Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wes Granberg-Michaelson to Call People of Faith to Renewal of Creation

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (February 24)--The challenge to care for creation will come to the Micah Center on Tuesday, March 3rd, for a 7 p.m. lecture entitled, "Renewing the Earth." "If creation is a gift--which, from a Biblical understanding, it is--" declares scheduled speaker Wes Granberg-Michaelson, "then we are called to care for it." Furthermore, Granberg-Michaelson sees environmental matters as integral to the broader pursuit of social justice. Referring to scientists' findings regarding global warming, he notes that "people often think of Manhattan and the outer banks of North Carolina (in relation to global warming and rising ocean levels), but changes in climate have a very devastating effect on the poor and the marginalized. If (creation) is desecrated, the people who suffer the most are those who have the least." Thus, the Christian imperative to renew and restore the earth.

Granberg-Michaelson is entering his sixteenth year as general secretary of the Reformed Church of America (RCA). His responsibilties with RCA include fostering church develoment and revitalization as well as promoting a broader expression of faith within RCA congregations, one that views justice and faith to be intimately related. 

No stranger to faith and justice matters, Granberg-Michaelson has long promoted social justice as an act of faith. His resume features roles as managing editor of the social action periodical, Sojourners; founder of New Creation Institute in Missoula, Montana, an organization emphasizing Christian responsibility to the environment; and chairman of the ecumenical faith and justice movement, Call to Renewal. In addition, Granberg-Michaelson has authored and edited several books addressing social justice.

His tenure in Montana was eye-opening. "Environmentalists had little good to say about the church," he recalls. While in Montana and thereafter, Granberg-Michaelson has sought to enlighten churches to the what he terms a "deep and persuasive Biblical mandate to care for creation." His Tuesday lecture will persist in proclaiming that message to the greater Christian community.

An interdenominational gathering of people of faith committed to social justice, The Micah Center convenes on the first and third Tuesday of each month at Hope Reformed Church, located at 2010 Kalamazoo SE, in Grand Rapids. The lecture, scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3, is free and open to the public.

Brian Paff, The Micah Center

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