Merry Lea offers hands-on environmental conference Oct. 1-3;

‘Regenerative Communities’ considers sustainability and Scripture

WOLF LAKE, Ind. – The statistics concerning the impact of various elements on the environment can be overwhelming – leaving those who love the natural world in state of despair. But there is hope.


Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College invites all with a passion for creation care to its third annual “Where Earth and People Meet Conference” on Oct. 1-3 at Merry Lea, near Wolf Lake, Ind. At this faith-based gathering, participants will have the opportunity to experience the lessons of hope and revitalization that the earth offers. The weekend includes hands-on learning outdoors, discussion and worship. The 2004 theme is “Regenerative Communities” and will focus on the intricate relationships that sustain a forest.


During the fieldwork segments of this conference, participants will explore the intricacies of a forest. Forests are far more than just an assemblage of trees. They include a host of species which live together and interact with each other in important ways. These interconnections can teach much about conservation of the earth’s resources. The relationships and regeneration in forest systems will also provide a model for regenerative relationships within human communities. Concepts such as diversity, sustainability and restoration apply to both small and large-scale environmental challenges.


Activities during the conference will include night and morning hikes, campfire and vespers, field-based experiences, worship and time for reflection. Throughout the conference, participants will reflect on the learnings from the field, consider the teachings of Scripture and interact with others.


The conference will take place at Merry Lea’s Farmstead. The Merry Lea staff will lead the workshops. The cost of the conference is $60, which includes meals from Friday evening through Sunday noon. For more information or to register, call (260) 799-5869 or e-mail


The conference is sponsored by Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College and Mennonite Central Committee Great Lakes.


Merry Lea, 300 S. 500 W. in Noble County south of Wolf Lake, is a natural sanctuary for northern Indiana's plants and animals, provides environmental education for people of all ages and a setting to recreate opportunities that benefit the human body and spirit without exploiting the land. Merry Lea, created with the assistance of the Nature Conservancy and the generosity of Lee A. and Mary Jane Rieth, is owned and operated by Goshen College. For more information, log on to or call (260) 799-5869.


Editors: For more information, contact News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or