Katie Isaac may be a familiar name to you. In the summer of 2018, she became the Center’s first Faith Outreach Intern. For the 2018-2019 school year, she was CSCS’s Campus Sustainability Ambassador at Fresno Pacific University. Now that she’s graduated with degrees in Environmental Science and Political Science, Katie will participate in the last student engagement program offered by the Center, the Climate Futures Fellowship.
On being a part of every student engagement program offered by the Center, Katie says, “I have met so many inspiring people, learned in unique ways in each position, and have been so thankful to explore what being a Christian passionate about climate change can mean. The programs have developed me professionally, socially, spiritually, and scientifically. I don’t know where else I’d find that kind of opportunity for growth on so many levels.”
In the coming year, Katie plans to create a strategic plan for Mennonite Church USA congregations to “help them move towards environmental stewardship action” and to develop Christian environmental communication. “This strategic plan would include multiple steps, methods and timelines that could be mixed and matched to engage each congregation’s differences in beliefs about the church’s role in environmental stewardship and/or climate change.” Katie plans to use interviews and research to inform her plan and hopes that it can unify and empower MCUSA into engaging in climate conversations and action.
The project is an extension of Katie’s senior research on Christian environmental communication. “It started by modeling how individuals communicate the connections between environmental issues and faith-centered values.”
Katie hopes that the plan will help connect environmental care and the Christian faith “on a larger scale,” something Katie says she was lacking growing up. The Center’s Faith Outreach Internship, offered in partnership with Mennonite Creation Care Network, gave her the opportunity to connect the two, which Katie said was “life changing.” Katie believes that creating the strategic plan “could encourage a deeper and more influential understanding of the moral obligations the church has in issues like climate change.”
The Center has enjoyed working with Katie Isaac over the past year and is excited to see what the next year brings!
Article by Emily Griffioen2019 Communications Intern