ELKHART, Indiana (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) — Registration is open for the fifth Rooted and Grounded Conference on Land and Christian Discipleship, which will be held Oct. 14–16, 2021, at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana.
The three-day conference — on the theme of “Land: Loss, Connection and Imagination” — will weave together worship, theology, biblical study and praxis. In addition to keynote presentations, papers and workshops, an afternoon of immersion experiences will give participants opportunities to explore conservation and restoration efforts in the region.
The event will be offered in a hybrid format; some elements will be available only to in-person participants, and some will be available to participants joining via livestream.
“The droughts, wildfires and superstorms of the last several years are confronting us with the fragility of creation,” said Janeen Bertsche Johnson, MDiv, AMBS Director of Campus Ministries and coordinator of the conference planning committee. “This year’s Rooted and Grounded Conference will help us imagine new ways to reconnect with the land and hopefully inspire actions towards healing and renewal.”
Keynote speakers for the conference include:
Thursday, Oct. 14: Laura Meitzner Yoder, PhD, a political ecologist who serves as Director and John Stott Chair of Human Needs and Global Resources and also as Professor of Environmental Studies at Wheaton (Illinois) College. Her current work with global scholar-practitioners who understand ecological awareness and action as integral to Christian discipleship is reflected in Living Radical Discipleship (Langham, 2021) and John Stott on Creation Care (InterVarsity, forthcoming September 2021).
Friday, Oct. 15: Timothy R. Eberhart, PhD, MDiv, who serves as Murray H. Leiffer Associate Professor of Public Theology and Ecology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He teaches in the areas of theology and ethics, concentrating on the relation of Christian doctrine to environmental, economic, political and social change theory. His publications include Rooted and Grounded in Love: Holy Communion for the Whole Creation (Wipf and Stock, 2017) and The Economy of Salvation: Essays in Honor of M. Douglas Meeks (Wipf and Stock, 2015).
Four immersion experiences will be offered as pre-conference activities (in person only) on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 14. An additional charge of $40 ($15 for students) covers transportation, admission and a packed lunch.
- Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center in Wolf Lake, Indiana
- Camp Friedenswald near Union, Michigan
- Urban Gardens of Elkhart (Wellfield Botanic Gardens and Remembrance Garden at Fellowship of Hope Mennonite Church)
- Regenerative Activities in the Elkhart River Watershed (Potawatomi history sites, sustainable agriculture, water monitoring, solar installations and native planting)
In-person registration costs are $100 for the entire conference (includes three meals); the student rate is $35. If three or more undergraduate students register from the same college or university, their registration is free. Virtual registration costs are $75 (regular rate) and $30 for students. The cost to attend the keynote addresses only is $10 per session.
Co-sponsors of the conference include the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions and Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College in Wolf Lake, Indiana. Prior Rooted and Grounded conferences were held in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.
Learn more, view a schedule and register at ambs.edu/rootedandgrounded.
Image above: Janeen Bertsche Johnson, MDiv, AMBS Director of Campus Ministries, introduces students to ways in which the seminary seeks to care for God’s creation. Among various features of AMBS’s 42-acre campus are six acres of native prairie grasses, rain gardens, two solar arrays and energy-efficient buildings such as the green AMBS Library. (Credit: Peter Ringenberg)
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