Myers Park Baptist Church will host a conversation this month on caring for the earth. The event will include poetry, photography and a panel discussion.
“Creation Care: Charlotte’s Challenge” on March 25 will include Mark Jensen, a professor at Wake Forest School of Divinity, and Ernie McLaney, deputy director of Clean Air Carolina.
They will be joined by Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter, Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins and Mary Newsom of UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute. The group will talk about regional ecological concerns, as well as possible solutions.
“The goal of the panel is to talk about what are some positive steps that have been made locally and what Charlotte is doing that already is impacting our city and our region,” said Chrissy Williamson, minister of faith formation for Myers Park Baptist. “We want folks to be encouraged.”
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The church has been focused on environmental issues for more than a decade. Its Earthkeepers group, which came up with the idea for the panel discussion, educates Myers Park Baptist about environmental issues.
“That group has really been at the forefront of our congregation, urging us to make changes in our personal and our communal lives that would leave the world a better place for our children and grandchildren,” Williamson said.
Earthkeepers has done everything from encourage the church to stop using Styrofoam cups to securing a federal grant to install solar panels on the roof of the church. The church expects the panels to save up to $38,000 in electricity costs over the 25-year life of the system.
The solar panels, which are on top of a hallway that connects two of the church’s buildings, have been of great interest to the community, Williamson said.
“It’s a great way for our church to say, This is one thing we can do to make a difference,’” Williamson said. “We bring people up on the roof all the time for tours (of the solar panels).”
The Creation Care panel discussion, which will be on March 25, is open to the community. Each panel member will respond to a prompt, and then the floor will be open for questions.
People who attend are invited to a reception afterward. As they walk to the reception area, they will pass under the solar panels and through the new “Creation. Care!” photography and art exhibit in the church’s Cornwell Center.
The exhibit features photographers Byron Baldwin, Nancy Pierce, Linda Foard Roberts, Carolyn DeMeritt, Dot Griffith, Rob Amberg, Wade Payne, Charles Johnson, Ahmer Iman Raymond Grubb and Eleanor Brawley. Many of the photographs will model “humanity’s destruction of the earth,” Williamson said.
Poet Kathie Collins has selected works of well-known poets to accompany the photography.
The photography and poetry exhibit will be open daily March 25-May 10 at The Cornwell Center, which is open to the public.
“This is a conversation we hope will reach far beyond our church members and ignite some passion in our community to make Charlotte better,” Williamson said.
Marty Minchin is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to go?
“Creation Care” will be 6:30-8 p.m. March 25 at Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Road. Chris William, host of Carolina Business Review, will moderate the panel discussion. The Cornwell Center, which will host the “Creation. Care!” photography and poetry exhibit, is at 2001 Selwyn Ave. For more information, visit https://mpbconline.org.