By Kendra Flory
The Ventures in Christian Discipleship program at McPherson (Kan.) College is moving into its eighth year of providing useful, affordable education to small church congregations. The first two online courses of the year will focus on creation care. All classes are donation-based and continuing education credit is available for $10 per course.
On Sept. 28 at 9 a.m. to 12 noon (central time) Kirk MacGregor will present the course “God’s Relation to the Natural World and Creation Care.” Many philosophers and theologians view God’s relation to the natural world as parallel to the relation between our souls and our bodies. This course will examine this notion and explore its implications for creation care. Putting this notion in conversation with Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46), this course will argue that what we do--positively or negatively--to the natural world, we do to Jesus himself.
MacGregor is assistant professor of Philosophy and Religion and department chair at McPherson College. He is the author of five books, the most recent of which is “Contemporary Theology: An Introduction” (2019). He is a member of McPherson Church of the Brethren.
On Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon (central time) Sharon Yohn will present the course “Faith Through Action: Effective Approaches to Solving the Climate Challenge.” God calls on us to act when our brothers and sisters are in need. The destabilization of our climate is already causing immense human suffering, leaving us with a clear call to action. But how? When faced with a problem this large and complicated, it is hard to feel like our actions are meaningful. This course will explore three types of meaningful action and the resources available to support those actions.
Yohn is an active member of Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, Pa., and assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Juniata College. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science at Juniata College, and a doctorate in Environmental Geosciences from Michigan State University. Called to action by both her scientific understanding and her faith, she has been an advocate for climate action for several years. She co-wrote a series of articles on faith and climate change for the Church of the Brethren magazine “Messenger” and served on a denominational Creation Care Committee. She is group leader for the Juniata chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a non-partisan organization building political will for a livable future.
To learn more about Ventures in Christian Discipleship and to register for courses visit www.mcpherson.edu/ventures .
-- Kendra Flory is advancement assistant at McPherson College.