The Creator took chaos and transformed it into indescribable beauty, form and creative order. What's more, God breathed life into humankind and commanded them to "tend and keep" His blessed creation.
Humans have neglected this charge, and instead have participated in environmental harm that has degraded ecosystems as well as human lives, making a mess of God’s creation. Yet as more and more young Christians answer the call to lead our churches, campuses, and communities in caring for God's creation, a green awakening is occurring, and with His strength and grace, Christian students across North America are uniting to work for its renewal.
On a hot summer day in 2008, twelve passionate Christian college students and recent graduates gathered to brainstorm the development of a network of Christian students committed to caring for God's creation and encouraging others to do the same. Renewal had arrived.
A mere two months later, 'Renewal: Students Caring for Creation' held its first event: the Renewal Summit - a creation care leaders' training and community-building event. For this exciting gathering, over 50 student leaders arrived from all across North America, eager to connect with other passionate young Christians and learn how to pursue sustainable change in their own communities.
Following this exciting gathering, Renewal sponsored its first National Day of Prayer for God's Creation. Hundreds of Christians from 27 states and 5 continents answered the call and joined hands and hearts to pray. This collective prayer was expressed in a variety of creative ways: from personal prayers to creation care Bible studies and prayer vigils.
Renewal is thrilled with the progress and potential of this exciting new movement! A passionate and gifted new Student Leadership Team (SLT) has formed, comprised of enthusiastic, well-respected student leaders from all around North America. Renewal is led by its SLT, and members contribute to Renewal's efforts in many exciting ways: helping to spearhead Renewal's events and initiatives, representing Renewal on their campuses, mobilizing fellow students around protecting God's creation, and much more. Renewal is so thankful for the great teamwork so far and looks forward with eager anticipation to what God holds for them in the years ahead.
Starting on February 25, 2009, Renewal dispatched its coordinators on an 8-week, cross-country tour to over 30 Christian colleges. To learn more about the Green Awakening North American Tour or get involved go to the Renewal website, checkout the Renewal Blog, or become a friend of Renewal on Facebook.
For the students of Renewal, caring for God's creation isn't just a burden and a responsibility; it's a blessing and an invitation to live in right relationship with the Creator. This means taking care of everything that God so lovingly creates and sustains: the earth and each other.
With a heart for the poor and a commitment to following Jesus' call to 'love your neighbor as yourself,' members of Renewal seek practical ways to care for the earth so that all God's creatures, as well as future generations, can have a healthy environment in which to live. Together they seek to live this calling out through joining in prayer, service, and action.
- Prayer. Renewal believes that prayer is central for all of us who seek to reclaim our Biblical calling to care for God's creation. We invite all Christians to join with us in expressing gratitude to God for the beauty, wonder, and provisions of His creation, and to pray for wisdom and guidance as we work to be better stewards of our imperiled planet.
- Service. God's first commandment to Adam is to care for all that God has created. In Genesis 2:15 God instructs Adam to abad and shamar - literally translated 'to serve and to care.' We are called to be careful servants in God's garden- His creation.
- Advocacy. The origin of the word "advocate" is quite meaningful for those of us engaged in caring for God's creation. At its root is "voc" which comes from the Latin word for voice (vox). The Latin "advocare' means "to call to one's aid." As Christians, we are called to the aid of those most in need and to add our voices in the call for justice. Renewal seeks to fulfill our Christian calling of being doers and seekers of justice by advocating on behalf of God's people and God's creation.