caring for Creation is a loosely organized movement of faith communities that believe there is Biblical and theological support for developing opportunities to be caretakers of the Earth.

The Rev. Sally Bingham, a priest in the Diocese of California who serves as the Environmental Minister at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, will be a guest speaker at the 2011 Caring for Creation. She is a founder of the Regeneration Project, a non-profit ministry focusing on the response to global climate change, whose initiative is the Episcopal Power and Light.

The model has developed into an interfaith initiative in several states and in Canada, and its mission is to mobilize the community of faith to lead by example in reducing green house gas emissions.

“The Rev. Bingham is giving a plenary, ‘A Religious Response to the Climate Crisis,’ and her workshop will focus on the work of Interfaith Power and Light,” said Loy Lilley, event coordinator for Caring for Creation. “We are excited about this ever growing opportunity to learn diverse ways to preserve and care for our Earth, and we hope that persons from all walks of life and of all ages will come.”

More than 38 guest speakers, including John Hill, Director of Economic and Environmental Justice from the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, will appear at the Caring for Creation conference. Other guest speakers include Derek Arndt of the National Climate Data Center; Dr. Brian Helmuth, professor of Biological Science at USC in Columbia, S.C.; and Dr. Jim McKenna, interim department head and professor of crop and soil environment sciences at VPI in Blacksburg, Va.

New workshops will be available this year, including “How Harming Earth Harms Heart, Mind, and Soul” by Andy Bell. Other workshops include “Biblical/Theological Foundations of Creation and Wesley” by Rev. Jeanne Finley;“Involving Young People in God’s Call to Hope and Action” by Mr. John Hodges-Batzka; and “How to advocate for Environmental Sustainability” by Mr. John Hill.

The first 50 persons to register will receive a free copy of Jonathan Merritt’s book, Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet. Merritt is also a speaker and workshop leader. Special early registration will be available for persons registering before Jan. 1. Ethnic scholarships will be available online soon. For registration, workshops, and more information visit or call 828.454.6656.

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