April 29 - May 1, 2020
Christ Church Cathedral
Indianapolis, Indiana

“Earthkeeping: Creation Care in Global Mission”

Conference Overview

How can mission-minded Christians confront the crisis of climate change and environmental degradation alongside mission companions in other parts of the world?  That is the question at the heart of the 2020 Global Mission Conference, “Earthkeeping: Creation Care in Global Mission”.  Sponsored by the Global Episcopal Mission Network (GEMN), the conference will be held Wednesday-Friday, April 29-May 1, 2020 at Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

The 2020 Global Mission Conference invites Episcopalians to explore ways to integrate creation care into our global mission work.  In addition to multiple workshops on specific examples and approaches, we will be inspired by keynote speakers:

  • Katharine Jefferts Schori, former Presiding Bishop and oceanographer, will provide theological grounding, scientific background and insights from her experience around the world.
  • Leon Sampson of Navajoland will share how Native American perspectives correlate with Christian theology and offer ecological approaches from the First Nations.
  • Rachel Mash, eco-activist and coordinator of the Green Anglicans network in Southern Africa, will discuss innovative approaches taken by the church in Africa and suggest specific ways Christians in the West can engage ecologically with companions in the Majority World.
  • Orlando Gomez, the bishop of Costa Rica, and a team from that diocese will share how the climate crisis is affecting Latin America and how his diocese and others in that part of the world are actively engaged in the care of creation.
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Global Mission Workshops

Mission workshops will give you practical tools to bring back to your diocese, congregation or mission organization:

  • Active environmental ministries and global mission partnerships
  • Theology of environmental mission
  • Healthy short-term mission
  • Asset-Based Community Development
  • Sustaining mission relationships
  • Discerning a call as a missionary
  • Cross-cultural best practices in mission engagement

Keynote Speakers

The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori served as Presiding Bishop and chief pastor of the Episcopal Church’s members in 17 nations from 2006 to 2015, working to strengthen mission partnerships across the Anglican Communion and with other religious and civic partners. Bishop Jefferts Schori has been vocal about mission priorities, including the United Nations Development Goals (MDGs and SDGs), domestic poverty, climate change and care for the earth, and international issues of peace and justice. In August 2019, the bishop accompanied a group of fifteen young pilgrims from the Diocese of Olympia on a unique one-week Youth Creation Care Pilgrimage, departing from St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle and trekking to the beach near Forks-La Push on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

Dr. Jefferts Schori began her career as an oceanographer. Her research focused on cephalopods – including systematics, fisheries, and evolutionary theory. In the mid-1980s, she worked as an oceanographer for the National Marine Fisheries Service. She holds a B.S. degree in biology from Stanford University, an M.S. and Ph.D. in oceanography from Oregon State University and has been awarded numerous honorary doctorates. She served on President Obama’s Council on Neighborhood and Faith-Based Partnerships, and on the Division of Earth and Life Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Among her books are Gospel in the Global Village: Seeking God’s Dream of Shalom and Gathering at God’s Table: The Five Marks of Mission in the Feast of Faith

The Rev. Leon Sampson, curate priest at Good Shepherd Mission in the Navajoland Area Mission Diocese, has been instrumental in establishing the Navajoland beekeeping program: Bees Bring Hozho to Navajoland.  ‘Hozho’ means harmony in one’s relationship with nature. “As Navajo, we we understand the Earth to be a living being who gave life to us as a people. We are connected intrinsically to her and feel a kinship for every living thing that inhabits this planet with us. As Episcopalians, we believe we must honor Gods creation by stearding Earth’s precious resources. This project allows us to live fully in both beliefs.” 

The Rev. Sampson graduated in 2019 from Virginia Theological Seminary. He returned home to St. Christopher’s Mission in Bluff, Utah, just in time to move to Fort Defiance, Arizona. He began by listening to the community and entered a discernment process as to what his new ministry would encompass. In July 2019, he was ordained to the priesthood. He is focusing on strengthing the community engagement ministry by increasing outreach programs with local schools and other churches, and responding as witness to the needs of the community.

