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Where the Creator and creation pray, play, and wonder together

Beatrice the Bumblebee Wants You to Know About Outdoor Ministry

“What exactly is Outdoor Ministry of the MN Conference UCC?” I’ve heard this question often over the last few years. Since we don’t have a camp and Covid has kept us from doing anything in person, it’s a question that has an evolving answer.

First, the goal of this ministry is to create experiences where we can all connect to the Sacred and connect with each other. Though many of us live in rural areas or walk in parks and have home gardens, how often do we pause to sense the sacredness of our environment? I bet not as often as we think we do. Outdoor Ministry offers a chance to meet the Sacred in various places (some might even be indoors) through rituals, contemplation, and conversation. And we do this utilizing as much of our state as possible.

Second, Outdoor Ministry wants to connect congregations in their works for a healthy planet. I plan to continue to offer Zoom Gatherings in the winter months that relate to environmental issues and actions. And, I have connected with Creation Care teams in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio to have other opportunities to share in our common concerns, such as Microplastics in our lakes and watersheds and understanding the long-term costs of fossil fuel pipelines. Be looking for the next series starting in January, 2023.

This is also a partnership for congregations to share issues in their areas, resources, and actions, weaving together actions of joint stewardship for our planet. It takes a village (or in this case, a Conference of dedicated churches) to build a Creation Care/ Eco-Justice platform with great purpose and action.

Third, Outdoor Ministry is still about youth, young adults, and families. The MN Conference is dedicated to giving our youth and young adults spiritual grounding and a community of belonging. We continue to offer Conference youth events, family camps, and young adult retreats. Weaved into this will always be times for rest, immersion into “wild” spaces, and leadership building.

Along with these events, Outdoor Ministry will continue to offer the Women’s Retreat and Women’s Wilderness Retreat, while experimenting with other events, such an Eco-Spirituality retreat, Earthwise Justice retreat, a music retreat, and 1-day family events. Be sure to keep your eyes open for the list of events and open registrations by January 2023.

Outdoor Ministry Events

There’s another Zoom Series Coming! This time we’re talking about Microplastics in our Great Lakes and Mississippi watershed. With the help of First Congregational UCC, Mankato, this series will begin with an in-depth look at what Microplastics are, the history of their existence in our water, and what is the health impact to earth, soil, livestock, and human beings. More information to come. First zoom session will be in January.

Other events for 2023 are in the works. Be sure to watch for information coming out soon!

Want to Join the Creation Justice Team?

The MN Conference has a Creation Justice Team and it’s looking for people interested in sharing, supporting, and broadening eco-justice work through our Christian faith. If you would like to know more about this group, please contact Rev. Jeanne Bringgold-Pro at or Rev. Sheri Nelson at

Contest for Children

The UCC is offering children and youth an opportunity to share their art skills and commitment to environmental justice through this amazing art contest. Be sure to send information to your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Have your children and youth leaders make this a special event.

Contest ends November 30, 2022.

Climate Hope Cards Art Contest - Action Network


Book: “Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice” ~ Edited by Ched Myers


Organization: The Ocean Conservancy ~


Articles: The Nigerian woman cleaning up a land soaked in oil - BBC News

Rev. Sheri Nelson

Director of Outdoor Ministry

122 W Franklin Ave

Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 871-0359

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