Whether it is God speaking out of the whirlwind to Job (12:7-10) or Jesus telling his disciples to look to the birds (Luke 12:22-32), creation is repeatedly offered as a place where we can find our way into God’s kingdom. Despite this, the creation has been unraveled by those old sins of greed, pride, gluttony and waste-all augmented by the extensions of human power through technology. In the face of this the Church must join in the work of reconciliation through a prophetic witness to the truth and a life formed toward the recreation of the world. We need churches to be communities of practice where we can discover together how to live into the abundance of creation and resist the false economies of empire. It is to this end that the Ekklesia Project will gather in the summer of 2014 to explore “Tilling and Keeping: Fitting Practices for a Very Good Creation.”
At this gathering we will hear plenary speakers who will spark our imaginations and offer prophetic calls toward the Church’s care of the creation. We will participate together in workshops in which we will find the language and tools to begin tilling the soil of our particular places and churches. We will also see examples of the work of churches reconciling with the creation through documentary films shared by the congregations that made them. In addition to the main gathering events there will also be opportunities for pre-gathering field trips to various creation care sites around the Chicago area.
“Tilling and Keeping: Fitting Practices for a Very Good Creation” seeks to empower churches to become communities of ecological flourishing that go beyond recycling bulletins and installing fluorescent light bulbs. In gathering Christians for transformational conversation, we will bring together some who are already working imaginatively toward the flourishing of creation with others who are seeking how best to do so. The tangible and enduring resources from this Gathering will include video documentaries on exemplary church communities, video interviews with conference participants, and a contemporary rule of life for communities seeking to live into the shalom of creation.
Plan to join us July 10-12 for a time of worship, learning, and conversation centered on God’s work of renewing the creation.