A publication of Canadian Baptist Ministries
The Common Thread: Caring for Creation
mosaic is published three times a year by Canadian Baptist Ministries. Copies are distributed free of charge. Bulk quantities available by request.
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The garden serves our needs. We serve the garden's needs, and in so doing, we mutually fulfill God's design (or economy) and show our love to God and His good gift.
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As partners in the Canadian Baptist family we exist to serve the local church in its grassroots mission. Together we impact our communities and beyond through the love of Christ.
A s an evangelical universit y gr aduate in 1979, my favorite album was Bob Dylan's Slow Train Coming, and my favourite song was Man Gave Names to All the Animals. Behind the simplistic lyrics and nursery-rhyme melody lurks layers of hidden meaning that even Bob Dylan was reluctant to divulge. “He saw an animal up on a hill, Chewing up so much grass until she was filled. He saw milk comin' out but he didn't know how. Ah, think I'll call it a cow." Deep down, I just wanted to believe that Bob Dylan had experienced a spiritual pilgrimage which brought him to understand our place as stewards of the Creator's good gift. The biblical motif of stewardship, or stewarding God's creation, comes from the very source of the creation story in Genesis 2:15. "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and to take care of it." The Hebrew word ABAD is translated 'to work' or 'to serve'. The Genesis narrative speaks of our service to the garden: caring for it, cultivating it, naming the animals, exercising dominion over it.
4 The Fishermen and the Sea: Net Profits at What Cost? 10 Everything is Connected: A Land that Mourns 12 Farming In the City: Experimenting with Urban Agriculture in Calgary 14 The View: People Care and Creation Care 16 Pass the Honey: Rethinking the Way We Farm and Eat in Canada 17 Behind Our Addiction to Plastic: An Interview with Red Propeller
But this is only part of the picture. Our little garden behind our house also serves us – with vegetables and flavourful herbs, with beauty, nutrients for the soil, as a bird sanctuary and provider of shade. Biospheres and ecosystems serve an even greater good: feeding the nations, purifying water, creating oxygen, preventing soil erosion, moderating climates. Hence, a more accurate, biblical image is of reciprocal service, conservancy, conservation. The garden serves our needs. We serve the garden's needs, and in so doing, we mutually fulfill God's design (or economy) and show our love to God and His good gift. From coast to coast across our land, we see Baptists living out this principle. From Vancouver, where Rev. Jeremy Bell, the outgoing (in more ways than one!) Executive Minister of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, is also the Chair of one of Canada's foremost conservation agencies, A Rocha. To Deer Island, in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, where Dr. Lois Mitchell and her husband Dale are demonstrating the principles of conservancy in their fishing business. At CBM, we celebrate everything people in our churches are doing – big and small – to conserve creation, God's gift for us. And we long, with the Apostle Paul, “that creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God." (Rom. 8:21)
20 Weep for South Sudan! A Look at the Unfolding Crisis of Famine and How You can Help 22 CBM Sunday Foldout: A Healthy Response to Hunger
Terry Smith CBM Executive Director
mosaic is a community forum of local and global voices united by a shared mission. mosaic will serve as a catalyst to stimulate and encourage passionate discipleship among Canadian Baptists and their partners.
Cohen, one of the grandchildren of Lois Mitchell, helps out on the family boat.
As soon as they can walk they spend time at the wharf and in the boat, stretching lines, painting buoys and helping seine the weir. They grow up, immersed in fishing as the way of life of their family, down through the generations.
the Fishermen and the Sea NET PROFITS AT WHAT COST?
by Lois Mitchell
There are hundreds of small fishing communities in Atlantic Canada. I live in one of them. Deer Island is a vibrant community of about 800 souls on the New Brunswick side of the Bay of Fundy in Passamaquoddy Bay, an hour’s drive from Saint John. Some 32 years ago I arrived on Deer Island to do research for my PhD thesis in Sociology through the University of New Brunswick. My thesis – completed in 1987 – was called, Making It Pay: The Organization and Operation of the Deer Island Fishing Economy. I fell in love with the island, and with one of the local fishermen, and have lived here ever since (but that’s a story for another day!). Deer Island is everything you might imagine a small island fishing community to be. It’s rural and rustic and rugged and incredibly beautiful. The people are fiercely independent, very family and community oriented, and proud of their resilience in the face of the persistent vagaries of nature and of government policies and global forces. Many Deer Island residents are descendants of the original European settlers who came here some 250 years ago. Indigenous peoples – the Passamaquoddy – had fished these waters for many generations before that. The word “Passamaquoddy” means “pollock aplenty” and was an apt description of the waters of Passamaquoddy Bay, given the abundance of pollock and
other fish and marine species in the area. The roots connecting people – both Indigenous and settlers – to Deer Island and the surrounding area are rugged and gnarled. They have withstood many a storm. Not everyone on Deer Island fishes, but fishing is the economic and cultural backbone of the community. My husband (Dale), son (Judson) and son-in-law (Dalen) fish together on a boat named after our son and daughter (the Abbie and Judson), as is the tradition in many fishing communities in this area. Dale’s father and grandfather and great-grandfather and greatgreat-grandfather were all fishermen. Our four grandchildren live on Deer Island. As soon as they can walk they spend time at the wharf and in the boat, stretching lines, painting buoys and helping seine the weir (where we catch herring that are processed locally as sardines). They grow up, immersed in fishing as the way of life of their family, down through the generations. Life on Deer Island revolves around the fishing seasons: scallop fishing in the winter, lobster fishing in the spring, weir fishing in the summer, and another lobster season in the fall. My thesis describes the Deer Island fishing economy as a multispecies boom and bust fishery. When I did my research the weir fishery was the most lucrative fishery in the mix. Lobster fishing helped fishermen get by from one weir season to the next and the scallop fishery was a generally smaller component of the fishing economy, but important especially when the herring or lobster didn’t come. Fishermen could withstand the bad years in any fishery by working hard in all three and saving money during the good years to tide them over in the bad.
Over the past 30 years, though, things have shifted. The lobster fishery has become the dominant industry and young fishermen (like our son) have never (yet) seen a really “bad year”. The weir fishery has fallen on hard times (though older fishermen wait expectantly for signs of renewal). The scallop fishery continues to be an important part of the mix with some seasons being more lucrative than others. All of the fisheries are tightly regulated by government policy and some fishermen – including my husband, Dale – are actively involved in fisheries organizations that work to find and promote the delicate balance between conservation/sustainability and economic viability. All in all, fishermen work hard – usually 12-14 hours per day, 6 days a week, during the peak seasons. They fish in all kinds of weather and are ever conscious of the dangers inherent in their work. It’s not a life for everyone, but for those who stay here to carry on what is usually a family heritage, there is nowhere else they’d rather be and nothing else they’d rather do. Fishermen will say that they fish, not for the money, but for the sheer love of it and that’s true enough. But make no mistake, fishing has been very good to Deer Island and many other communities in Atlantic Canada, despite the sometimes dire reports people in Central and Western Canada might hear through the media. The fishery is complicated – it’s VERY complicated. The ocean is incredibly and beautifully complex. There are many unknowns and despite the diligent work of scientists and policy makers, we simply don’t know all of the variables and consequently, projections and predictions are rarely accurate. This is true locally when it comes to the fisheries of Deer Island, and it’s true globally. It’s true in fishing and in agriculture. Think for example of the effects of the Green Revolution in Africa. Sam Mutisya, who worked with CBM as a National Field Staff in Kenya (for many years prior to his death in 2009) had formerly been an agronomist and extension worker for the Kenyan Government. I had the privilege of traveling across Canada with Sam and with Dr. Judson Pothuraju (a CBM colleague from India) doing some workshops (called Hunger for Change) around food security in 2007. I remember Sam telling audiences that the Green Revolution was intended to be for the good of Africa, to increase their agricultural productivity. As an extension worker, it was his job to travel about the country telling farmers to forget all of their conventional and traditional practices and learn new and better ways of farming. Each week he would go out to tell individual farmers what they should do in order to increase their productivity and store their produce with less spoilage. Eventually, however, they had to acknowledge that the new ways were not actually better and they had to recover the traditional knowledge that had been set aside. What this story illustrates is the importance of humility in the face of complexity. Problems today are almost never simple.