The Rev. Dr. Rachel Mash is the Environmental Coordinator of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, which includes South Africa, Swaziland-Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Angola and Mozambique. She works with the Green Anglicans Youth Movement, which is growing in Africa. She is secretary to the Anglican Communion Environmental Network and sits on the steering committee of the Season of Creation group.

Southern Africa is one of the areas most affected by climate change. “We are suffering both from severe drought in parts of the region as well as devastating floods in others,” says Dr. Mash. “Cape Town, where I live, recently suffered the worst years of drought in 100 years and as Day Zero drew near, there was the threat that we would become the first major city in the world to run out of water. This year the rains have been better, and the situation has improved, but we have gone from rainy winters to drought. This is becoming the new normal.”

Dr. Mash played a critical supporting role in the Southern African Anglican Church passing a resolution to divest from fossil fuels in 2016.  As a Climate Reality Leader trained by former Vice President Al Gore in 2014 in Johannesburg, Dr. Mash is making the Anglican Church of Southern Africa an example for religions across the world to follow.

The Rt. Rev. Orlando Gómez Segura, Bishop of Costa Rica in the Anglican Church of Central America since 2018, is offering leadership to the diocese’s creation care ministries. Costa Rica is well known for its environmentalism, with a full 25% of the country’s landmass consisting of protected forests and reserves. Costa Rica is ranked the second most environmentally sustainable country in the world. The country uses 99.2% renewable energy, of which 78% is from hydroelectric sources and 18% from geothermal and wind power. During one 75-day stretch, the entire country was able to run on renewable resources only.

Bishop Gómez was ordained priest 2000 and has been part of the mission of the Episcopal Church since 1991. He was priest-in-charge of All Saints Mission in San Rafael Abajo, one of the poorest districts in the south of the province of San José. There he developed a social, communal and environmental ministry in conjunction with the local government and other social organizations.

Originally from Turrialba, Cartago, Bishop Gómez grew up in the countryside as a farmer in a Roman Catholic family.  He is the sixth of 10 children.  In 1978, he emigrated from the countryside to the city and began his high school studies. In the city, he stood out as a carpenter specializing in cabinetmaking.

In 1991 he and his wife were invited to participate in an activity of the Episcopal Church. They immediately became active members of La Ascensión. In 1993, he was transferred to serve All Saints’ Mission, where he felt called to ordained ministry. He completed his biblical and theological studies at the Latin American Biblical University.

Global Mission Workshops

Earth Care, Soul Care: Growing in Spiritual Resilience

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Missioner for Creation Care, Diocese of Western Massachusetts

As we face the cascading losses of species extinction and a rapidly changing climate, what do we with our grief, fear, and outrage?  Where do we find hope as we struggle to protect God’s Creation?  What spiritual perspectives and practices can help us to move past burnout and despair and into the joy of resurrected living?  How can protecting Earth become a mission that nourishes rather than depletes our souls?   This workshop will explore a theological framework for “holding” our concern for Earth, its creatures and people.  Our time together will include presentations, guided meditation, and small and large group conversation.

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas is Missioner for Creation Care in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ.  An Episcopal priest, author, and climate activist, she has been a lead organizer of many Christian and interfaith events about care for Earth, and she leads spiritual retreats in the U.S.A. and Canada on spiritual resilience and resistance in the midst of a climate emergency. Her new book, Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis (2019), is an anthology of essays co-edited with the Rev. Dr. Leah Schade. She has been arrested in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere to protest expanded use of fossil fuels.  In 2016 she received the Steward of God’s Creation award from The National Religious Coalition on Creation Care. She served as Chaplain to the House of Bishops, and at Episcopal Divinity School (then in Cambridge, MA), she taught courses on prayer and spirituality, addiction, and the environment.  She is a graduate of Stanford (BA, Russian Literature), Harvard (PhD., Comparative Literature), and Episcopal Divinity School (M.Div.). Her website, www.RevivingCreation.org, includes blog posts, sermons, and articles.

