Brian Sellers-Petersen to Co-Lead Creation Care Dialogues at Annual Convention

The Rt. Rev. Susan Goff is pleased to announce that Brian Sellers-Petersen will serve as a keynote speaker at the 225th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia, Nov. 14-16. He will join the Rev. Melanie Mullen in leading a series of conversations on creation care, climate change and the church’s response.

Previously, the Rev. Mullen was scheduled to present alongside the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, Bishop of the Diocese of California. For health reasons, Bishop Andrus has been advised to temporarily reduce his travel schedule and will not be able to attend the Convention.

Brian Sellers-Petersen is the Missioner for Agrarian Ministry in the Diocese of Olympia, where he provides support and education, planning formation and guidance to congregations interested in beekeeping, vegetable and food gardening and other agrarian work related to the stewardship of creation and care of the earth. He is co-founder of the Episcopal Food, Farming and Faith Network. In his recent book Harvesting Abundance: Local Initiatives of Food and Faith, he shares success stories of faith communities involved in the faith-and-food movement.

Mr. Sellers-Petersen has worked with Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD) for the past 15 years in a variety of capacities, including as the creator/developer of ERD’s Abundant Life Garden Project curriculum, as a leader of pilgrimages to sustainable agriculture programs in Ghana and Central America and senior adviser to the president of ERD. He has also served on staff at World Vision, Bread for the World and other church and diocesan positions in the United States and South Africa.

The Rev. Melanie Mullen is the Episcopal Church’s Director of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care. She is charged with leading the church’s work on domestic poverty and Jubilee Ministries, as well as shepherding the work of the Episcopal Church staff in relation to racial reconciliation and justice, domestic poverty, stewardship of creation and the United Thank Offering. Prior to joining the Presiding Bishop’s staff, she was the Downtown Missioner at St. Paul’s, Richmond.

Before ordained ministry, the Rev. Mullen worked in campaign fundraising and development, raising more than $10 million for leadership PACs, the Congressional Black Caucus and various U.S. congressional and gubernatorial races from Louisiana to Connecticut. She also served in the development office for the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, with a focus on poverty advocacy.

Together Mr. Sellers-Petersen and the Rev. Mullen will engage the diocesan Convention in a deeper understanding of climate change issues affecting the most vulnerable populations and illuminate powerful ways in which churches can dedicate their mission to the stewardship of God’s creation.