Church plans Eden Summit to help develop ‘creation awareness’

Thursday, April 19, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:40 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

The Columbia faith community will get a jump start on Earth Day with the Eden Summit, a series of workshops aimed at explaining the church’s role in protecting the environment.

The event, which will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church, is sponsored by the Office of Creative Ministries. Registration is required.

if you go

What: Eden Summit Where: Community United Methodist Church, 3301 W. Broadway When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: $10, includes lunch; $3, without lunch; free for students Registration is required: Call 474-7155 or go to

William Miller, professor of nuclear science and engineering at MU, will lead a workshop on how churches can cultivate “creation awareness” within their congregations. Miller says he has been interested in energy issues for at least 30 years, especially the possibilities of solar energy.

“In this society, we’ve kind of lost track of energy issues,” he said. “Some of us are naively doing our thing and not thinking much about consequences. I think we are in for a rude awakening.”

Although the summit was planned with Earth Day in mind, it is primarily a celebration of the Earth as God’s creation, which bestows a special responsibility on churches and people of faith.

“If you took a cross section study of how concerned people in the church are about the environment compared to the general population, you wouldn’t find much difference,” Miller said. “We want to change that.”

The summit is open to adults and children.

The keynote address, by Jan Weaver, director of environmental sciences at MU, will focus on the importance of educating children about Earth stewardship.

Other presenters include Robert Schnase, bishop of the Missouri Methodist Conference, and representatives from the Saint Paul School of Theology and MU’s department of natural resources.

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