Growing Common Ground

The Rev. Christopher Beasley and Mr. Chuck Dailey, Diocese of Indianapolis

In this workshop, participants will learn how this congregation of 30 people and a bi-vocational rector steeped out into their community and built a network of relationships that now spans three counties in Central Indiana. St. Peter’s Garden’s and Apiary was started in 2015 to connect our existing share gardens to our new apiary that teaches youth and adults in Boone County about the dependence on bees for our food systems. Utilizing our eight acres of land where we have raised bed gardens, long-row gardens our produce is given away freely on-site and to local food pantries and meal-serving locations in Boone County. In 2018, we produced nearly 1,500 pounds of food on ½ acre for distribution at the St. Joseph Catholic Church Food Pantry. Our apiary is a teaching apiary that brings over 200 kids each summer through our bee corrals. Our Harvest House Community Center features a teaching kitchen that brings the produce grown in our gardens and teaches others how to prepare and preserve food through our cooking classes and ability to freeze dry fruits and vegetables for later use.

The Rev. Christopher Beasley serves as Rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lebanon, IN (twenty miles NW of downtown Indianapolis). He is a 2014 graduate of Bexley Seabury Seminary. 

Mr. Chuck Dailey serves as Sr. Beekeeper and Gardener at St. Peter’s with his wife Sandy. He is on the Board of the Beekeepers of Indiana and serves as the Education Chair for Indiana. He gives nearly 30 talks per year to schools, bee clubs, and other gardening groups around the state.

Repairing the Earth through a Carbon-Offset Partnership

The Rev. Jeffrey Gill, Rector, Trinity Parish, Seattle, Washington

In 2012 the bishops of the Episcopal Dioceses of Olympia and the Southern Philippines discovered they had a common interest in the stewardship of creation and decided to enter into a Covenant establishing the Carbon Offset Cooperative Mission. Carbon offsets from the Diocese of Olympia have funded a tree nursery and reforestation projects throughout the Diocese of the Southern Philippines.  The nursery not only is helping with carbon sequestration but is also creating jobs and income. Rubber trees, mahogany, coffee, and other tropical varieties are being grown.  In the Diocese of Olympia funds are raised through offsets for diocesan travel, and parishes participate through paying offsets on their carbon footprint. Since 2012 over 75,000 trees have been planted by the churches in the Southern Philippines.This workshop led by Jeff Gill will describe the Carbon Offset Cooperative Mission in detail through pictures and stories from his recent trip to the Philippines.


The Rev. Jeffrey Gill is the Rector of Trinity Parish in downtown Seattle, Washington.  He was ordained in the Diocese of Massachusetts and served parishes there for over twenty-five years.  He also chaired the Diocesan Commission on Wider Mission for many years.  Jeff is a native of Indiana, a graduate of Indiana University (East Asian Languages and Cultures and Religious Studies) and Harvard Divinity School.  He has been engaged in global mission throughout his life in a variety of ways in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe.  He is currently the Chair of the Global Mission Network of the Diocese of Olympia and a member of the Bishop’s Committee on the Environment, which has enabled him to be engaged in the Carbon Offset Cooperative Mission with the Episcopal Diocese of the Southern Philippines.  Jeff and his wife Carolyn love traveling the world and experiencing the beauty and diversity of peoples and cultures, which they intend to do more of after his retirement this coming August.

Vive Tu Fe Naturalmente

The Rt. Rev. Orlando Gomez, Mr. Carlos Ramirez and Mr. Jeroham Melendez, Iglesia Episcopal Costarricense

Costa Rica’s story is about how it grew its population and economy without destroying its natural resources. Costa Rica took actions along interwoven paths that created a more resilient society and economy. They did this by finding multiple uses for their social, economic and natural assets. In the late 1980s, Costa Rica established a National Conservation Strategy for Sustainable Development. In the 90’s, Costa Rica went a step further, adopting legislation that launched the Payments for Environmental Services (PES) scheme, to fight deforestation.