And the way we address problems – our fixes or solutions – can’t be simple either. Systems are resilient and adaptive. People are resilient and adaptive. Communities are resilient and adaptive. We are not simple machines. Science is a valuable tool in understanding how things work but solutions that depend only on science to address complex problems are rarely effective and can do more harm than good. Science tends to specialize, to understand the parts in great depth. But reality is a massive, multi-dimensional, dynamic network of systems, intersecting and adjusting. Everything is connected. We often think of the environment as being something that is there for us to manage and use, or even exploit – something that is outside of us and under us. After all, didn’t God tell us in Genesis 1:26 and 28 that we would have dominion over the land and the sea and rule over all of the creatures therein? But what does that mean? As I observe the relationship between fishermen and the sea, it’s fascinating to think about responsible stewardship in light of ever-evolving technologies, conflicting perspectives on access to resources (Who has the right to fish and under what conditions?) and other uses of the sea (Does our need for alternative energy in the form of tidal power trump the traditional claims fishermen have to the sea?). Fishermen are intricately tied to the marine environment. In fact I have argued that when it comes to policies around marine use, it is a mistake to see fishermen as being outside of the ecological system. Whatever fishermen do or don’t do will have an impact on the environment. We have an impact no matter what we do. The collapse of the Newfoundland cod fishery is usually dated to 1992 and is attributed to overfishing and mismanagement and maybe even subtle shifts in environmental conditions. Cod fishermen could no longer make a living. Some had to leave the fishery and others – those who had or were able to secure other licenses – shifted their efforts to other species such as shrimp, crab, lobster, sea urchins, etc. Between 1992 and 2007 the value of the Newfoundland fishery actually tripled. Many people speculate that the health of the lobster fishery throughout Atlantic Canada is due, at least in part, to the collapse of the cod fishery since cod are predators of lobsters. As the cod fishery shows signs of revival, fishermen are watching nervously to see what impact a healthier cod stock will have on other currently lucrative species. Another thing people “from away” might find surprising is the number of fishermen who are active members and leaders in their churches AND occupying leadership roles in the various fisheries associations and organizations. My husband was at a meeting a few years ago with the Provincial Minister of Fisheries, himself an active member of a Baptist church. At one point in the meeting, he asked the group of fishermen assembled there, how
Fishermen are intricately tied to the marine environment…when it comes to policies around marine use, it is a mistake to see fishermen as being outside of the ecological system. Whatever fishermen do or don’t do will have an impact on the environment. We have an impact no matter what we do.
many of them are active in churches in their home communities and all but one raised their hands. I find this fascinating. These fishermen are deacons, elders, even lay pastors in their churches and are constantly integrating their faith with their identity and work as fishermen. In many cases, the leadership development that they receive in their small local churches equips them to be spokesmen at meetings with government officials and other stakeholders. Just before the fall lobster season we have an annual, islandwide blessing of the fleet service. The churches take turns hosting the service and all fishermen and their crews are invited. Every boat and every captain and crewmember is prayed for by name. A slideshow, set to music, featuring all the island boats, fishermen and women, wharves, and local fish buyers is a highlight of the service. Many fishermen and their families are active members of churches on the island and it’s an opportunity to get together as friends and neighbours, to celebrate our connection to the sea and to ask God’s blessing on the various fisheries. Like rural people around the world, fishermen on Deer Island are very conscious of the shifts they see when they’re on the water – small, but significant and incremental evidence of shifting patterns in the climate. Whether or not these are “evidence” of global warming is of less immediate interest to them than the impact that these changes have on the migration and habits of fish. Conversations amongst fishermen almost always include an exchange of observations about weather and how it might be impacting their fishing efforts, fish habitat, fish migration and fish health. It’s a complicated business. If you’re a climate change skeptic, sit down with a group of fishermen or farmers anywhere in the world and ask them about climate change. It may shock you to hear the kinds of things they notice on a daily basis.
Now that's a lobster! Dalen, Lois Mitchell's son-in-law, with the catch of the day.
For those who depend on the land or the water for their survival and livelihood, there is a fraternity that transcends other social, economic, or political categories. And rural people around the world will testify that they see the front edge of the effects of climate change. And those effects are disturbingly real.
Whether or not these shifts are simply “natural” shifts, or shifts that reflect ill-conceived human activity, really is not their main concern or first priority. Their focus is on survival. For too many, especially in the global south, survival literally means having enough food for themselves and their families to live from one day to the next. For my family – at least at this point – survival is more about maintaining a treasured way of life. The potential threats to that way of life come from a number of directions. Some of the current concerns are tidal energy proposals for the Bay of Fundy, a push from the Federal Government to designate 10% of Canada’s coastal waters as Marine Protected Areas by 2020; the corporate intrusion in the fishery (through processing companies owning licenses, rather than independent fishermen); the effects of chemicals used in the aquaculture industry on wild fish health and fish habitat; global markets for fish and seafood; the effects of warming water temperatures and shifts in the acidity of ocean waters that affect the marine ecosystem in ways that can neither be controlled nor predicted; and the usual concerns about whether or not the next season will be a good one. We are very concerned about sustainability because we want our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be able to live and make a living here. Though in some ways we are worlds apart from small-scale farmers or fishers in Kenya or India, in other ways we have more of a sense of solidarity with them than we have with urban professionals in Canada. For those who depend on the land or the water for their survival and livelihood, there is a fraternity that transcends other social, economic, or political categories. And rural people around the world will testify that they see the front edge of the effects of climate change. And those effects are disturbingly real. Christians often don’t talk much about climate change and global warming, but when they do, there are some pretty
divergent views. There are those who staunchly argue that the hype around climate change is just fear-mongering based on economic and/or political agendas. There are those who believe that climate change is real and are frightened by the forecasts of the likely effects of global warming, but don’t feel any sense of responsibility and thus are neither motivated to adjust their own way of living nor to advocate for better policies. There are those who believe it’s likely all true, but who fall back on the Scriptural promises that God will make a “new heaven and new earth” (Revelation 21:1-2; 2 Peter 3:10-13) as reason enough to wait patiently for things to unfold according to God’s plan and timing. Many Christians find that there are more pressing issues to be concerned about than climate change – human rights, food security, gender equity, poverty, child labour, access to education, health care, terrorism, etc. But I believe that just below the surface these concerns are ALL connected and are directly or indirectly impacted by our relationship with the environment. The most vulnerable to negative impacts of climate change are the poor and the marginalized. Like the proverbial canary in the mineshaft, they are the first to feel the effects of natural disasters, oil spills, market fluctuations, soil erosion, water scarcity and austerity policies. Caring for the poor and marginalized is central to the gospel of Christ. These are justice issues that cannot be ignored or spiritualized away. In the midst of all of this, what should we think? Who should we listen to? Do we need to be climate scientists ourselves in order to make sense of the various arguments? Where is God and what, if anything, does He call us to do about climate change? What does Scripture have to say that will help us navigate this issue? Let me be clear. I am NOT a climate scientist. Certainly I have read and heard from some Christian climate scientists who are very good at breaking the science down for the non-scientists among us. I am convinced that they know what they are talking
about and that they do not have some sinister or hidden agenda when they warn us of the dangers directly linked to the ways we humans have failed to be good stewards of God’s creation.I do believe that natural systems have a good deal of flexibility and elasticity, but there are limits, and we are terribly naive if we do not heed the warnings that the earth itself is giving that it is under too much stress. I am also NOT a theologian. But I am a thinking person and I want my life to line up with God’s commands to love Him and love my neighbour. In a nutshell, here’s my current thinking. God created the world and, in the beginning, everything was in dynamic balance. The environment wasn’t fixed but was fluid. Everything was good. After the fall (Genesis 3), however, the balance was upset as humanity’s relationship to one another, to the land, and to God, was fractured. Over time, humanity sacrificed the environment for economic growth – death by a thousand cuts. The population grew and grew and we had more mouths to feed. An agrarian economy gave way to an industrial economy and local management gave way to more centralized authorities and globalization. All of this added further stress to the environment, which has been groaning as a result of our mismanagement. This affects our capacity to live in harmony with one another and with the land (and water) that sustains us. The system is broken and though it is tempting to point fingers and assign “blame” for the current state of affairs, that doesn’t address the urgent needs of the most vulnerable. God calls us to love one another and to care for those in need. How can we come alongside those who are directly affected by changing climate patterns? I believe that there are three levels of response: the first is to provide immediate assistance (in the form of food aid, programs designed to help mitigate the effects of climate change, assistance in adapting food production practices to get the best yields with the use of limited inputs); the second level of response is to advocate for justice in the form of better policies and supports for the vulnerable; and the third is to recover our own sense of stewardship as we consider how we live, day by day.
