Izaak van Oosten – Garden of Eden
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It seems like yesterday I was writing, excited to be leaving to fly to England for the Sarx Conference.  Here it is, ten days later, the event and the entire trip is over!  It was a marvelous conference!  Each and every speaker had messages appropriate to reach the churches today, this is so needed on a broad scale.  Oh, that we could all attend our church to hear a message that includes animal welfare, making shepherding the earth and ALL that is in it of prime theological concern!

All of us that attended are likely wondering when we can attend the next one!  I know that I am praying for this to be the first of many to come around the world.  It was inspiring, uplifting, and encouraging to be in a room full of like minded people who all are concerned about animal treatment from a faith perspective.  Daryl Booth, the volunteers and other coordinators, made this event a smashing success!

The highlight of this event was meeting Roslyne and Marcello.  It was also a great pleasure to meet Patricia Mikkelson, Phil Whitehead, Philip Guyott (Wyatt), and Brenda (featured in a photo below) from Canada (meeting other people coming from around the world was exciting, as well!).   The entire event went too quickly, as these things always seem to do.  Saying goodbye to my friends was emotional for me, I would that we lived closer together and could meet up more often.  But I shall cherish the moments we met and look forward to the day when we all meet again!

Roslyne, Marcello, Kathy

Doug Maw, one of the Sarx attendees, put together an in-depth narrative of the entire event.  For those interested in reading this and learning more about the details of what took place:  SARX Creature Conference Report by Doug Maw.

Finally, Roslyne and Marcello both have submitted a short piece on what the conference meant to them:

The Sarx Creature Conference, the first of its kind, was an incredibly well organised and excellent event.  Not only were the talks, workshops and interactive prayer stations inspiring and uplifting, but also the wide spread of vegan food was absolutely delicious!  

One of my favourite parts of the day was meeting and listening to Dr Tony Campolo, who I remember being a familiar Christian voice for the animals when I first became involved in animal welfare over 30 years ago.  I found the way he described the kind of love from the Holy Spirit that enables us to care for animals very emotional.  And I love the way he emphasises Romans 8, how “not just we ourselves are in the process of salvation, but ALL of creation is groaning, is suffering, is in travail, waiting for the sons and daughters of God to deliver it from its oppression.  ALL of nature shall be rescued; the wolf and the lamb shall lie down together.  We should live as though we are living in the Kingdom of God now and, when Christ returns the Kingdom of God will become actualised; the end of history is the end of violence”.

Being able to meet with so many like-minded Christian Animal Welfarists in one place was just amazing!  But the ultimate highlight for me would have to be meeting for the first time with Kathy Dunn and Marcello Newall, my wonderful fellow bloggers for the last four years! ~Ros 

The Sarx Creature Conference
Marcello Newall

First let me start by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed the Creature Conference that was held on 18 March 2017. Having always witnessed the division between Christianity and animal rights/veganism it was somewhat surreal to finally see a Christian conference addressing the whole issue. The fact that the event was hosted by a church, the inside of which was similar to many of the Evangelical and Pentecostal churches I grew up in, compounded my sense of amazement: it was literally the meeting of two worlds that have so much in common but that seemed to be encountering each other for the first time. It was also wonderful to meet other Christians involved in animal welfare/rights, in particular Kathy and Roslyne from SAGC.

The organization of the Conference was excellent and innovative, with fixed speakers but also the possibility of choosing between various events and presentations. I found the presentations insightful and interesting. In the same way, the food, which was 100% vegan, was tasty and high quality. There was also the possibility of snacks and drinks in between talks and events, and the volunteers involved were all very friendly. I realize that it must have been very difficult to bring together various professors and speakers from around the world for this conference and I think that Daryl Booth, the organizer of the event, did a fantastic job at it. Many involved, Dr Tony Campolo seemed to believe this from what he said to me, saw this Conference as a landmark event that could be the beginning of something much bigger, a sort of catalyst for a new understanding of animals within the Church. History will tell whether their prediction was correct.

Roslyne and Kathy

Roslyne, Kathy, Trish

Marcello and Roslyne

Left to Right: Trish, Kathy, Phil W, Phil G, Brenda, Marcello

Marcello, Phil, Roslyne, Kathy

Thank you for reading and following our blog!  We pray you are blessed by it and will share it with others!  ~Kathy

My calling as a Child of the Creator is to take the Gospel, as it relates to the WHOLE creation, to the world; and to remind the Church of its Biblical responsibilities to non-human animals and the earth.
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