Be Prepared to Experience Creation’s Beauty in CCSP CASCADIA

CCSP Masthead
This post is from Creation Care Study Program’s April newsletter.
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CCSP Cascadia
CCSP New Zealand
CCSP Belize

CCSP CASCADIA: LAUNCHING Fall 2013

Well-known author Shane Claiborne calls CCSP Cascadia, “a space where you can re-imagine the way we live.” Come join the inaugural CCSP Cascadia semester Fall 2013 and re-imagine new community based ways to live…new ways to become agents of sustainable change through organic gardening, social entrepreneurship & creation of resilient local communities.

CCSP Cascadia is located half way between two urban centers of sustainability innovation, Seattle and Vancouver BC. Situated on 40 forested acres on Camano Island by the Salish Sea, the Cascadia program offers abundant opportunities for sea kayaking, backpacking in the Cascades, as well as discovering a clearer sense of the call of the Creator God on your life.

Cascadia is CCSP’s first North American based program, and the first Christian off-campus study program exclusively focused on sustainability. Here are the course options.

Cascadia Core Courses include:
1. God and Nature: Theology of Community and Creation Care
2. Social Entrepreneurship and Environmental Justice
3. Global Environmental Studies

Sustainability Electives:
1. Native American Worldview: Conceptual Models of Stewardship
and Sustainability
2. Sustainability Internship/Field Study

This cutting edge program is a partnership between Creation Care Study Program (CCSP) and Mustard Seed Associates (MSA). Like all CCSP’s programs Cascadia’s mission is to be “agents of, and to participate in, God’s shalom, particularly through care of creation.” It is overseen by CCSP’s academic committee and is run using CCSP’s educational philosophy and policies. Thus, CCSP Cascadia is a CCSP program through and through, only it is managed day-to-day by the visionary and dedicated MSA team led by its academic dean, Dr. Forrest Inslee, and program directors Ryan (former CCSP staff) and Jessica Weemhoff (former CCSP student).

This spring CCSP Cascadia was introduced to CCSP’s supporting schools for approval, and so far the reception has been positive. The first college coordinator responded “It looks impressive! I am sure we will be able to get approval without too much difficulty.” We hope to hear word regarding approval from all CCSP’s supporting colleges by the end of April.

We are limiting this inaugural class at CCSP Cascadia on Camano Island to 12 students for our Fall 2013 Semester. So, if you are interested or know of a student who might be, please contact us immediately. We will quickly send you a detailed description of CCSP Cascadia and answer any questions you may have ranging from field placement to recreational opportunities in the Northwest.

Contact team leader, Dr. Tom Sine, today with your questions and/or the names of other students who might also value receiving information about CCSP Cascadia.

NEW ZEALAND: EDUCATION AND ACTION

Sperm Whale divingRESIDENT KAIKOURA SPERM WHALE Photo: Courtesy of Whale Watch Kaikoura

It’s been a busy week here in Kaikoura, New Zealand. We’ve just finished the second week of our God and Nature course with Professor Cal DeWitt. In an effort to put into practice what we learned earlier about marine ecosystems from Dr. Horvath from Westmont College, and our God given responsibility to be good stewards of the earth in professor DeWitt’s class, we decided to explore these issues in the local context of Kaikoura’s drilling controversy.

The New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development has proposed to open two off-shore blocks just 75km north of the Kaikoura Peninsula for oil exploration and drilling. To the best of our understanding this poses a serious threat to Kaikoura’s diverse marine ecosystems, including a resident population of Sperm Whales, and many of the people of Kaikoura are vehemently opposed to the proposal. Thus, after weighing up the issue it was decided we too should add our voices to the opposition. Professor DeWitt helped the class to compile a press kit made up of student written op-ed’s, maps, and other relevant biological resources surrounding the issue. This kit was then passed on to CCSP’s partner, Restoring Eden, whose mission is to engage Christians in creation care activism.

If this issue is of concern to you the press kit is accessible on the Restoring Eden website at this link, and the local movement can be engaged on the Facebook page nodrillkaikoura.

BELIZE: BIRDS, SKY, & GOD’S GLORY

RED-THROATED ANT TANAGER
Photo: Joel Vermillion

Bump! Went the bird on the glass of our classroom window. We turned from our discussion with Loren and Mary Ruth Wilkinson in our second installment of “God and Nature” to see a small brown bird fall out of sight past the window pane. Birds are a great way of connecting with the natural world. With 574 species in a country the size of Massachusetts and only a little over 800 species recorded in all of the United States, Belize is a birding hotspot! And if Belize is a hotspot, our 17-acre campus is a hotspot within a hotspot! In the last couple months we have recorded 85 different species of birds here at Macal Commons. That’s about 10% of all the birds found in the US, in just a couple months of monitoring! With all those birds flying around, its no wonder one of them got a concussion by flying smack into our classroom window!

Loren asked us candidly one evening, “how are the jungles of Belize were better off for humans being present in them?” A reversal to our normal anthropocentric thinking to be sure. He guided us through the question to one wonderful answer. In the story of Eden, how was the garden better off through the presence of Adam and Eve? Their job description was that of “caretaker” but in what way did they take care of it if they were not yet required to till it? By naming and knowing. By echoing after God, “it is good!” and with the glee of a child which God most certainly possesses exclaiming “Do it again!” with each sunrise and each blooming flower. Through learning to name and know the birds of the air here in Belize, we are lending our own voices to theirs in praising God for what he has made.

We wandered outside to see if the bird was all right. Held gently in our hands, her eyes were open but her wings were splayed out and disheveled from the crash. One of the students grabbed a bird book and we quickly realized that we were holding a female indigo bunting. Though she was a discreet brown, her mate is a striking blue, nearly florescent in fact! As we held her gently in our hands she seemed to gather her wits about her. Shaking her feathers into place, she took one last look at the CCSPers gathered around and launched herself from cradled hands into space, flying confidently and purposefully into the jungle that surrounds us.

By Derek Rosenberger, CCSP Belize Director