Many Christians find that there are more pressing issues to be concerned about than climate change…But I believe that just below the surface these concerns are ALL connected and are directly or indirectly impacted by our relationship with the environment.
1. Provide immediate assistance to help mitigate the effects of climate change. 2. Advocate for justice in the form of better policies and supports for the vulnerable. 3. Recover our own sense of stewardship as we consider how we live, day by day.
Recommended Resources: • • •
Whatever you may think about the causes of changing climate patterns, and whether or not the scientists are correct in their dire predictions about the future of the planet if we do not make adjustments, Christians have ample evidence to be concerned and engaged in efforts to mitigate the effects and advocate for better approaches. I encourage you to join with other people of faith who want to be part of the solution by getting involved in advocacy efforts spearheaded by Citizens for Public Justice and other civil society and faith organizations.
levels of response:
www.cpj.ca/ecological-justice www.foodgrainsbank.ca/get-involved/ advocacy www.kairoscanada.org/what-we-do/ ecological-justice www.arocha.ca
There are lots of people who are passionate about the intersection between ecological justice and faith.
Get informed, get involved!
Everything is A LAND THAT MOURNS
by Leah Kostamo
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” ~ JOHN MUIR
The basic premise of ecology is that everything is connected. The very definition of ecology embodies this truth: the word ecology comes from two parts –eco from the Greek oikos, for “household,” and logia, for “the study of.” Anyone who has grown up in a household understands that it is a complicated web of interrelated relationships. In essence, the word ecology draws attention to the relationships between living things and their environment. It implies that if one tinkers with one bit of the world, the effects are felt in radiating ripples throughout the rest of the world. To paraphrase John Muir, tug at this bit of creation and you find it is attached to everything else.1 The Old Testament prophets were perhaps the first ecologists, drawing a picture for their listeners of the consequences of actions and choices that ripple out into the wider web of relationships. The prophets’ genius lay in the way they extended the concept of ecology beyond the natural world to include humankind’s broken relationship with God – which then leads to a broken relationship with other people and with creation itself. Consider the words of Hosea 4:1-3.
Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites, because the LORD has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Because of this the land mourns, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea are dying.” Creation’s suffering is intrinsically linked to humanity’s faithlessness, lack of love, and failure to acknowledge God. The trickledown effect of our brokenness is a land that mourns and all (humans and non-humans) who live in it waste away. This is certainly what we are seeing around the world today.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature reports species extinction rates that are between one thousand to ten thousand times the natural background rates (the natural rate without human interference). According to their research, we are currently facing the possible extinction of 12% of birds, 22% of mammals and 30% of amphibians worldwide.2 These are staggering figures that should raise alarm bells for all who believe that creation is the handiwork of a loving God. But environmental degradation does not just affect the fish, birds and beasts, as Hosea so aptly points out. Humans suffer too. The UN recently reported that “environmental refugees” (people who are displaced because of environmental degradation) already outnumber those who are refugees as a result of conflict. Conflicts will, in fact, be increasingly driven by the scarcity of natural resources. In our experience with A Rocha [a Christian environmental stewardship organization working in conservation, environmental education and sustainable agriculture], it is our brothers and sisters in the developing world who understand the dire implications of degraded ecosystems best and are calling us to change. Our friend Stella Simiyu, a native Kenyan and a Senior Research Scientist in plant conservation at the National Museums of Kenya, writes this about the predicament of the poor: If you look at Africa, the rural poor depend directly on the natural resource base. This is where their pharmacy, supermarket, power company and water company are. What would happen to you if these things were removed from your local neighbourhood? We must invest in environmental conservation because this is how we enhance the ability of the rural poor to have options and provide for them ways of getting out of the poverty trap. 3 Stella and her countrymen and women are calling us to what God has called us all to: “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.” (Micah 6:8) They are calling us to acknowledge that when we in the industrialized West tug on the thread of our extravagant consumption, the web quivers all over the planet in the form of species extinction and social injustice.
Edited excerpt from Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling and Community, a book by Leah Kostamo, who along with her husband Markku co-founded A Rocha Canada.
They are calling us to acknowledge that when we in the industrialized West tug on the thread of our extravagant consumption, the web quivers all over the planet in the form of species extinction and social injustice. John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra.
Stella Simiyu, The Word, Conversation and a Human Face: An African Perspective, a lecture delivered at Keeping Earth In Common: A Just Faith for a Whole World Conference at Regent College, Vancouver, BC, 2006.
g armin F IN the CITY
EXPERIMENTING WITH URBAN AGRICULTURE IN CALGARY by Rod Olson
It was 2010. The farm boy in me was captivated by a new idea— SPIN Farming (Small Plot INtensive Farming) – an urban agriculture technique that takes backyards and turns them into profitable vegetable gardens, to grow and sell produce locally, in the city. I grew up on a farm and knew about working the land. My brother-in-law was a willing business partner interested in learning how to grow food. So, we set off to grow market vegetables in Calgary. We committed ourselves to discovering if engaging in urban agriculture could provide a decent livelihood for someone living in the city. We registered our experiment and called it Leaf & Lyre Urban Farms. A local food event landed us on CBC radio to share the story of our enterprise. Four more times we went back to update listeners on our progress. Every time people heard our story, they offered us more land; the interest and excitement stunned us. That first summer was a lot of work – cutting and rolling off sod on yard after yard; travelling to many neighbourhoods to cultivate, plant, weed and water all of our small crops, food we were growing by hand. At the end of the season we both put $500 in our pockets. We consoled ourselves with a statistic that most new start-ups don’t break even until the third year of business. One thing we learned is that farming could be done without the huge costs of land and equipment, so generating a livelihood began to make some sense. Leaf & Lyre Urban Farms is about to enter its eighth season in Calgary. I have become the sole proprietor – with a land base of just over 1/3 of an acre spread across 30 different backyards. In 2016, I sold over 5,500 lbs. of produce to local people and netted about $32,000. I employed two students through the summer, as well as a Syrian and a German newcomer in the fall. I have come to understand the joy in seeing others discover a love for locally grown food and helping them to develop their own farming skills. For me, this is the foundation of food security – to know how to
grow your own food. It is a rare skill today in our society! “Where did this food come from?” asked a man at the market one day. He was from Ethiopia. “I grew it. I’m a farmer,” I answered. “Oh, so you’re close to God. That is what we say about farmers in my home country,” he responded. I liked his response. We don’t think about farmers this way here in Canada. One of the things I have discovered having my hands in the soil is that I am, in fact, doing a simple job that countless others do across this planet. I feel very connected with farmers who share these skills no matter where they live. Global agriculture – this critical ability of people to shape and preserve arable land – is paramount to development and humanity’s well-being. But how does farming like everyone across the globe fit into our hyper-driven culture? It is certainly counter-cultural! This was made clear during a meeting with a business consultant who found it really difficult to add the actual pace of healthy farming into the structure of my business plan. For instance, the demand for locally grown produce is very high, however the living soil (healthy land) required to produce healthy food is a slow, natural and long obedience. Building a livelihood for myself has meant adjusting my expectations of how fast that takes, what good work means, and that a livelihood for me is a livelihood for all. When I say living soil, what I mean is an incredible unseen web of life that is the basis of all other life – of you and me. Genesis reminds us that we are dust filled with the ruah or the breath of God. Take some time to learn about the commonalities between soil microbiology and the needed microbiology of your digestive system. If soil is healthy, the microbes are in balance, meaning that bad microbes simply do not have the ability to get established. This is the world we were given. It really does reproduce 30, 60 or even a hundredfold, but it also requires passionate, skilled and faithful stewards.
[far left] Rod Olson, owner of Leaf & Lyre Urban Farms, grows produce to sell locally on just over 1/3 of an acre spread across 30 different backyards in Calgary, Alberta.
