Lutherans Restoring Creation represents a segment of the Christian community that takes seriously humanity’s Genesis job description to care for the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and all living things as managers appointed by the One who created it all. Some within the Christian community seem to believe that since God is coming back soon to take off to paradise the privileged few who have professed the correct belief system, what happens to this weary old world really doesn’t matter. It’s a temporary holding place, so it is acceptable to disregard it. Many Christians, and a great many others as well, care very much what happens to the flora and fauna on this planet we all share. I’ve asked someone who works with one group within this earth-keepers group to write a guest blog about her groups work.
Guest blog by Phoebe Morad
Executive Director of Lutherans Restoring Creation
Lutherans Restoring Creation.org (LCR)
In 2010 dozens of representatives from around the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA) gathered to learn about introducing a new ELCA curriculum for congregations: “Care for Creation.” That gathering of students, seminary professors, and theologians launched a movement that has now evolved into thousands of “earth-keepers” who work together through Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC).
Since then, we have become an official, independent non-profit which invites ELCA community members from a variety of backgrounds to gather and discover common ground as part of our Christian vocation to be good stewards. All are welcome to the table who want to learn more about how to care for their neighbors as an inherent part of deepening their relationship with God. In preparation for speaking to “earth-care” issues in the church the scope of “neighbor” is widened to include all with whom we share this common home. LRC works to ensure leadership trainings (virtual or in-person) are not just a one-time, feel good event. Through consistent accompaniment and presence of our established organization and dedicated staff, the efforts of many across the country can be heard together as a chorus, rather than a few people singing to their own choirs.
Fruits of LRC’s Labor
Below are some of the highlights of this group’s results since that first gathering in 2010:
- Trained over 600 individuals through summits, assembly workshops, and retreats about the theological connections and non-partisan resources to best utilize existing church structures to make progress in becoming true stewards of all resources and loving our global neighbors.
- We’ve seen an average of 20 participants attend retreats around the country since 2011, with attendance sometimes as high as 50.
- Hundreds of ELCA members have been exposed to LRC resources via our “green shepherds” who speak at assemblies and other regional conferences.
- Created online forms to register personal pledges for lifestyle changes (for kids, youth, and adults) and for entire ELCA Congregations via the Action Plan.
- Lutheran “green teams” are working in 21 states with dozens of trained Green Shepherds, Speakers, and Energy Stewards ready to assist other ministry groups to accomplish their congregation’s custom Action Plans.
- LRC continues to have the largest faith denomination representation participating in the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager program. Twenty-one ELCA Congregations from nine different states are certified with this free software which compares energy and water usage across the nation.
More to Do
We’ve made some progress since the first Earth Day in 1970. Environmental engineering is now offered as a major at many universities. We’ve cleaned up some of the waterways and air. Increasing numbers of people are aware of the plastic problem. We’ve made good progress in improving transportation fuel efficiency and finding alternative ways to heat and cool our work and living places. We have accomplished much, but there remains yet much more to do.
If you want to help your faith community grow in awareness and action to ensure a safe, clean, vibrant future for us all, contact Lutherans Restoring Creation.
Thank you Phoebe Morad and LRC for the work you do on behalf of all us. When I see so much abuse of the natural world, I can’t help but wonder if God might regret bailing humans out all those previous times we disregarded and disrespected God’s glorious creation.
If you found this blog useful, you may also find these blogs of interest: Galapagos Islands, Nature’s Pest Control System, The Plastic Problem, or Why We Should Care by Lisa Brenskelle, one of the people who attended the first LRC organizing event and a Houston based earth-keeper.
Thank you for taking time to read this guest blog. I hope you found it informative and inspirational. If so, why not share it with a friend? If you got this from a friend, you can have your very own free subscription by signing up at up at HowWiseThen. I am always looking for leads about people using their time and energy to make useful contributions to our global village. If you have someone to recommend for a future HowWiseThen blog, please let me know. Check out my website for your free download of resources.