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Au Sable Director to Speak at North American Lausanne Conference

Jun 18, 2015

Dr. Fred Van Dyke, Au Sable Institute’s Executive Director, has accepted an invitation to speak at the 2015 Lausanne North American Conference, “Hope for a Time of Crisis: Creation Care and the Mission of the Church.” Held in Wenham, Massachusetts on the campus of Gordon College, the conference will run from July 27 to 31 and bring together Christian leaders from North America and the world who are active in framing the church’s ministry in creation care. The Lausanne Movement, arising from the Lausanne Conference on World Evangelization held in Lausanne Switzerland in 1974, seeks to connect ideas regarding world mission with those who influence that mission. The Lausanne Movement recognized the care of creation as a priority in its efforts with the adoption of The Capetown Commitment in 2010, which affirmed that “All human beings are to be stewards of the rich abundance of God’s good creation. We are authorized to exercise godly dominion in using it for the sake of human welfare and needs, for example in farming, fishing, mining, energy generation, engineering, construction, trade, medicine. As we do so, we are also commanded to care for the earth and all its creatures, because the earth belongs to God, not to us. We do this for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the creator, owner, sustainer, redeemer and heir of all creation.” This regional Lausanne Conference, bringing together, by invitation, 100 Christian leaders from the United States and Canada who influence the direction of the church and creation care, will explore current and new means to make creation care a clearer manifestation of the gospel in the work of the church and to better engage the church and Christian community in meaningful works of creation care.

As an invitee and speaker, Van Dyke will serve the attendees of this conference with two presentations. One, entitled, “Research as Service: Loving Our Neighbors Through Creation Care,” will provide an understanding of how the Au Sable Institute has been able to expand its research program through serving the interests of neighboring environmental agencies and organizations that share elements of Au Sable’s mission to inspire and educate people to serve, protect, and restore God’s earth. Van Dyke will explain how the coalitions supporting these research efforts have been achieved, and the principles of creating service-based research to maintain and expand them. In a second presentation offered jointly with representatives from A Rocha, an international organization of Christians active in conservation, Fred will help the Lausanne attendees understand the basic work and mission of Au Sable and its past and ongoing contributions to the Christian environmental stewardship movement. In preparing his contributions to the conference, Van Dyke noted, “My goal is to provide very practical ideas for seeing conservation research in a new way, as an expression of love for our neighbor and as a commitment to making our efforts relevant to the interests of others, not merely our own. But, for most of the conference, I look forward to learning from other attendees who will come from all over North America with a wealth of experience in connecting the church and creation care, something we want to do much more of at Au Sable.”