I feel very connected with farmers who share these skills no matter where they live. Global agriculture – this critical ability of people to shape and preserve arable land – is paramount to development and humanity’s well-being. Many are waking up to the need to be kinder and more in step with creation. The vision of a healing garden in the book of Revelation points to the movement of God within this as well. The possibility of urban agriculture is “increasingly recognized by city authorities and civil society organizations for its capacity to strengthen the resilience of the urban food system, enhance access for the urban poor to nutritious food, generate (self-) employment and income, and help the city to adapt to climate change and reduce its ecological foot print.” (www.ruaf.org) Municipalities are being pushed to engage the topic of urban agriculture as citizens find policy that stands in the way of us growing food in the city. Kristi Peters Snider, Sustainability Consultant to the city let me know that change is on its way: “[Calgary] is integrating urban agriculture and food systems planning into both municipal sustainability and community planning. Agriculture in urban areas is beginning to be seen as a resource that contributes to public health, food security for families and communities and to the improvement of conditions for poor neighbourhoods through socialization, education and food literacy skill-building.” The horizon for urban agriculture is inspiring. Three years into my farming experiment I was finding the counter-cultural
work overwhelming and isolating, so I helped to create a farmer cooperative. We are now nearly 20 farmers, from both urban and rural small farms. We practice growing techniques that highlight the fertility and vitality of the soil – to produce the highest quality vegetables that will nourish and satisfy our customers. In 2012, the Calgary EATS! document suggested that 3% of the average Calgarian’s diet was locally-grown. The goal set by this same document is to see 30% local produce by 2036. Other cities in the world are already doing a much better job of this. “In Shanghai – the city with the world’s fastest train, the tallest hotel, the biggest TV screen – 60% of the vegetables and 90% of the milk and eggs come from urban farms.” (Bill McKibben in Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and The Durable Future) What is possible in cities across Canada? My desire to see creation cared for and to see people energized by meaningful work means that Leaf & Lyre is shifting to focus more on training entrepreneurs. One exciting possibility is 20 acres of provincial land that will become an employment strategy for urban agriculture on the edge of Calgary. We hope to inspire and recruit newcomers to Canada to develop the skills for growing locally and to see them build a livelihood in a new land. The movement continues to grow.
From urban farming to refugee settlement, Rod Olson, owner of Leaf & Lyre Urban Farms, is in the business of nurturing life and relationship for people and planet. Rod is a renaissance man who has sunk deep roots into the land he calls home: Calgary, Alberta. You might find him growing kale in city backyards, singing professionally, teaching, or hiking with his wife and two daughters in the Rocky Mountains.
PEOPLE CARE AND CREATION CARE Millennials (born between the early ‘80s to early 2000s) are now the largest generation in the workforce. So what do they think about creation care? Meet Benjamin McCullough and Miranda Crocket. Benjamin is a city kid turned farmer and the new coordinator of Cedar Haven Farm. Miranda is part of the team that co-founded 541, a social venture in a low-income neighbourhood in Hamilton, Ontario.
What sparked your interest in the creation care and social justice work that you are now involved with? Benjamin: I grew up going to Ontario Pioneer Camp where you are immersed in the natural world. I started teaching classes and directed our wilderness program. That’s where I learned a lot and really fell in love with the in-depth knowledge of nature and creation. The past two summers I was an intern, and now full-time coordinator of Cedar Haven Farm, which is a hub of A Rocha in Ontario. Miranda: I went to university for International Development and Africa Studies with the intent of working overseas. I moved back to Hamilton after graduation and realized the levels of poverty that existed in Hamilton were not so unlike what I saw in Africa and other developing areas. That kind of struck me, led me to be part of the team that co-founded a social venture – 541. We’re a not-for-profit restaurant in the lowest income neighbourhood. We’re best known for our pay it forward system where customers who have money can donate, to pay a meal forward to somebody who can’t afford one.
Has your work impacted your lifestyle in any way? Are there any changes you have made? M: In the past year, I’ve started gardening and trying to grow our own food. We live in the same neighbourhood as 541 – which I think is also part of a lifestyle change, specifically among millennials, a growing trend of wanting to be in the same neighbourhood or community that you are serving. We live in an urban and industrial area and are trying to find ways to still grow food. You have to get creative. At 541, we’ve taken an abandoned parking lot behind our building and built raised garden beds on it and we’ve been growing food for the restaurant. B: We partner with 541. We are growing vegetables specifically for them…tomatoes, peppers, kale. This past summer I grew mostly potatoes because breakfast is the biggest meal of the day for 541. Right now at the farm we are focusing on environmental education because there’s a big demand in the city for kids to get out into nature. Part of our education is a program called Operation: Wild, specifically for those with limited access to nature such as inner city kids, adults with disabilities and newcomers to Canada. Last summer we had 20-30 refugees come to the farm and experience Ontario nature. M: We have a lot of at-risk youth in our neighbourhood and last summer 541 was able to take a group up to the farm. These are kids who rarely get out of the city. Ben was able to show them, “This is what a carrot looks like when it’s in the ground,” and it is something that the kids still talk about. It was a highlight of their summer. We hope to do more of that and a more formalized sort of summer camp.
photo : Kate Watkinson
What are some of the comments you’ve heard from other millennials, things they are being spurred to do regarding creation care? M: Many would not use that wording [creation care] specific to the Christian base, but that sort of idea is a part of life for millennials, of taking care of the environment, eating organic produce, trying to grow food. The whole idea of farm to table is very en vogue…but I don’t think the connection between your Christian faith and taking care of the environment is immediately obvious ... for me it was this definite light bulb moment, that caring for creation doesn’t just mean people, it means the world that we live in. And if you take care of the world that we live in, that will also affect people because so much of global poverty is exacerbated by environmental factors. So it’s all kind of connected and realizing this gave me a new passion for the environment. B: I think there’s a lack of this kind of education in the church. No one I’ve talked to can remember hearing a sermon on creation care or the environment…there’s been such a focus on people care, but I think there’s a growing sense that the creation crisis in the world is becoming prominent. People are looking for ways to mend that broken relationship and I think that’s where this generation has found some interest. For A Rocha, the idea is that people care and creation care shouldn’t be separate, that they should be talked about together.
Is there something coming up in creation care, or things you or your peers are involved in, that signal trends, in terms of lifestyle and environmental impact? B: There is a movement in being intentional in your local community and that means a lot of things, like shopping locally, which means you go to your local store which hopefully sells local things and you buy things from people you know rather than driving to a mall.
M: In Hamilton, there’s something called the Mustard Seed Co-op that Ben and I are members of. It’s a grocery store that has a focus on locally grown and produced items. In the summer most of the produce is local; all of the meat is ethical [free range; ethically treated] and local. A lot of our peers will shop there because it’s important to them, especially to find meat that is local. It’s more expensive, but as a result some of our friends, and Ben and I, eat less meat in order to eat better quality meat. Additionally, on the topic of trends, I think communal living is a huge part... Ben and I own our home and we rent out two bedrooms to friends and we all live together. I think most of our friends live in similar situations. And an ah-ha moment?
There’s a lot of gloom and doom, about the environment and wars, people get overwhelmed. What would be one practical step that we can take in terms of our engagement in creation care?
B: The connection of people over care for creation has inspired me. It’s just such
M: I would say that, as Christians, we are part of this
common ground, something that everyone can bond over. When we had Syrian refugees up to the farm, I had difficulty connecting with them because of the language barrier until I started walking through the garden with a couple of the gentlemen. Two of them were farmers back in Syria and they were commenting – I don’t know if they were commenting positively or negatively on my vegetables (with a laugh) – but then we started walking and each naming things together and there was just this connection.
[left] Newlyweds, Benjamin McCullough and Miranda Crocket. [above right] From farm to table, Benjamin delivers fresh produce donated by A Rocha to 541, a not-for-profit restaurant in a low-income neighbourhood. Miranda is co-founder and manager of 541. fivefortyone.ca
ongoing reconciliation of things to God, and that’s not something that we’re just waiting for at the end of the world. God is going to make everything new and as Christians we have the opportunity to be part of this ongoing redemption of things. So that means relationships and inner city poverty, but it also means the environment, and it can be things like your consumer habit, growing your own food, bringing refugees into nature – all these things contribute to this momentum. The step can be as easy as joining the momentum. It might not be one big change that you make. It could be those everyday choices that you make. It’s one more change.
by Robert and Faye Webber
Pass the H ney RETHINKING THE WAY WE FARM AND EAT IN CANADA
The Webbers run the Down to Earth Farm in Brownfield, Alberta. They are excited to have three generations of their family working together on the land to produce good food. They follow the philosophy of having as little human intervention as possible because nature has an amazing capacity to produce an abundance.
