Earth Day Summit 2019 - His Creation, Ours to Care For!
Three Months Until Ontario Conference's Inaugural Earth Day Event
On June 26, 2000, at a White House press conference, President Bill Clinton stood flanked by distinguished scientists Dr. Craig Ventor and Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. After 10 years of painstaking research, their research teams had finally completed the first draft of the human genetic blueprint, our DNA. President Clinton opened with these words, “Today, we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, and the wonder of God’s most divine and sacred gift” (1).
King David declared in Psalm 19:1 that “the heavens declare the glory of God and the skies display his craftsmanship” (NLT). Today, there is evidence of God’s design in the both the visible and invisible world. However, most people today are not aware of this evidence. Furthermore, students in secular schools and universities are taught world-views of the origins of life that exclude God.
Ontario Conference leaders recognized that as Seventh-day Adventists we must be at the forefront of promoting practical environmental stewardship and a biblical creation account. After all, we observe the Sabbath because it reminds us that God created our world (Exodus 20:11). He has also given us the responsibility for caring for it (Gen 2:15).
Thus, in just three months, on Earth Day, April 21, 2019, the Ontario Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is sponsoring the first-ever ‘Earth Day Summit,’ a major community event at the Toronto International Center that will highlight the scientific evidence for God’s intricate design and creation in nature. This evidence will be presented in the context of our responsibility as guardians of the environment.
At the Earth Day Summit, Canadian and international scientists—including representatives from the General Conference Geoscience Research Institute—will explain with evidence from within their own diverse scientific disciplines why they believe in the biblical account of our origins.
The summit will also include environmental experts and ‘ecofriendly’ industry sponsors that will highlight current challenges to our planet and how technology and practical lifestyle changes can help combat them.
Facilitators in approximately 50 booths will display these topics in ways that will be fun, interactive, captivating and informative to children, youth and adults.
The Earth Day Summit will also encourage youth in the sciences by way of two pre-Summit competitions. The first will result in the award of scholarships to students studying earth/environment-related sciences at a college or university. Secondly, schools will be able to compete for prizes in an environmental poster competition.
The Earth Day Summit Steering Committee is chaired by Dr. Mansfield Edwards and includes Seventh Day Adventist scientists, pastors, laypersons and university students within Ontario.
Ellen White wrote, “the book of nature and the written word do not disagree: each sheds light on the other. Rightly understood, they make us acquainted with God and His character by teaching us something of the wise and beneficial laws through which He works….” (2).
Accordingly, our aim is to shed light on God’s character through nature. Join us in supporting and promoting this unique event as we help to re-inspire in the community a sense of awe and wonder in God’s creation and a commitment to take care of it.
Upcoming Ontario Conference publications, including Ontario Highlights and Ontario Conference News, will provide updated topic and participant information. Latest updates on the program, information on free registration and how to enter the scholarship and poster competitions may also be found on the Earth Day Summit web site: www.earthdaysummit.ca.
by Dr. David Burt, PhD, Member of the Earth Day Summit Steering Committee
2. Signs of the Times, March 20, 1884