In 2015 the Episcopal Diocese of Costa Rica celebrated its 150th anniversary of Anglican presence in the country, prompting a new challenge: to reinterpret our identity and how we present ourselves to the Costa Rican society and to the rest of the world in the 21st century.  We reaffirm our identity as Christians echoing the efforts of the nation as a whole and in line with the Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion. Following resolutions agreed at the Anglican Consultative Council in 2016, the Diocese of Costa Rica celebrated its first Green Diocesan Council and approved a resolution to launch the Campaign “Vive tu fe naturalmente” (Live your faith naturally).  In this session, we will share our journey into exploring ways of walking in newness of life while caring for the creation with which God blessed us.

What Can I Do? – Channels of Christian Eco-Discipleship

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori

This workshop addresses the challenge of discerning how we as Christians can live faithfully and prophetically in the emergency of climate change and environmental degradation.  It will consider both stewardship and conversion of life, from water use to diet to transportation to consumption.  It will cover the broad range of eco-discipleship and the importance of exploring personal and community commitments. 

The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, oceanographer and former Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, has been vocal about mission priorities, including the United Nations Development Goals (MDGs and SDGs), domestic poverty, climate change and care for the earth, and international issues of peace and justice. In August 2019, the bishop accompanied a group of fifteen young pilgrims from the Diocese of Olympia on a unique one-week Youth Creation Care Pilgrimage, departing from St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle and trekking to the beach near Forks-La Push on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

There’s Life in the Water: Helping the Poor and Healing Creation

Mr. Adam Mosley, Director of Global Business Development, Uzima Water Filters

Perhaps more than any other substance on earth, water defines and affects our existence in prodigious ways. It is the medium of destruction and death, the source of restoration and life, and the object of hope, anxiety, and conflict around the world. Efforts to bring clean water to the poor must account for the immense and immediate impact clean water access can have on a community and on our world. This workshop will explore the environmental significance of simple household water projects—designed fulfill the basic human right of clean water while serving to reduce carbon emissions that disproportionately affect the world’s most vulnerable communities. For individuals and for our earth, there is life in the water.

From the hills of East Tennessee to the Rift Valley in Kenya, Adam Mosley has had a life full of ups and downs. Over his 20+ year career, he has spent time as a corporate recruiter, the marketing director for a record label, executive director of a coworking space, and multiple roles at churches large and small, including his pioneering work as Lead Pastor of Trinity Vineyard Church Nakuru, Kenya. In his current role as Director of Global Business Development for Uzima Water Filters, he spends his days working with people around the world who are helping bring clean water to the global poor, one family at a time.  He has a passion for seeing others live the life they are created to live, and for shining a light on the opportunities and challenges of living compassionately. His book, Missions Unmasked, chronicles his learnings as a pastor and friend of missionaries and challenges others in their approach to mission.

Creation Care in Haiti: What Does That Mean?

The Rev. Donnel and Janet O’Flynn, Episcopal Volunteers in Mission, Haiti

There’s a proverb in Haiti: “Bèf pa janm di savann mési.” (The bull never says thank you to the grassy field.) And another one, “Se lè w pa gen sèl nan gode w, ou konn valè sèl.” (It’s only when the salt runs out that you understand the value of salt.)  The agricultural background of Haitian culture informs the understanding that natural resources are not to be taken for granted: they can and do run out. One visible change in recent Haitian culture is the wholesale shift from wooden dishes and bowls to one-time use plastics.  Up in the mountains a gourde,” calabash” is still cut and dried and used as a bowl, while down in the city the Styrofoam boxes are ubiquitous. This is not due to some unique kind of ignorance: hear the wisdom of the proverbs. It is the story of all our world right now. This workshop will give examples of the kinds of vivid environmental problems in Haiti today, and the kinds of solutions that are being tried. Problems include trash management, deforestation, pollution by sewage, need for clean water, increase of heat due to climate change, the long-term threat of rising sea levels. In the search for strategies, there is a tension between foreign-imposed or inspired programs and Haitian-generated programs.  When there is enough creativity, mutual respect, and patience to work through the cultural differences to arrive at a solution that a Haitian citizen would actually want, good things happen.  Education in Haiti gives a win-win: people want and value education, and with it they find their own solutions.

The Rev. Donnel and Janet O’Flynn moved to Haiti with the Episcopal Volunteers in Mission program in 2015.  They were instrumental in starting the first academic program for Occupational and Physical Therapists in Haiti, with the Episcopal University of Haiti.

