Rev. Betty Burlow spent the week of Oct. 25 in Biloxi, Miss., at the annual gathering of Rural Chaplains Association. The RCA is a network and covenanting fellowship of lay and clergy who are called and who choose to minister with persons, families, churches, projects, institutions and communities located in isolated area, open country, villages and small towns. Fifty Rural Chaplains from across the country attended the event.
This year’s event centered on environmental issues and concerns in response to the United Methodist Bishop’s Pastoral Letter “God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action.” The Gulfport/Biloxi/Ocean Springs area was deeply affected by Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Local residents and environmental experts shared impact of those two major disasters on the life and economy of the gulf Coast.
Bishop Sally Dyck was the keynote speaker. She is the United Methodist Bishop and the author of “A Hopeful Earth: Faith, Science, and the Message of Jesus.” She challenged each of us along with the church to begin taking positive and practical steps toward protecting and restoring the planet. Other speakers expplored ways that people in states that are part of the Mississipi River watershed impact the health of the Gulf of Mexico.
Rev. Burlow is pastor of the Cazenovia and Nelson United Methodist Churches. She has been a member of the RCA for 20 years.