Press Release from Oregon Center for Christian Values
BEAVERTON – The Oregon Center for Christian Values is presenting a conference called “7 Days of Creation Care” at Oak Hills Church in Beaverton, on Saturday, April 14. The conference is a response to the rapidly emerging Christian movement to care for the environment not only out of ecological concern for nature, but also out of a desire to follow the biblical call to care for all God’s creation.
Scripture tells Christians that not only was the earth created by God (Genesis 1), but that “since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -his eternal power and divine nature -have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Caring for creation is part of honoring God.
The purpose of this conference is to bring together local Christians to discuss and reflect on the biblical response to concerns about the environment as God’s creation. The keynote speaker for the event, Peter Illyn, a minister and the founder of Restoring Eden, has been a leading figure in the national movement for creation care. He says of the emerging Christian voice for the environment: “There is a revolution happening. We see it on campuses and we see it in churches. For many, many years we have spent our time defending the fact that Christians should care for creation. It’s no longer a question of why should Christians care, but how should Christians care.”
One of the most compelling aspects of “creation care” is that it provides a Christian voice for a traditionally secular issue. Numerous pastors, theologians, politicians, business leaders, and students have joined together to form the Evangelical Climate Initiative, calling on action to reduce global warming. Most recently, Richard Cizik, the head of government affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals, has made national headlines and appeared on CNN, MSNBC, ABC and PBS calling on Christians to make environmental advocacy a part of Christian ministry.
The conference will be a full day, including worship, the keynote address, a panel on both the theological and ecological aspects of creation care, and breakaway sessions that will give Christians practical tools for environmental stewardship. The event will kick-off with 7 days of Christian meditation on creation, ending with a Creation Day celebration on Sunday, April 22. Participants will be given “7 Days of Creation” prayer guides with scripture and meditation for each day.
The creator of the event, the Oregon Center for Christian Values, is a network of active Christian citizens, working together to promote Christ-centered values for the common good, such as care for the poor, care for the sick and care for God’s creation. They are hosting the event in collaboration with a local partner, Oak Hills Church.
Other featured speakers at the event include Jenny Holmes, director of environmental ministries at Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Pastor Les Zollbrecht, founder of the Mountain Leadership Institute, Gene Dykema, a Christian economist and author of several books on creation care, Maureen Beezhold from the Northwest Earth Institute, and Brian Swarts, Program Director of the Oregon Center for Christian Values.