Interested in Faith and Food? | UMC YoungPeople
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22
March 2016

Interested in Faith and Food?

By John Hodges-Batzka

Conference will address availability, clean food and food justice issues

October 26, 2015 (Atlanta, GA) – Rev. Pat Watkins, missionary for the General Board of Global Ministries serving in the Ministry of God’s Renewed Creation, has announced the theme for the 2016 National Creation Care Conference. Focusing on the complex interplay amongst food, ethics and the environment, "Sowing Seeds: Where Food and Faith Meet" will be held on April 8 and 9, 2016 at Decatur First United Methodist Church in Decatur, Georgia. Rev Watkins states: “There is something we all have in common: food. Regardless of socio-economic status, every man, woman and child deserves access to whole, plentiful, nutritionally dense food. And yet many, even here in the US, still do not. What is our responsibility to the world as people of faith in regards to food scarcity and policies? We’ll explore those issues and more at the 2016 Conference.”

The agriculture industry produces twice the amount of food we need to feed all the people in the world each year, yet forty percent of that food is lost in transportation. Children of poverty can’t get fresh produce in many American cities, and farmers who grow by traditional means have to pay to prove they are organic while heavily chemical based agriculture spray without limits and are negatively affecting land, air and animals. The food conversation is large and complicated, and yet it must be a vital part of the conversation for people of faith discerning their roles in serving others and protecting the planet.

The conference will feature two leading theologians from Emory and Duke, Dr. Jennifer Ayres and Dr. Norman Wirzba, keynote speakers to frame the conversation and launch the discussions. Other highlights include tours of farming and urban gardening projects in Atlanta and Decatur; worship services emphasizing the sacramental roles of food; and workshops with local food pioneers, national food policy leaders and faith-based non-profits working in food justice arenas.

While sponsored by the UMC, this Conference is open to people of all denominations. Details and a link to registration for the conference can be found at: http://www.umccreationcare.org Registration fees include lunch both days, dinner Friday night, and breakfast Saturday morning. For more information contact Dr. Michael Black at seawater@gsu.edu.