It all started because Faye wanted to eliminate white sugar in our diet. "I want to use honey instead, but it's pretty pricey," she mused. "Why don't we get a couple of hives?” I suggested in typical farmer nonchalance. That brief exchange set off a bunch of events. Now five years later with 320 bee hives, and a small commercial honey business as a key part of our regenerative farm model, we look back and see ways that we believe God was shaping our hearts and guiding us forward. I began the journey into what you might call "alternate agriculture" in the library of the agricultural advertising agency I worked for – where in the pages of Living at Nature’s Pace by Gene Logsdon, I was introduced to Wendell Berry. I thought at the time he was simply a critic of industrial agriculture. I googled his name and to my surprise an article by Eugene Peterson came up, and the essay Christianity and the Survival of Creation, which Berry delivered at
is full of people of faith and missional hearts. They care deeply about the land and see themselves as stewards of creation. But they too have an unease that something in the dominant system is broken. They dislike that huge agribusiness interests have excessive control – controlling the seed, dominating the markets and leaving farms with razor thin margins. Not much room for risky change. So where will change in farm models come from? If history is any indicator, it will be from small farms like ours whose off farm income allows the risk of change. First, we exited grain farming and moved to a perennially-based grazing system. What on earth could work with that? Bees! They are a perfect stacked enterprise and they are so much better off away from sprays and where polyculture perennials supply flowers all through the season. Suddenly our food driven experiment had important implications for our farm. Throw in the fact that we were gifted a forklift (a tool we didn't
We now understand...that "eating is an agricultural act". a graduation address at Southern Seminary. Those two articles were the first of many that led me deeper in questioning and facing the concerns I had about overuse of farm chemicals and degradation of soil. And to loving Berry, who is a strong philosophical voice rooted in Christian thought to the brokenness of current agriculture and how it destroys community. It is not as simple as "conventional is evil" and “organic is righteous.” Living in a farming community like ours has a way of keeping you grounded. Many of the people in our church and community, and indeed our closest friends and family, work conventional farms. Our fellowship
yet know we needed for bees) and some other less than subtle God nudges, and we are now in the thick of experimenting with biological and regenerative farm models, and bees are both the core income of the venture and at the same time the canary in the mineshaft of agriculture. We now understand, as Berry has noted, that "eating is an agricultural act" and Faye's concern about health and eating was the proper and foundational concern to drive change. I believe that the change all of us are dreaming of will come from change in how we eat and understand food. Pass the honey!
BE KIND RECYCLE
BEHIND OUR ADDICTION TO PLASTIC AN INTERVIEW WITH RED PROPELLER by Laurena Zondo Photos: Ruby Gatiera
Plastic is everywhere, from lifesaving medical devices to electronics, toys and bottled water. But so too is the waste of plastic and there is growing concern about its potential impact on the health of people and our planet. Some believe we are reaching a tipping point as more and more plastic ends up in our landfills and in our water systems. mosaic recently had the opportunity to sit down with Philip Yan, one of the four founding partners of Red Propeller. Itâ€™s an innovative social enterprise birthed in Ontario with a mission to recycle plastic in a way that benefits both the environment and those with barriers to employment. They started with Project Get Reel, to recycle VHS tapes, and recently expanded to include child safety car seats.
We learned that the recycling process is very labour intensive and realized we can use that to create jobs, to help some of the marginalized people who have a barrier to employment to actually be able to work. MOSAIC: FOR YEARS, YOU AND YOUR WIFE AMY CHEUNG, OWNERS OF GENESIS XD, A MARKETING AND DESIGN FIRM, HAVE DONE CREATIVE WORK FOR A WIDE VARIETY OF CLIENTS, INCLUDING CBM. NOW YOU ARE ALSO INVOLVED IN SOCIAL ENTERPRISE AND CREATION CARE. HOW DID THAT ALL START?
[above] Philip Yan and Amy Cheung are members of Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church where they have been involved in dedicated ministry among young adults. They continue to run their design firm in addition to their roles as partners of Red Propeller. Barely two years old, Red Propeller is already moving towards recycling their first 100,000 items. Learn more at www.redpropeller.ca
PHILIP: The starting point for me was not so much because of the environment, it was about concern for the poor. Many years ago, I was introduced to the issue of homelessness. I got to know more about the issues behind it and have friends who are homeless. It’s quite a journey; it’s not an easy thing. Homelessness is a lot more than poverty by itself. We became involved in KLINK Coffee that uses a unique brand of coffee to sell and support associated projects that help people who come out of prison to find jobs. It’s difficult to get a job once you have a record…a lot of these people end up on the street. We learned a lot through this experience working in a non-profit environment and wanted to run a different kind of social enterprise, a for-profit business, with the same mission to help the marginalized. For months we did a lot of brainstorming. One of the partners, an expert on recycling, talked about the issues he faced and the VHS tapes and other media (CDs, DVDs, records) that nobody was recycling. We dug into the numbers and found that in Ontario, in the peak seven-year period of the 20-year history of tapes, at least 2.26 billion VHS tapes/cassette tapes were bought; and because there is no program to recycle them, they are all going into the landfill. We also learned that the recycling process is very labour intensive and realized we can use that to create jobs, to help some of the marginalized people who have a barrier to employment to actually be able to work, to help them to regain their life. We have hired one person who is legally blind, one person who is autistic, one who has pretty challenging health issues, another with psychological problems. All these people we work with – we look at their needs and schedule around them, not the other way around. They love working here. We got an award last year, Employer of the Year, from the Ontario Job Opportunity Network.
MOSAIC: HOW BIG OF A PROBLEM IS PLASTIC IN OUR WORLD?
PHILIP: Plastic is one of the big problems to our environment. It’s destroying our world. It’s filled the oceans, the fish eat plastic, and we eat the fish. Plastic is flooding everywhere and we only recycle about 5-10% of it, globally. In the documentary Plastic China it talks about how some of our plastics are sent by container to China and then people from villages sort those plastics, flood the rivers with plastic, burn the plastics, exposed to the fumes – it’s a horror story. Their kids have cancer, entire villages are polluted, crops are not growing and the people are dying, and that’s our issue. It’s our North American lifestyle that affects them. Plastics can be highly recyclable, if you can sort it right. At Red Propeller, we dismantle our plastics on site and send it to manufacturers so that they can create new material. We have started a second project, recycling child safety car seats. We are the only one in Canada with an environment license that is doing this right now. 1.3 million kids live in Ontario, and they will use one to three different car seats in their lifetime. A conservative estimate is that we throw away a quarter of a million car seats each year in Ontario. They end up in the landfill - that translates to filling the Rogers Centre 7 ½ times every year. This is just in Ontario…and think about bicycle helmets and other plastic things we use and throw in the garbage.
WHAT IS PHILIP READING? Here are some suggested resources that Philip has found helpful in better understanding the issue of plastics and recycling:
• • •
www.recyclenation.com www.davidsuzuki.org www.plasticbank.org
MOSAIC: WHAT IS ONE PRACTICAL STEP THAT YOU CAN SUGGEST TO SOMEONE, TO BECOME INVOLVED IN CREATION CARE?
PHILIP: Well, understanding is actually very important. There is lots of information out there, but we just don’t care enough to listen to it. I think what we should expect is a change of lifestyle. It’s the way we live, that we purchase, and the way that we deal with our excessive materials – sometimes we over buy and just throw them away, don’t even bother to find a way, just convenience. There are people actually mad at us for charging them for recycling. They say, ‘What can you do to stop me from putting that in the landfill?’ ‘Nothing,’ I say, ‘because it’s not based on what I need, it’s based on what you feel is right.’ So lifestyle change is by knowledge… and recognizing that God cares about poverty, cares about our community, cares about all of his creation…this is our responsibility, to be the steward, because our stewardship of the environment came all the way before the fall. It’s right in the beginning, when Adam got the first job, to name and take care of creation. That’s our very first job; we’ve forgotten about that. We need to go back to that, to look at what we are destroying, what we need to do, how we can do it. We’re not going to solve everything, but if everybody can just change a little bit in our lifestyle, change a little bit in the way we do things, I think the world will be in a better place. We have to believe in the collective power. It’s not one person that tries to save the world, it’s many people doing one step. That‘s a billion steps and if we do two steps, that’s a billion times two. I think that’s the idea we need to work on.
