All posts by Phoebe Morad

Confused about our way forward?

As there has been continuing conversation and controversy emerging since Michael Moore’s film: Planet of the Human, we decided to share some feedback from a Lutherans Restoring Creation member.  Thanks to Josh Thede, an active member of the Central States LRC Mission Table.

Our LRC community plans to discuss the broader challenge of how to make progress in this ministry when consensus on solutions seems vague,  if not conflicting.  Join our next Connection Call. 

Katherine Hayhoe has some of the most compelling information:
Post 1 
Post 2 

Bill Mckibben’s response is interesting,  featured in Rolling Stone (click here).  Above photo from Rolling Stone’s piece.

Both Project Drawdown and Pachamama Alliance have good resources to move forward.
This TED talk is a great overview of that concept (click here). 

There may be a worthwhile conversation about infinite growth and GDP as a takeaway from the film. There is some interesting progress around “Donut Economics” (click here for TED talk). 

More reflections in response to the film and considerations when moving towards a host of energy solutions:

Lutheran Responses to Fossil Fuel Dependency

Some of us bemoan the fact that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has not committed to entirely divest from fossil fuels as many others have (see latest cohort of 42 religious institutions). Some of us are wary of pulling out entirely from shareholder positions when we may be able to have more leverage to make change having a seat at that table.  Others have a deep concern for all who are dependent on these economic systems,  which many of us are complicit in driving every time we use a device or heat up our dinner.

There are many facets (explore below) involved with this complex issue which we are called to discuss and act on as people of faith. There are ways to move forward before we reach a church-wide consensus.  Below are some of our responses, thus far, from regional resolutions to individual members lifting up a moral calling.
Where are you called to next?

Click on each below to hear stories and information we hope will inspire you to act and bring others with you:

Do we Stay Home and DO nothing?

The general call to to action is simply: “Stay Home”.   However, many can’t heed that call, even if they wanted to.  When we are asked to care for our neighbors by stepping back,  what are other ways we can lean in to understanding each other and practice moving  forward in action?

The following is a selection of conversations, reflections, and emerging information.   Consider what realities we have learned about our neighbors’ insecurity,  the adaptability of humans under stress, the impact of policy decisions on our daily lives… and what does our faith give us as tools to fight any crisis?

> What is Climate Justice?  – April 16, 2020 – Rev.  Mariama White-Hammond, – Consider how we treat our own species? We should NOT go back to normal.

> Connections, Comparisons & Lessons – April 3, 2020 – Consider how we can learn and grow during this crisis.  Hear a variety of perspectives. Thanks UCC for gathering this group of theologians.

> “The Earth is Sick of Us” – commentary from Dr. Ulysses Burley III

> BlessedTomorrow’s Blog:  Inescapable Lessons Offer Invaluable Opportunities – Earth Day 50th & COVID19 – By Rev. Dr. Jim Antal

Advocacy vs. Politics

Thanks to Tracey DePasquale, Director of Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of Pennsylvania who joined our Connections Call on May 6th, 2020  to help discern the definition of politics. Hear her commentary here, followed by a discussion including insight from Ruth Ivory-Moore, ELCA Advocacy, Director of Energy & Environment. 

Click here to listen to the call. 

Resources mentioned and related to the call:

See all Advocacy-related resources here!

Covenant with Creation Adapted for Spanish Speakers

We hope that the Pacto Congregacional de Cuidado para la Creación will be useful to support Spanish-speaking congregations to reflect together about all the ways our faith is reflected in how we treat each other and share resources.  The step-by-step supporting materials for this covenant can be found here (click).

Download pdf here: Pacto Congregacional de Cuidado para la Creación

For some more theological reference and guidance into next steps as you work through this process, download more here: Support For Covenant in Spanish. 

Contact us  if you find other useful resources in Spanish or other languages you think we should highlight!

Christyn Kochmann

Christyn is a second-generation ordained ELCA pastor and first-generation environmental activist. Her experiences at a Lutheran summer camp in Ohio led her to seminary in Berkeley, California, where she met her husband and also her love for environmental stewardship. She’s especially passionate about using modern media and Christian theology to share the good news of caring for creation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese language and philosophy from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Camp Tomah Shinga (ELCA), Junction City, KS, and has previously served as a Bishop’s Associate in the Central States Synod.
Christyn’s current call is as a hospital chaplain outside of Kansas City, where she also serves as co-pastor alongside her husband in an ELCA redevelopment congregation.

Herb Wounded Head III

Campus Pastor at University Lutheran Center – South Dakota State University
Brookings, South Dakota

I enjoy being involved in a larger organization and network with people who have a similar interest in advocating for justice in God’s creation.  It’s challenging to think on a broader level of how we can impact the lives of the next generation and to use our gifts for good.

Part of my personal theology is creation care and care for the environment.  I see the Lakota spirituality of Mitakuye Oyasin (All are related) as primary in how I view my neighbor and in how I view the creation.  All things are related and we need to treat each other, and the creation as God’s good gifts to us.  We cannot follow Christ fully if we are unable to faithfully care for all that God has made. 

Inspirations and gratitude: a Thank You Card for God’s Good Earth

Thanks to the people of Creation Keepers Ministry at St. Andrew’s Lutheran, Columbia, MO

David Rhoads!
Your stories, your wisdom, your dedication, your friendship.

