Environmental Expert and Evangelical Communications Veteran
Team-Up to Launch FLOURISH, A New Creation Care Ministry
ATLANTA, July 24, 2009 — Two veterans of environmental work who also know their way around the church are making progress in the challenge to provide projects and products that are both authentically green and theologically accessible to most evangelical churches and families.
Dr. Rusty Pritchard, former faculty member and co-founder of the Environmental Studies Department at Emory University, and former editor of Creation Care magazine; and Jim Jewell, 30-year management and communications veteran and former chief of staff for Charles Colson, have begun a new organization called FLOURISH to bridge the gap between green concerns and the Christian faith they believe both informs and undergirds these matters.
“We want to provide services, products, and projects that will focus the attention of our churches and Christians in the pews on creation care– primarily in the context of local ministry and outreach, in the midst of teaching ourselves to love God and love our neighbors,” Pritchard said.
“Many Christians aren’t ready to jump into the arguments about cap-and-trade climate legislation but are reasonably convinced about the need to be involved in the celebration and preservation of God’s creation and the people that depend on it,” Jewell added. “We want to help them.”
Barrett Duke, vice president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said Pritchard and Jewell “are to be congratulated for their vision of a way to bring all of God’s people together in an effort that really does matter, and that finds common ground for us that unites us rather than divides us.” [Associated Baptist Press, May 18, 2009]
Already, FLOURISH has conducted a trend-setting symposium on creation care in May. Flourish 2009 surprised many because of its tone, the speaker list, and the connections drawn between environmental stewardship and existing ministries of compassion, outreach, and advocacy. (http://flourishonline.org/flourish-2009-conference/).
Christianity Today editor David Neff wrote that at the 2009 conference “creation care entered a new phase with key pastors, scientists, and thought leaders . . . talking to pastors about how to promote environmental concern in their congregations without creating factions.” [Christianity Today Liveblog, May 17, 2009] This may be a turning point in the shape of evangelical engagement with environmental action,” Neff said.
Among projects planned for FLOURISH are materials that will provide inspiration and ideas for Christians looking to dig deeper on Christian environmental stewardship. The first FLOURISH church curriculum will be published online on August 25 and will be available at http://www.flourishonline.org at no cost for a limited time.
In addition, the inaugural Flourish magazine is now available at the FLOURISH website, and features articles on “greening the hood” (urban ministry, international missions, evangelism, church-sponsored farms, movie and book reviews, and tips for graceful green living. The Fall issue (out Sept 1) will feature a rare reprint of the article “The Gift of Good Land” by Wendell Berry.
Next month, the organization will announce the location and line-up for its 2010 creation care conference.
Senior Leadership Bios
Dr. Lowell Pritchard, Jr., president & co-founder, is a resource economist, and since 2006 he has been the National Director of Outreach for the Evangelical Environmental Network. Prior to his role at EEN, he was a full-time faculty member at Emory University in Environmental Studies, a program he helped create in 1999, where he maintains an adjunct affiliation. He has taught courses in natural resource economics, environmental institutions, public health, resource use and management, environmental justice, ecological economics, and environmental decision-making under uncertainty. Dr. Pritchard holds degrees from Duke University (B.S., zoology) and University of Florida (Ph.D., resource economics; M.S., environmental engineering sciences). He serves FLOURISH as the senior policy and program officer and editor of Flourish magazine, overseeing product content and program quality, and speaking and writing on behalf of the organization. firstname.lastname@example.org
James W. Jewell, chief executive officer & co-founder, served as campaign director of the Evangelical Climate Initiative and chief operating officer of the Evangelical Environmental Network. He has been involved in the communications and management of Christian organizations and causes for more than 30 years and he remains the managing partner of Rooftop MediaWorks, a public relations firm serving the Christian community. Jewell was a senior executive with three respected nonprofit organizations – World Vision, Prison Fellowship, and The Trinity Forum – and also has provided public relations direction for dozens of client organizations. He was the chief-of-staff for Charles Colson for more than a decade, and the director of communications for Promise Keepers’ Stand in the Gap in 1997 and Billy Graham’s Amsterdam 2000. He has a B.A. in communications from Biola University and a M.A. in Mass Communications from California State University, Fullerton. He is an adjunct professor of communications at Kennesaw State University (Georgia). He serves Flourish as the senior executive, overseeing fund development, strategic planning, associations and memberships, communications and brand protection. email@example.com.