CHILDREN PAY THE HIGHEST PRICE IN A POLLUTED ENVIRONMENT The statistics are alarming. “More than 1 in 4 deaths of children under 5 years of age are attributable to unhealthy environments. Every year, environmental risks – such as indoor and outdoor air pollution, second-hand smoke, unsafe water, lack of sanitation, and inadequate hygiene – take the lives of 1.7 million children under 5 years,” reports the World Health Organization. “Emerging environmental hazards, such as electronic and electrical waste (such as old mobile phones) that is improperly recycled, expose children to toxins which can lead to reduced intelligence, attention deficits, lung damage, and cancer. The generation of electronic and electrical waste is forecasted to increase by 19% between 2014 and 2018, to 50 million metric tonnes by 2018.” Source: www.who.int "At least 8 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the world's oceans every year, according to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The report warns plastic trash will outweigh fish by 2050 unless drastic action is taken.” Source: www.dw.com
Weep for South Sudan! A LOOK AT THE UNFOLDING CRISIS OF FAMINE AND HOW YOU CAN HELP
by Gordon King
There were accusations of ethnic-based violence and killings. Farmers abandoned their crops and moved to camps for internally displaced people or crossed a border into Uganda, Kenya, or another neighbouring state. Hunger became an urgent issue.
Cries of celebr ation filled the l and when the new nation of South Sudan officially came into existence on July 9, 2011. Six years later, tears of joy have turned to sorrow as the country has been torn apart by fighting, suffering and now famine. After such a hopeful start, what went so horribly wrong? More than 98% of the population voted in an independence referendum to succeed from their former country â€“ Sudan. The birth of the country ended Africa's longest civil war. Sudan became the 54th country of Africa. Although landlocked, there was optimism that oil revenues would provide the financial foundation for the new country. President Salva Kiir Mayardit belongs to the Dinka ethnic group (representing about 15% of the population). The choice of Rieck Machar, from the Nuer ethnic group, as Deputy President attempted to provide a balance of power in the government. The Nuer make up approximately 10% of the population with over 60 other ethnic groups comprising the remaining 75%. Perhaps there was too much optimism at the time the country was formed and entered the world stage. Fighting among armed groups was already taking place in nine of the ten states of South Sudan. The country was poor. Slightly smaller than the province of Alberta, the population in 2011 was close to 11 million people. Transportation was difficult. There are only 200 kilometers of paved road. The population was largely rural.
However, as people of hope we know that it is not hopeless. We can choose to stand in solidarity with the people of South Sudan, to cry out to God for justice and mercy, and to take concerted action. A NEW ROUND OF CIVIL WAR
WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW ON THE GROUND?
A political dispute in late 2013 led to new outbreaks of violence that engulfed the whole country. The main combatants were the national army and the Sudan People's Liberation Army Movement. Over the next two years more than 2 million people would be displaced. Rebel forces captured several key cities and their surrounding regions. There were accusations of ethnic-based violence and killings. Farmers abandoned their crops and moved to camps for internally displaced people or crossed a border into Uganda, Kenya or another neighbouring state. Hunger became an urgent issue. There were signs of hope in August 2015 when a peace treaty was signed. Rieck Machar returned from exile and was appointed Vice-President of a new government of national unity. However, the regional fighting did not abate and the President fired Machar in July 2016. The situation became even more intense when Lieutenant General Thomas Cirillio resigned from the armed forces and launched the National Salvation Front with the objective of overthrowing the government.
The United Nations Commission of Human Rights recently issued a report (covering the period of July 2016 to February 2017) that contains a horrifying list of atrocities: •
Ethnic cleansing approaching genocide has been committed by the national army, largely composed of Dinka combatants. The report alleges that the government's army, police, and associated militias are responsible for the majority of human rights abuses in South Sudan. Armed groups, including the national army, burn villages, kill, rape, and abduct women and girls for the purposes of sexual slavery. 72% of women in four UN displacement centres testified that they had been raped at least once by national soldiers or police. 5.5 million people are severely food insecure. The government controls the distribution of food aid. Areas held by rebel forces are often denied food deliveries leading to accusations of a policy of forced starvation. An estimated 17,000 children have been forcefully recruited by rebel groups and fight as child soldiers.
Since this report, the government of South Sudan and the United Nations have declared a state of famine for two regions. The revised statistic for people in need of food assistance is now 7.5 million. The hunger emergency in South Sudan has tragic counterparts in Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Northern Nigeria. Gareth Owen of Save the Children Fund asserts that we are facing a global crisis not seen before. 14 million children are at risk of death by hunger.
Congregations are overwhelmed by the need and suffering. Displaced people have set up camps on the church properties. Others come to churches pleading for food.
FEBAC Pastors on the Ground. In the midst of war and famine, they continue to have hope, to lead their church's response with acts of God's love and care for all people. [left to right] Mr. John Monyiok Maluth, Coordinator for Christian Education, Capacity Building and Training. Yai Kirr Dau, Treasurer. Rev. Saphano Riak Chol, Secretary General. Rev. Albino Thuch, Coordinator of Evangelism, Mission and Peace Building.
Gordon King is CBMâ€™s Resource Specialist. He is the author of several books, including Seed Falling on Good Soil: Rooting Our Lives in the Parables of Jesus.
WHAT CAN BE DONE? The response to mass hunger is difficult at any time. South Sudan has logistical issues such as roads that are impassable during certain seasons and airstrips that are limited. Changing climate conditions make farming difficult in the best of circumstances. To make matters worse, the inflation rate in South Sudan was 800% last year. Most people cannot afford to buy food. The capital city of Juba is a dangerous place. Food warehouses have been looted. People have been forced from their homes. The countryside is wracked by violence. Villages burned down. Cattle killed. Crops destroyed or looted. The danger of the conflict and the hostile nature of the national army further aggravate the humanitarian situation. The indicators pointing to a state-sponsored genocide are frightening for anyone who remembers what happened in Rwanda. However, as people of hope we know that it is not hopeless. We can choose to stand in solidarity with the people of South Sudan, to cry out to God for justice and mercy, and to take concerted action. 1. We can pray. Several Psalms contain the plea that God will bring down men of violence that oppress and destroy vulnerable people. They also contain petitions for mercy for the poor, the widows and the orphans. An engaged spirituality is part of the solution to violence. 2. We can advocate. Ask the government of Canada to give priority to the five hunger areas of the world: Syria, Yemen, Northern Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan. 3. We can contribute. Support CBM with emergency funds to provide food for hungry people in South Sudan and in refugee camps in bordering countries. The gospels invite us to share our table with the hungry.
THREE CONDITIONS FOR A FAMINE 1.
At least 20% of the population suffers from extreme food shortages.
2. More than 30% of the population is acutely malnourished.
CANADIAN BAPTIST INVOLVEMENT IN SOUTH SUDAN Over the past six years, CBM has partnered with a new South Sudan denomination known as Faith Evangelical Baptist Church (FEBAC). Founded in 2007, FEBAC has 96 churches in different parts of the country and only 26 trained and ordained pastors. To help build the capacity of FEBAC to effectively serve in these trying times, CBM provides vital support in: Leadership training: providing workshops on trauma healing, church/state relations, social justice and counselling; as well as practical resources such as satellite phones to help pastors and churches in remote regions have a means of communication. Food security projects: helping farmers grow crops in dry season with training in irrigation agriculture, and supplies of water pumps, tubing, and seeds. Water projects: building wells for safe, clean drinking water. Peacebuilding: training community leaders, women leaders, youth leaders and other opinion leaders to become peace promoters among refugees living in camps such as Kakuma (in Kenya) where inter-ethnic conflict is high. “Before the 2016 peacebuilding seminar, Nuer could not go to the parts of the camp inhabited by the Dinka community and likewise the Dinkas could not dare visit parts of the camp inhabited by the Nuer,” reports FEBAC General Secretary, Saphano Riak Chol. “This has since changed after the peacebuilding seminar and this has encouraged us to maintain the momentum to cement peaceful co-existence.” FEBAC has also started churches and development projects in Kakuma and CBM has offered support with sewing machines and grinding mills for maize to help refugees, especially widows, to earn family income. Hunger and security continue to be big concerns in South Sudan. “War is still going on in some parts of the country. Many people are so scared that if they go outside the city and start farming something might happen to them, someone might come and shoot them down,” shares John Monyiok Maluth, FEBAC’s Coordinator for Christian Education, Capacity Building and Training. “God has given us the mandate to go and reach the people and he’s always there to protect us, but we need prayers for security. That when we go out, God will still protect us as we share the gospel like Jesus who touched people with other problems, other sicknesses, and he healed them. It actually brought people to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. We have seen many people coming to Christ because of the services of the church.” As the famine crisis spreads, FEBAC struggles to be a presence of hope. Congregations are overwhelmed by the need and suffering. Displaced people have set up camps on church properties. Others come to churches pleading for food. “Literally, people are dying; you find children, elderly, women, and everyone so malnourished due to lack of food,” shares Saphano. “We are making an appeal as a Church through CBM for an intervention with food. In Juba we have about 7,000 displaced people we want to help, and in Narus we have about 12,000 displaced people that we need to help. It’s really a depressing situation and something needs to be done about it.” Over the past three years, CBM has been responding with over $400,000 of emergency food and supplies such as rice and beans, maize flour, cooking oil, plastic for tents, blankets, and mosquito nets. In addition, we have promised to raise over $50,000 to continue FEBAC’s food relief program.
