Faith, Mission and Caring for Creation
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February 16 – 18, 2017
Calgary, Alberta

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A conference to engage, encourage, and sustain creation care in the Christian mission in Alberta.

The conversation around environmental stewardship has become incredibly polarized. Often missing in this conversation is the Christian voice. Both those in the Church and those in wider society need a clear understanding of what the Biblical narrative says about environmental stewardship, climate justice, and how to face an uncertain future with hope.

This conference will explore the Christian response to environmental issues. Participants will be encouraged to discover what Scripture tells us about our relationship to the rest of creation, what God expects of the Church, and how Jesus is central to creation’s redemption story.

The conference opens Thursday night at Ambrose University and continues all day Friday and Saturday at Samaritan’s Purse Canada.


Responding with Christian Hope to the Environmental Crisis

7:00pm at Ambrose University
FREE Public Lecture

Leah Kostamo (co-founder of A Rocha Canada) shares a message on hope for creation.

Grounded Conference: Day 1

Samaritan’s Purse Canada Facility
9:00am – 4:30pm

  • 9:00am – Registration and Coffee
  • 9:30am – Introduction & Opening Prayer
  • 9:45am – Holy Creatures Living Among Other Holy Creatures in a World That Is Holy (Keynote: Steven Bouma-Prediger)
  • 10:45am – Business as Creation Care: Animated by a Gospel Worldview (Stacey Toews of Level Ground Trading)
  • 11:10am – Coffee
  • 11:30am – Behold, I Make a New Creation (Session 1: Jeremy Bell)
  • 12:30pm – Lunch
  • 1:15 pm – Engaging Leadership in Creation Care (Session 2: Ken Gray)
  • 2:15pm – Coffee
  • 2:35pm – Creation Care and A Rocha (Session 3: Markku & Leah Kostamo)
  • 3:30pm – Presentation & Panel with a Group of Christian Denominations (Session 4)
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Regent Film

Film Screening (Calgary Premiere)

Includes talk back with Regent College’s President, Jeff Greenman, and filmmaker Iwan Russell-Jones

Samaritan’s Purse Canada Facility
7 – 9pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
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Poet and theologian Loren Wilkinson has spent his life thinking, teaching, and campaigning about creation. He has encouraged generations of students to think about the meaning of creation and of our responsibility as creatures within it.

  • What can be done to address the enormous issues facing our fragile and threatened planet?
  • Is it possible to live confidently and creatively in the face of massive problems such as pollution and the acidification of the oceans?
  • What hope is there of making peace with creation?

The film will feature a talkback with Iwan Russell-Jones (Filmmaker) & Jeff Greenman (President – Regent College).

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Grounded Conference: Day 2

Samaritan’s Purse Canada Facility
9:00am – 4:30pm

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Keynote Speakers

Steven Bouma Prediger
Dr. Steven Bouma-Prediger
Steven lives in Holland, Michigan with his wife Celaine. He is a professor of Religious Studies and the Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning at Hope College.

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Leah Kostamo
Leah Kostamo
Leah came to A Rocha with a background in campus ministry and education. Alongside Markku, Leah helped set up A Rocha’s first Environmental Centre in Canada in 2003.

Full Bio

Additional Presenters & Speakers

Markku is a Professional Biologist and outdoor enthusiast and has worked as an environmental consultant in the private sector. He is passionate about helping people from all walks of life experience the wonder of creation and the love of the Creator as they embrace their roles as stewards of God’s world. Markku, his wife Leah and their two daughters share life with five other families on Kingfisher Farm. Markku currently serves as the President for A Rocha Canada.
Born and raised in Victoria BC, the Very Rev. Ken Gray is Dean of St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Kamloops BC. Since 2005 he has been secretary to the International Anglican Communion Environmental Network. He is currently co-chair of the Creation Matters Working Group of the Anglican Church of Canada. He is a professionally trained classical musician and lover of Jazz. His photography engages both environment and spirit at several levels. He is married to Kathie with whom he has two adult children.
A farm kid, raised in northern Alberta, Tom has served the God of creation and history, of soil and soul, in churches in Alberta and in BC, as well as with IVCF in Calgary. He is married to Tennille. They live in the Creston Valley raising two sons, chickens, cows, pigs and a lot of vegetables. Tom is the pastor of the Erickson Covenant Church.
Jeremy lives in Vancouver and is the current chair of the Board of A Rocha Canada. From the earliest age, Jeremy and his family (who had immigrated from England) explored and celebrated the beauty of the new country that they had arrived in. Jeremy, along with his wife Kerry, were part of the original partners of Hunterston Farm on Galiano Island, BC and have celebrated God’s gift of the natural world by participating in the joy of walking and hiking both at home and in several trips overseas.
Norman is author of the practical guide Greening Your Church and co-writer of Les pages vertes de la Bible (available only available in French, unfortunately). For Norman, being director of the Green Churches Network is more than a job; it’s a passion and a mission. His dreams that one day creation care will be fully part of church life and all churches will be able to say: “We have the same Faith to share, the same Earth to protect”. A published meteorologist and science educator with degrees from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Norman has taught in high schools and is often invited to speak on climate change. Not surprisingly, his Masters of Theology at the Université de Montréal involved research on Creation Care ministry.
Joanne Beach is the Director of Alliance Justice and Compassion for The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. This role facilitates the justice and compassion ministries of the C&MA by resourcing, networking and promoting the local, national, and international ministries of the Alliance that seek to bring wholeness and well-being to people made vulnerable by circumstances of poverty, disaster, and injustice. Joanne has served within the C&MA in various capacities for 25 years. After fifteen years of volunteer leadership roles in local church and district ministries, she began a seven-year ministry as the National Women’s Ministries Director in 2000. Joanne also served as the Eastern District Missions Consultant before transitioning into this current position in 2007.

Venue (Thursday)

Venue (Friday & Saturday)

Making Peace With Creation

Film Screening (Calgary Premiere)

Includes talk back with Regent College’s President, Jeff Greenman, and filmmaker Iwan Russell-Jones

Friday Feb 17
Samaritan’s Purse Canada Facility

6:30pm – 9:00pm

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Grounded is a collaborative effort of a number of church denominations and organizations in Calgary. The planning committee includes representatives from