A conference for faith leaders May 30-June 1. Apply now.

On Food and Faith

Ministry in the Time of Climate Change
2018 training cohort at Union Theological Seminary

Technological advances in the 20th and the 21st century offer many American consumers easy access to cheap and abundant food, much of which is traced to supply and labor chains around the world. The same advances have resulted in the depletion of soils; the overuse of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides; greenhouse gas pollution; and increasing obesity and food-related health issues.

“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
Wendell Berry
The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture

Within this system, millions in the U.S. and billions more across the globe go hungry each day. Food deserts persist across urban and rural America, and upwards of 41 million Americans are food insecure, 13 million of whom are children. This system keeps externalities hidden, supply high and prices low, affecting the long-term health of soils, water, human beings and wildlife.

As climate change becomes more pronounced, communities around the world will have to become more self-sufficient and sustainable. This new model of resilience may entail some hardship, but it also brings the opportunity to create new, more robust community relationships with the land and one another. It is here that faith communities have unique opportunity to guide others by providing space, pastoral care, education and leadership.

This conference, “On Food and Faith: Ministry in the Time of Climate Change,” will teach faith leaders how our current food system is contributing to the climate crisis, explore the impact climate change is having on farming and food security, and help empower attendees to take action on these issues in a way that aligns with their deepest values.

The training is hosted by the Center for Earth Ethics, MTSO, The Climate Reality Project, and the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation at Ohio State University. It will take place at MTSO May 30-June 1.

Leaders will include former Vice President Al Gore, founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project; Heber Brown III, senior pastor of Baltimore's Pleasant Hope Baptist Church and founder of the Black Church Food Security Network; and Aster Bekele, founder and executive director of the Felege Hiywot Center in Indianapolis.

Applications

Applications are open for the 2019 program.

Those interested in participating may apply here.

The application deadline is March 29. Applicants will be notified of decisions by April 30.

Questions? Please contact Genie Cooper.