3. More than 2 people out of 10,000 die daily due to hunger.
YOU CAN HELP SOUTH SUDAN A gift of $150 will feed a family of four for a month. Give online at cbmin.org or call us 905.821.3533. Make a $25 donation through your mobile device by texting "south" to: 20222 before July 3rd, 2017. Fold this page open to see how you can help through CBM Sunday.
She Matters 4 Canada LEARNING TOUR featuring
Canadian Baptist Ministries 7185 Millcreek Drive Mississauga, Ontario L5N 5R4
Cheryl Bear 2017 marks the fourth year of CBM’s She Matters Campaign which seeks to highlight global gender inequity. Past years have focused on girl education, microcredit for women entrepreneurs, and empowering female leaders. She Matters 4 Canada will focus on issues facing Indigenous women in Canada. CBM has invited singer/songwriter and Indigenous leader Cheryl Bear from the Nadleh Whut’en community in Northern British Columbia, to be our She Matters spokesperson for this upcoming year. Cheryl is an award-winning performer and educator who shares stories of Indigenous life — the joy, sorrow, faith, and journey. In June, Cheryl will be embarking on an artist tour with CBM in Bolivia to hear more about the challenges facing Indigenous women in their own communities. You are invited to join Cheryl and CBM for a special evening of song and story, which will inspire and challenge Canadian Baptists to advocate on behalf of Aboriginal women in Canada and marginalized women around the world.
The Learning Tour Schedule: June 6 @ Bilberry Creek Baptist Church – Orleans, ON June 7 @ Lakefield Baptist Church – Lakefield, ON June 10 @ Kingsway Baptist Church – Toronto, ON with Special Guest Steve Bell Aug. 26 @ Crandall University – Moncton, NB FSC LOGO HERE
More Events to Come!
For more event dates and details visit shematters.cbmin.org To learn more about Cheryl Bear, please visit cherylbear.com
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Your Mission Sunday is CBM’s Mission Every Day As God’s people, we are rooted in the understanding that all people are created in his image, and should enjoy the abundance he has provided for us. Yet sadly, 1 out of every 9 people in our world does not get to share in that abundance. They feel the powerlessness of being unable to feed themselves and must watch their children suffer the long-term effects of chronic malnourishment. On CBM Sunday, you can stand up and act on behalf of the world’s hungry. We, as Canadian Baptists, have a long history of advocating on behalf of the global poor and hungry. We believe that there is something morally wrong in tolerating widespread hunger as inevitable and unpreventable. Our faith challenges us to respond with compassion and do our utmost to help so that others may simply live.
CBM SUNDAY 1: RWANDA FOOD & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Nearly 70% of the chronically hungry live in rural areas where food is produced. Your special offering will help struggling farmers improve their land and crops, ensuring a healthier life for all. You will help provide training in conservation agriculture, education on nutrition for families in India, Rwanda, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and food assistance for Syrian refugees and displaced people.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN CBM SUNDAY To order FREE materials for CBM Sunday, go to our website to place an order: cbmin.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, stating how many quantities of each you will need. Consider building an entire worship service around CBM Sunday. You can place the bulletin inserts inside your regular bulletins. Use the sermon and worship resource to help shape your service that week. If you’d like to build some excitement around the theme
of food leading up to your Mission Sunday, download these videos and show them in the weeks prior. These short clips will help explain the purpose of CBM Sunday during your service. Collect a special offering indicating that all donations will go towards providing food assistance and security to people going hungry in the world today.
24 HUN GER
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Through CBM , you and othe tation, r Canadian are bringing s prevent implemen Baptists hope local condition whereand healing to transis oversubscribed or needed. a broken worl ingmost that this project form In the event to where it is families and d by your donation communiti CBM will direct es together. TODAY IS in.org
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For I was hungry and you gav e me something to eat…
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ry, wrote to solidarity in servic the netwo rk of house prices in Jerusa e to sisters and brothe churches rs in Judea lem and memb in Corinth . Poor this time of about ers of the scarcity. Paul Christian comm harvests had spiked food urged congre the examp le of Jesus gational memb unity were vulnerable who becam in the conce ers in e poor so pt of a that they might Corinth to contemplate enjoyed securi fair balance that could be rich. He exist betwe ty. proposed en those in ordinary people The collection of funds need and from Christ in an act of those who ian congre generosity, gations involv compassion ed and solida rity.
you and other Through CBM, g ts are bringin Canadian Baptis to a broken world hope and healing families by transforming together. nities commu and
the chain today. this You can help break Naresh and Kumari the example of your Be inspired by n witness, share part of your Christia CBM Sunday. As today. hungry in our world concern for the ofcompassion. gifts Thank you for your
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other de food and ng will provi ng r special offeri , saving lives and helpi gency . God calls is and emer rebuilding e recovery and rity. Pleas ourney of and solida generosity give hope mpassion, continue to her we can toget that d it most.
Let’s be inspire d by our brother s and sisters of church this CBM the early Sunday. Please give generously so that togethe today r we may continu e to provide food who are hungry for those in the Global South.
em gational membe He proposed prices in Jerusal urged congre might be rich. scarcity. Paul so that they and those who this time of became poor n those in need of Jesus who exist betwee involved the example e that could an congregations of a fair balanc from Christi ity. the concept ion of funds ssion and solidar y. The collect enjoyed securit generosity, compa in an act of ordinary people
You can help break the chain today. Be inspired by the example of Naresh and CBM Sunday. Kumari this As part of your Christian witnes concern for the s, share your hungry in our world today. Thank you for your gifts ofcom passion.
Through CBM, you and other Canadian Bapti sts are bringi ng hope and healin g to a broke n world by transformin g families and communitie s together.
In the event that CBM will direct this project is oversub scribed or your donation where local to where it conditions is most needed. prevent impleme
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TODAY IS YOUR CBM
MAKE HUNGER SUNDAY MATTER
Baptist Minis tries
7185 Millcre ek Drive · Mississauga +1.905.826.3 · Ontario 441 · L5N 5R4 cbmin.org canadianbap tist
Today on CBM Sunday your special offerin assistance in times of g will provid crisis and e food and people begin other the longer journe emergency, saving lives and helping his people to y of recovery Corinth about and rebuilding. act with compa churches in food ssion, genero God calls give genero network of house s had spiked usly today so sity and solida , wrote to the Poor harvest that together ble in rity. Please the first century s in Judea. to people when St. Paul, in and brother we can contin nity were vulnera they need it ue to give hope service to sisters rs of the Christian commu to contemplate most. solidarity in rs in Corinth and membe
You can help support projec food securi ts that range ty and from emerg ency food with the world’ nutrition programs. assistance Today on CBM s hungry people to longer-term Sunday you more childr . Give some en and famili can stand of the “first in solidarity es have nutriti fruits” of your ous food and Poverty is labour, to a healthy one of the help start in life. biggest cause ger can lead s of hunge to malnutrition r. It’s a lethal and lead produ and sickne , intertwined ss that reduc ctive lives. chain as es people’s ability to learn, hunwork,
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CBM IS COM MIT TED TO AND MAL ADD RES NUT RIT SIN G HUN ION . GER
MAK E HUN GER PHOTO:
can stand s that range Sunday you support project labour, to help Today on CBM You can help n programs. fruits” of your of the “first y and nutritio in life. food securit . Give some a healthy start hungry people us food and with the world’s s have nutritio chain as hunn and familie intertwined more childre . It’s a lethal, to learn, work, causes of hunger s people’s ability of the biggest s that reduce Poverty is one and sicknes rition to malnut ger can lead tive lives. and lead produc
! NEW 2017
! NEW 2017
CBM SUNDAY 2: SOUTH SUDAN FOOD AID & CRISIS RESPONSE
CBM SUNDAY 3: INDIA HEALTH, NUTRITION & EDUCATION
In times of crisis, a quick response is needed. CBM’s food assistance programs save countless lives when emergencies strike. Desperate families struggling to find nutritious food for their children receive much-needed supplies necessary for survival. Your special offering will provide food and other assistance in times of crisis and emergency, saving lives and helping people begin the longer journey of recovery and rebuilding.
