Catch the Vision of Ontario Conference’s
2019 Earth Day Summit
A few years ago, Barna Group research on Seventh-day Adventist millennials uncovered that nearly 50% of 18-29 year-olds find the Adventist Church to be anti-science, among other grievances. Ontario Conference president, Pastor Mansfield Edwards, has decided to address this charge directly by hosting an Earth Day summit, titled “Science in the Light of the Scripture,” Sunday, April 21, 2019.
Science in the Light of the Scripture will be a full-day affair, with experts located at different stations around a large auditorium; for instance, there will be a marine biologist speaking on life in the waters, and a neurosurgeon covering the brain and why it is too marvellous to have developed by chance. Visitors will be able to move from station to station asking questions.
Edwards’ primary motivation is his heart for young people and concern that they are leaving the Church in large numbers. He especially wants to reach Adventist students on non-Adventist campuses. As per the command, ‘Go ye into all the world,’ he says, “They should be on non-Adventist campuses as missionaries, but if they are there without a strong foundation, they are at risk.”
One of the enormous challenges facing these young people is that many are unanchored and lose their faith while in high school, college or university due to the non-biblical teachings they are exposed to, including evolution. Pastor Edwards seeks to foster a reaffirmation of their faith by marrying Scripture with science.
His four aims for this event are:
1) To anchor young people in the church
2) To reach those we have lost by demonstrating that one can and should understand science through the lens of the Scripture
3) To challenge the secular mind to understand science in a biblical light
4) To show our members that since God created the heavens and the earth, we have a stewardship responsibility for the earth
Edwards has already connected with individuals from Loma Linda University’s geoscience department, who have designed banners illustrating each day of the creation week, along with scientific facts showing evidence of intelligent design. He envisions a scientist on one side of the banner speaking on why light was necessary on day one, while a pastor on the other side explains the need for light referencing Jesus as the light of the world and the church as a necessary light in the community.
There will be something for everyone at this event—an Earth Day poster competition for Adventurers and Pathfinders; scientific and theological experts providing insights into Creation; information on the dos and don’ts of recycling from Toronto Mayor John Tory’s team and much more.
We have already held the first planning meeting with a committed group of Adventist scientists, who hold advanced qualifications in subjects like toxicology and physics. Most will be manning stations where they speak on the importance of taking care of the earth from their discipline’s perspective. We are hoping for even more support at our next meeting, which will be held on July 15.
Please assist us by submitting the contact info of members with qualifications in science (creationists) or stewardship of earth conservation (recycling, renewable energy) to:
Sarah Gouda-Maka at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also welcome the names of people who are passionate about this topic and can provide creative ideas to make this event a roaring success!