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The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture seeks to engage culture as salt and light, presenting and defending the Christian faith and demonstrating its implications for all areas of human existence.
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Falls Lake Christian Creation Stewardship Project
Collaborative Environmental Restoration Initiative Between the George Institute (GIBS), A Rocha and the Center for Faith and Culture (CFC)
In 2009, the Center for Faith and Culture (CFC) initiated three events featuring creation stewardship. Working on the premise that stewardship of creation was not to be motivated by some environmental crisis (actual or imagined) the events attempted to encourage Christians to be responsible stewards of God’s creation. The concern was to present a balanced view of creation care, one that was neither the ‘chicken little’ mentality (we are about to disappear from the planet) nor the ‘ostrich’ mentality (there is no problem so we do as we please with the environment).
One project that developed out of the three events was the Falls Lake project which has moved forward confidently under the leadership of Dr. Robert George honorary fellow and science consultant to the CFC.
The restoration of Falls Lake Watershed is a priority for North Carolina State Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to achieve the goal of cleaning up the upper part of the lake within 10 years (2012-2022). There is a growing concern by the faith-based community to promote Christian creation stewardship of the Falls Lake which provides drinking water for 500,000 people in Raleigh City and Wake Forest. Ten Baptist Churches in the eastern Wake county under the leadership of Open Door Baptist Church (Pastor Dwayne Milioni) will initiate the “Christian Stewardship Listening Project” (CSLP) for one year (June 2011 – May 2012) with interviews of the ten pastors to generate grass-root recommendations for reducing nutrient loads to Falls Lake and to improve recreational fishing (largemouth bass) and environmental education (wildlife and buffer zone vegetation). Mr. Herb Walters, Director of the RSVP/Listening Project in Yancey County, will work with the steering committee to conduct the pastoral interviews.
The second phase of the project will begin in January 2012 with the purpose of placing the recommendations from the faith-based community surrounding Falls Lake in the eastern Wake County to the different stakeholders (City of Raleigh, Division of Water Quality of DENR, Army Corps of Engineers and Wake County Commissioners). In May 2012 a symposium on ‘Christian Creation Stewardship of Falls Lake’ will be held at the Center for Faith and Culture (CFC) of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. A final report will be compiled and submitted to the sponsor of this project, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. Dr. Robert Y. George (GIBS) will serve as the project director and Rev. Donnie McDaniel will serve as project associate director.
2012 Falls Lake Christian Creation Stewardship Symposium
May 6-7, 2012: The purpose of the Falls Lake Christian Stewardship Symposium was bring together theologians and natural resource experts to discuss ecological challenges to Falls Lake and theological perspectives on ecosystems within the lake, with a goal of engaging church pastors and leaders in developing avenues to protect Wake County’s drinking water supply and ecosystem health and services.
Approximately thirty to forty people were in attendance each day.
This event was hosted by North Wake Church and was co-sponsored by the Center for Faith and Culture and the George Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainablity. Special thanks also goes to Open Door Baptist Church, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and WakeUp Wake County. Funding was provided by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
The event program can be viewed here: Falls Lake Christian Creation Stewardship Program.
2011 Creation Stewardship: Informational Luncheon
March 14, 2011: Luncheon with Dr. Robert George, Science Consultant to the CFC and Founder of the George Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability
2010 Creation Stewardship: Falls Lake-Neuse River AROCHA Project Roundtable
February 17, 2010: An Environmental Stewardship Roundtable Discussion
2009 Creation Stewardship: Creation Care Lecture Series
April 24, 2009: Creation Care Symposium: Practices and Issues
August 28, 2009: Creation Care Colloquium: Perspectives in Dialogue
October 30-31, 2009: Creation Care: A Theology of Stewardship Conference