In one of the regions of India most affected by malnutrition – where over 50% of children are anemic – CBM supports a food security and nutrition program to help address hunger. Introducing kitchen gardens, organic farming, health awareness campaigns and medical camps are all ways to break the cycle of poverty. Help us provide projects that range from emergency food assistance to longer-term food security and nutrition programs.
TAKES ON HUNGER Hunger Bites! This year’s free children’s mission curriculum (including free coin boxes), is all about food. Food is the most basic necessity to live, yet many people and communities in the world lack access or the means to purchase food. As we study the Bible together, children will be challenged to understand God’s desire for all people to be food secure, and how they can be a part of making a difference by taking action! snack: Lassi (Lah-see)
E A C H CBM SUNDAY P A C KET INCL UDES: • Bulletin insert • Offering envelope • Sermon resource • Worship resource by Canadian Foodgrains Bank • Free downloadable video clip
game: Break the Circle of Hunger
Lassi is a traditional Indian drink. It is generally made from plain yogurt and water. Depending on the province of India it is sometimes spiced with cumin, or cinnamon, or sweetened activity: with honey, or sugar, or fruit. This recipe makes 2 cups.
MATERIALS: A piece of chalk to draw a circle on the floor or a stick to draw on the ground (or tape)
INSTRUCTIONS: The Hunger Tree
1. Divide the group into two equal teams. One team Food TagINGREDIENTS: 1 cup yogurt, 3/4 cup fresh pineapple, chunks or 1 5.5-ounce can pineapple in juice, juice from 1/2 represents people in poverty and the other one help children understand image of a tree to represents lime, or to taste, 2 teaspoons honey or This sugar, or to uses taste,the 5 or poverty and hunger itself. activity 6 ice cubes the problem of hunger. 2. Draw a circle on the floor or the ground. The poverty into as many or as few INSTRUCTIONS: Hunger Tree template team stays within the circle. The “poverty and hunger” into groups, : 1. Divide the children e rMATERIALS: like. team stays outside the circle. FUNdrais groups as you would geS: (If 1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until mixed. llen INSTRUCTION Cha which itysome or part of the juice in sticker, pineapple, small canned Fruadd out copies in each group ausing 3. groups At yourand signal (clap, whistle or shout), the players inside pass 2. Give each person can be a into smaller d meat,toone be can, learne One canthe taste.) 1. Divide the children the circle try to break out of it. The players outside the represents a food group. they have whatHunger Tree template. craFt: y to of the circle try to keep them in. e one can be a dairy and one can be a fruit. opportunity to share ising activit vegetable, Hop l fundra 2. Serve immediately an chill until ready to drink. Vary It! of the that hunger affects classofor these it with a specia Car ds of yourEach to think about ways ts from any children the your ining but experiment Askprojec tree ThisGive recipe uses pineapple, 2. CBM with own 4. Once who are ‘it’ and blindfolded. on the out of the circle, he becomes a , comb them breaks writea player others 3. Have 2 children things were where theone of the many with area and communities and“helper” and tries people own favorite fruits and flavorings. Try cardamom, adventure! children to s ‘basket’ rt for will have their hope when mission nutmeg or ‘it’ children makes it difficult for to help people inside the circle to ible with image raise suppo tagged. during this a card l trunk. (example: hunger when mint! enced incred children are to go your break out of it. If no one breaks out, select one or two tag front ofthey explored presented by most origina of food, Rene experiturn to design the countries a picture concentrate create thein school.)for an Kids like people to be “helpers”. your can so that they en compete to could be fruit, they It of as Now it’s book. children lt. e kinds at answers as a group. favorit difficu childr you hope! or idea is to tag as many day their The or more 4. your go toofthe ‘it’ discuss that give teams has to e r :Have together ttoone r’srthat r, school, orating one 3. Come a child, a i s child of things tagMothe 5. Continue the game for a few minutes, then change sides they fruit marke incorp s, teache k and card, can ‘eat’. As will dish child . Hold a Fu n d a potluc Invariably thank-you family, friend ec t porone and play a second round. competition ay card, of the child who tagged them. ojdesert funds. Host rfood ay-style etor :eat. Prmuch“Iron to raise Chef” more card, birthd area items and odhave the a Christmas card will work.do better than the other sell their Fo from and friends! and pencil presented by of It can be h rs, : r God e ect Always kind DISCUSSION ay POINTS: r p churc s of - any projt’stofamilie s, marke have it feels iate howstuden ideas Day card s, crayon ropr to have more and r own invite app and5.eraser Provides Ideas Us Talk about how it feels p you Always , pencils ger.For an age God 1. How easy is it grou for a person who is poor to get out of the Paper r hun ose ld cho less. MATERIALS: with you to end wor group Forof Us hunger and poverty? : scircle nstormthankwor your having game crayon ets it by braiLord, youk for loving us one and sending Help a second : your healing power. Provide the vary you in can it below, or time, p r ay e r joinpray 6. If you play t Ba sk children us a be supported to break out of We for those who are sick and for these givepeople ask healing to come d for your ays do toThe andcan ideas . children. NS: 2. In which ways tag areas give us, of Fr ui er in nee Alw God, thank you for the food you paper INSTRUCTIO you can it howev or twoofmore t ‘it’ ilies children names not Dearand our bodies. These to them. Thank thatfam to eliminate you canGod heal our hearts Us others so we canhunger area.you wha and poverty? a ‘waste’ t with a piece cutnot work together and design ude: but for For ing out studen a basket ted by esand per with trying should migbe then ht incl to share flooding, vidheart food p r e s e N ers call e each drought, We prayfood for ham kids Vija and Siddartha as: like kids like Pro e, and or a quarter, the in India, play hope. a problem, for programs that provide 1. Provid youand after them a such food bank The sell Thankfood world.about possibl can be labelled themuch it in half, ther and to grow l food involves kly her 3. Can you you protect hunger identifyher similar a in real life? and situations them, and pray that prices. what gives toge they continue strong andinhealthy 's food lead loca war, 2. asFold r high ipatethat and game ac job, e. garden, and draw we pray ng us solike Anne,eand lost draw, of CBM for teachi to partic toting ity of as quic at you lpillness, you choos ts to think aboutfire, stealing, thetobaskets. -energy one mun while • nPut going ring to out school. Thank you for forpeople their youprovidingfor food itions mcan keep going to school. the chang her siblings keep ,byAntee usneeds. com they’ve chose these ‘its’own studen givingso tagged This high ching pos ding! and God, thank donate er what children forfamily ries the wisdo that she r you 3. Invite •p leVolu ting you Amen. swit you can est toDear g learn and go to school. In one anothg a m e : all count p Thank uth in stan s, re s s. with also endin to harv s get A So we one fruit that , theer toward give leader l it. 4. Share sion nt, whe are so thankful what it mean on • Star eeds ofoth Please the last to r.es ip eve (making We which work the tota a circlep p le in the a discus to be proca and or onsname, Amen. a community decisi in ending hunge l in wsh A es, Jesus’ ber than vity tabl to make or fello work as ding th are fue gam livi er acti and ects num bo assion stan d, rais Boproj a – fundfoo d, ideas runcomp organize share less in and ls: us n-base remain veryts, al in es), helpatio llamting a vide ds toris craf Materia irs/mats (one ers can r. Please anim to•the Hos pro rd gam e or hhunge be don boa or play canbaked goo ce tha n canr. Amen. at hom ssell d by except pular • Cha ated ngrs,suc issio lette ating); ente e flee circle po end hungee hunger is rel d alpaca -lik pres writding clothi of adm particip large is a viat . It anplay. Cost crafts, d in a to alle hmere aca as an ntries work nkets Contact us to order additional copies of Kids Care at: on a ge ) ts for every chilt. 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5 VIDE OS AVAI L AB L E: • • • • •
CBM & CFGB Video on Nutrition CBM & CFGB Video on Food Assistance Video for CBM Sunday 1 Video for CBM Sunday 2 Video for CBM Sunday 3
Hunger Bites in India Hunger Bites a in Keny Bites Hunger da in Rwsan ite ge r B Hu n n ad a in Cta s e i B ge r Hun livia o in B
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As an evangelical university graduate in 1979, my favorite album was Bob Dylan's Slow Train Coming, and my favourite song was Man Gave Names...
Published on Apr 26, 2017
As an evangelical university graduate in 1979, my favorite album was Bob Dylan's Slow Train Coming, and my favourite song was Man Gave Names...