Friday April 8, 2016 at 9:00 AM EDT
Saturday April 9, 2016 at 6:00 PM EDT

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Decatur First United Methodist Church
300 E Ponce de Leon Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030

Driving Directions 


Pat Watkins, Michael Black or Beth Bond
Caretakers of God's Creation

Conference Sponsors 

  • Candler School of Theology
    Emory University
  • Decatur First UMC
  • Glenn Memorial UMC
  • Humane Society of the US


Join us for the 9th annual national Caring for Creation Conference, this year focusing on food, food systems, and faith.  At its core, this conference is about people and their interactions with the Creation through food and food production. This 2-day event will feature keynote speakers including Norman Wirzba of Duke University, Carol Newsom and Jennifer Ayres of Emory University's Candler School of Theology, Rashid Nuri of Truly Living Well, Zach Kerzee of Simple Church, Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety, and Will and Jenni Harris of White Oak Pastures. This conference is designed to help participants to think and pray deeply about food: the way we produce it, the way we consume it, and its importance in our faith. In addition to special speakers and panelists, there will be workshops, working groups, and tours of Truly Living Well, Global Growers, and the Atlanta Beltline! Register for the conference today!
Minority, need-based, and North Georgia pastoral staff scholarships are available. Please contact Michael Black for details (contact information below).

The conference will be held this year at Decatur First UMC, a short walk from Atlanta's Decatur MARTA station.

Next year's national Caring for Creation conference will be in Ohio, so take advantage of it while it is in the Southeast!

Contact: Michael Black at seawater@gsu.edu

Friday, April 8, 2016

9am-Noon Tours on Friday morning:

  • Option 1: Global Growers/Decatur Tour
  • Option 2: Beltline and brief tour of Truly Living Well Garden Tour (Rashid Nuri)
  • Option 3: Full participation at Truly Living Well Garden Tour (Rashid Nuri)
  • Option 4: Breadmaking with Zach Kerzee (Limit 15)

Noon-1:30 pm Lunch Keynote:

Norman Wirzba, Professor of Theology, Ecology, and Agrarian Studies, Duke Divinity School

Jennifer Ayres, Assistant Professor of Religious (Environmental) Education, Emory, Candler School of Theology

1:30-1:45 pm Break

1:45-3:15 pm Plenary panel speakers:

  • Carol Newsom, Professor of Old Testament, Emory Candler – food systems and theology
  • Julie Taylor, National Farmworkers Ministry (Raleigh, NC) – food justice

3:45-4:45 pm Workshops (4-5 workshops)

  • Workshop 1: Society of St. Andrew
  • Workshop 2: Cameron Kempson, Growing Grace Farm
  • Workshop 3: John Wierwille, Oakleaf Mennonite Farm
  • Workshop 4: Norman Wirzba, Duke Divinity School
  • Workshop 5: Tamie Cook on Mindful Eating
  • Workshop 6: Jaydee Hanson

5-6 pm Dinner (at Decatur First)

Humane Society of the United States starts the dinner with presentation on food

6-7 pm Eucharist Service with Norman Wirzba

7-8 pm Presentation by Will and Jenni Harris, White Oak Pastures

Saturday, April 9, 2016

8-9:15 am Breakfast Church led by Zach Kerzee

9:30-10:30 am Plenary (Keynote):

Dottie Yunger, Associate Pastor at Metropolitan UMC and former Executive Director of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake and guest

Rashid Nuri, Director, Truly Living Well Urban Farms

10:30-10:45 am Break/Transition

10:45-11:45 am Workshops (4-5 workshops)

  • Workshop 1: Kim Karris, Food Well Alliance
  • Workshop 2: Carter and Olivia Ries, One More Generation
  • Workshop 3: Travis and Karen Webster, Healthy Seminarians – Healthy Church Initiative, Columbia Theological Seminary
  • Workshop 4: Reasa Currier, Humane Society of the United States
  • Workshop 5: Susan Varlamoff, UGA on Action Plan for the Pope’s Encyclical
  • Workshop 6: Slow Food Atlanta (SFATL) and Lexicon of Sustainability (LOS)
  • Workshop 7: Brooks Berndt, Beyond “Food Deserts” : Addressing Systemic Oppression

11:45-Noon Break/Transition

Noon-1:15 pm Lunch Plenary (Keynote) Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director, Center for Food Safety

1:30-3:30 pm National and local level reporting and working groups (general conference pre-season)

Large report with focus on food: John Hill (Church and Society) and Pat Watkins (Global Ministries)

Reports from Conference attendees (what is happening at your church and the local level)

4-5 pm Worship Service (by Emory Candler Theology Students)

5:30 pm Dinner for Seminarians (seminarians only, sponsored by Candler School of Theology)