I had the privilege to spend the last two weeks with a January Term Doctor of Ministry class that met at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations – my employer. Mark Douglas of Columbia Theological Seminary led the class as it considered the Environment and Ecumene.
Class participants included Elizabeth Adams, Katie Preston, Carol Underwood, and John Weems. My colleague, Ryan Smith, helped coordinate and lead the class. Ricky Velez-Negron, our office manager, provided wonderful hospitality and organizational support; she also took the picture of the class beside the Isaiah Wall. Volunteers Peng Leong, from First Chinese Presbyterian Church, and Grace Bickers, Columbia University student, joined us for a number of the sessions.
Speakers came from ministries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), UN programs and our colleagues and friends from the UN NGO community.
The content included the UN and environmental concerns to climate change, land and water, women and the environment, children and the environment, indigenous peoples and the environment, food and hunger and the environment, conflict and the environment, and more.
The class attended a policy lunch on climate change and agriculture sponsored by the NGO Working Group on Food and Hunger. The class also attended a meeting of the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Conference of NGOs.
On Thursday, January 12, class members led worship at the Church Center for the United Nations.
Representatives of First Chinese Presbyterian Church, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, Huguenot Memorial Church, Old Bergen Church, and the Presbyterian Church of the Mountain joined the class on Thursday, January 19 for conversations about how congregations can care for creation. Rebecca Barnes-Davies, PC(USA) associate for Environmental Ministries helped facilitate the discussion.
Worship ended the class. We gathered in the Tillman Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations and walked to the Isaiah Wall for closing prayers. After quick goodbyes, class members returned to their homes with new visions for ministry.
Gifts to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations make possible the class.
I look forward to 2014 when another group will gather for another class on another topic.
See you along the Trail.
- Giving thanks for song (graybeardtrail.wordpress.com)