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Outdoor Ministry

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Community Workshop

Congregants, Community Members, and Clergy are invited to attend this special collaboration between ABC Metro Chicago, ABC Wisconsin, the Creation Justice Network from the ABC Office of the General Secretary, and the Baptist Creation Care Initiative for this engaging in-person workshop. All ages and abilities are welcome!

Saturday, October 21st
9am Breakfast (provided)
9:30am-12:30pm Discussions & Activities led by ecotheology professor Rev. Dr. Katherine Smith
12:30-1:30 Lunch (provided)
1:30-4pm Field trip to explore local nature sites

Ongoing Projects:
Every Drop Counts: Demand Action to Clean Up the Lead-Laced Water of University Park, IL


Since June 2019, the village of University Park has found itself plagued with elevated lead levels in the pipes supplying over 7,000 residents with water. This is a moral sin and quite frankly unacceptable. Action is demanded at local and national levels to provide the funds necessary for long-term infrastructural redevelopment to ensure that lead no longer comes into the homes of the fine people of University Park.

Every county in Illinois has at least one community that is affected by elevated lead levels in its water. No amount of lead is safe to consume, yet for the past four years, University Park has seen high levels of lead that far exceed even what the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency allows. Yes, just 40 miles south of the nation's 3rd largest city, the people of University Park, many of whom are Black and Latinx are suffering and have suffered with poisoned pipes that have affected their health and mental well-being. The environmental injustice that the beloved people of the University Park community have suffered must be acknowledged and this wrong must finally be made right.

No longer can they bear the burden of wondering if the water they are consuming is safe. No longer can they continue to question whether their lives truly matter to corporate powers that be who have demonstrated that they care more about profits rather than the people's pain. No longer can they tolerate living in a community where the future of their children’s health hangs in the balance. No longer can the residents of University Park live in fear which is why we are demanding action. We need the help of elected officials both locally and nationally to ensure University Park, Illinois gets the funding it deserves and can finally wake up from this nearly 4-year nightmare.

Special Thanks to FBC-UP Clergy for their Leadership in this Crisis:

Rev. Reggie Williams, Senior Pastor

Rev. Ebony Only, Executive Pastor

Rev. Justin Hamlen, Associate Pastor

Include this QR Code to the petition in worship bulletins, church websites, social media, and community newsletters.

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Our outdoor ministry committee meets monthly to plan summer camp and other outings. Whether it’s kayaking on the Chicago River, birdwatching in Jackson Park, or meditating in a forest preserve, we aim to host creation encounters that are meaningful, accessible and renewing for our congregants.

We recognize that, as God’s creatures, we have been placed into a wide and glorious world in which we can find inspiration for our work, spiritual and emotional restoration, and a renewed sense of connection with all of God’s creation. Further, we seek to hear anew the challenge of Genesis 1 to understand dominion as stewardship and so to engage in ministries of creation care.


Do you love spending time in nature? Have a suggestion for an outdoor ministry event? Want to get involved with our committee? Let us know here!



Stay tuned for details on upcoming events!

Past events include:

  • Kayaking the Chicago River at Ping Tom Park

  • Birding in Jackson Park

  • Scavenger Hunt at Japanese Garden

On Feb 3, 2018, the Family Council approved a resolution on recommendation of the property and finance committee to approve the sale of the Camp Grow property to the Green Lake Conservancy. Read the full text of this resolution here. 

Questions about the sale of Camp Grow? Click here.
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