They have lived in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, and now live in Kalispell Montana.  Donnel is an Episcopal priest and Janet is an Occupational Therapist.

Building Climate Resiliency for Changing Global Climates

The Rev. Judy Quick, Deacon, Diocese of Alabama/Episcopal Relief & Development Speaker’s Bureau

Global climates are changing.  In fact, the number of climate-influenced disasters has doubled in the past 20 years.    Floods, hurricanes, and other events can devastate communities.  Episcopal Relief & Development works with the local Church and ecumenical partners to help communities prepare for these disasters and recover as quickly as possible, focusing on five key areas: Improving Food and Nutrition, Creating Economic Stability, Providing Access to Clean Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation, Reducing the Impact of Disasters, and Managing Environmental Preparedness. This workshop will challenge participants to consider how communities around the world confront the reality of changing global climates and how the Church and the community work together to mitigate the impact of climate-influenced disasters.  The workshop will invite participants to discover how families and communities can thrive in the face of climate challenges.

The Rev. Judy Quick discovered years ago that she was called to live a life of learning, share wisdom with others, and bring those of differing worldviews and cultures together on common ground.  After a rewarding career with BellSouth and the Centennial Olympic Games, her gifts led her to teach International Business and lead international projects for Georgia State University and for IAE, University of Paris.  As a deacon in the Diocese of Alabama, ministries have included serving as Diocesan Coordinator for Episcopal Relief & Development, Chair of the Companion Diocese Commission, Chair of the Department of Mission and Outreach, member of the Department of Development, convener of the Global Mission Roundtable, and Called to Transformation facilitator. She currently serves as Chaplain for the Standing Commission on World Mission and is a member of the Episcopal Relief & Development Speaker’s Bureau.


Conference Schedule

Conference Accommodations

Conference accommodations are available at the historic Columbia Club, located immediately next door to the Cathedral at 121 Monument Circle, Indianapolis.  Phone: +1 317-767-1361. We especially recommend this hotel due to its proximity to Christ Church Cathedral in the center of the city, as well as for its reasonable cost.

The Columbia Club
121 Monument Circle
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Phone: +1 317-767-1361
Website: www.columbia-club.org

The Columbia Club is a beautiful ten-story architectural showpiece located on Monument Circle.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in January of 1983. The exterior of the building follows the guidelines proposed by architect William Earl Russ to complement the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. The façade of the club utilizes Bedford limestone carved by Alexander Sangernebo, a local sculptor.  Inside, guests are welcomed into the impressive space full of rich wood and cool marble.

The Columbia Club offers unique guest room accommodations, and no two rooms are exactly alike. All overnight guestrooms have flat screen televisions, complimentary WiFi, and plush, relaxing beds with Egyptian cotton bed linens and luxury bath amenities. Additional conveniences include room service, shoe polishing and repair, valet parking ($40/night per vehicle), business center, a newly renovated Health & Wellness Center, laundry and dry-cleaning services, and an ATM machine. Dinner is available at the Harrison Grille, located in the Grand Lobby of the Clubhouse. Please note that a dress-code applies in the hotel.  The Columbia Club is a smoke-free facility. These basic rates are exclusive of room tax:

Single RATE:    $115 per night

Double RATE:    $115 per night

To reserve, please call the hotel directly at:

  • +1 317-767-1361

Please specify the following information when you reserve:

  • Guest name(s)
  • Desired room type (single or double)
  • Arrival and departure dates
  • Credit card number and expiration date to hold the reservation.
  • When making reservations at the hotel, state that you are part of the group: “GEMN Conference” or “Global Episcopal Mission Network” or to obtain the discounted rate.

Discounted rates are available until March 27th, 2020, subject to room availability.  If you plan to share a room, please specify the number of beds at the time of booking, as well as your roommate’s name(s).  If you would like help with finding a roommate, GEMN will be maintaining a list of those who would like to share a room.  Please note that there is a dress-code policy at the Columbia Club.  See the Dress Code page for details: www.columbia-club.org/web/pages/dress-code.

Conference Fees