In gratitude for our life-giving rivers and lakes

Matthew 6:26-29 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to your life’s span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.”

- In honor of Zulu Davidson -
May we treasure all our elder creatures!

In honor of Jane Affonso, co-chair with me of the Southwest CA Synod Green Faith Team.

For those who advocate & steward well for the Earth!

Psalm 104:14-21 You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart.

In Honor of Dad & Mike

Phoebe Morad
For all of your dedication, friendship, and hard work. :)!

Psalm 1:3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.

Phoebe Morad for her awesome job as Executive Director of Lutherans Restoring Creation!

Thanks to all the passion from the North West Pennsylvania Synod Green Team!

Genesis 1:20-23 And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

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As we recognize 50 years since the first Earth Day in 1970, supporters from across the nation say thanks by giving a donation to Lutherans Restoring Creation and lifting up the people, scripture, places, creatures which remind them of God’s love shown through Creation and our vocation to care for it:

 

Tools for Grassroots Advocacy: Full Spectrum

On our April 2020 Connections Call, we lifted up numerous ways we can represent what the ELCA’s Creation Care stance offers and how to implement action from where we are each planted. Since we are all living in very different spaces and each know our own audiences best there seems to be a spectrum of resources. Below is a sampling which we can add to and will continually evolve. While there is no one size which fits all, we can all work in harmony to lift up the common language our faith offers.

From protesting to preaching to praying:

A place to commune for now…

Hi House of Prayer family (and any visitors!)

During this time of patchwork efforts as we navigate new tools and ways of being together I offer this “place” for now to keep adding tools so that you can take what you wish and utilize for an at-home worship/meditation. I hope that it helps to hear Pastor’s voice, know that the piano music comes from Lenae’s fingertips, and Kristen’s consistent efforts are still guiding us through worship every week in the attached bulletin. Our efforts in the community will only continue to be needed – and YOU are a part of our strength. Keep feeding your spirit so that you can be a help to others. Even apart, we are at work together through the body of Christ.

Below are this week’s (March 22. 2020) resources to pick/choose from. Just click on each and it should open automatically. Please contact me if you need help opening something. – Phoebe at phoebe@lutheransrestoringcreation.org

Please remember friends – especially when we all aren’t there in person, your donation is a way to contribute your gifts to our community even while at a distance. Here is an easy link to make a secure online donation to House of Prayer. Or just send a check to 916 Main Street, Hingham MA 02360.

Food – Faith – Farming

Since there are so many members of our ELCA community who live in agricultural areas and we all depend on food to sustain us; let’s explore how we can deliberately share the spectrum of ways our churches can inform members of opportunities, practice mindful eating, and love the wide array of neighbors who help feed us.

Finding Community in our Holy Waters During a Time of Isolation

While many are anxious and isolated during this time of response to a pandemic, we offer these reflections on this week’s readings. (If there are other recordings you wish to share as a balm to soothe and inspiration to act for the common good please submit them here.)

March 15, 2020 – 3rd Sunday in Lent (John 4, 5-42) – Woman at Well – Pr. Susan Henry – House of Prayer, Hingham MA

Continuing Education Certificate Offered in Creation Care – Lexington Seminary

For such a time as this … Lexington Theological Seminary’s new Creation Care Continuing Education option for pastors and congregational lay leaders prepares you for more effective leadership as we unpack issues that directly impact ministry today. This six-course series is designed to meet the needs of today’s leaders in the church, allowing you to study online and earn 8 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) within a 12-month timeline, culminating in a Certificate in Continuing Education. Beginning in September 2020, Creation Care will consist of the following courses:

  • Sallie McFague Environmental Theology (September 2020) Dr. Emily Askew
  • Climate Change: Caring for Our Planet, Caring for Ourselves (October 2020) Rev. Dr. Richard R. Coble
  • Church, Society, and the Ethics of Global Warming (November 2020) Rev. Dr. Christy Newton.
  • Food and Faith (March 2021) Rev. Dr. Wilson Dickinson,
  • Creation Crisis Preaching and Worship (April 2021) Rev. Dr. Leah Schade
  • Womanism, Creation Care, and Justice (May 2021) Dr. Mitzi J. Smith

Tuition – $1,100 + fees, with option for monthly payments and lump sum discount.

Applications must be completed by July 15, 2020.  apply.lextheo.edu

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day as Church Together but Apart

50 Covenants for 50 Years of Earth Day

Some Lutherans Restoring Creation have decided to take on a challenge of inviting at least 50 Congregations in their synod to make a Covenant with Creation in honor of Earth Day turning 50! Want to take take the challenge? Follow these steps below and let us know how it goes!

  • Print out this invitation letter and Covenant (ask us if you want a word document to edit).
  • Mail/e-mail it directly to ELCA churches in your area or create a spreadsheet to share the task with others (go to the ELCA Directory to get addresses in one place).
  • Call their office within a week to ensure it was received and ask who in their church would be the best to follow up with personally. That person should make a date to present the Council with the Covenant (that process may take months – but a great way to get everyone thinking about this ministry!)
  • Send your contact the Congregational Self-Organizing Kit if they are responsive to the idea. (A printed version would be good to share with their Council, but the whole kit is online too.)
  • Encourage folks to submit their goals on our shared Action Plan form here so that we can connect folks locally and topically.
  • Let us celebrate every step with you! Congregations with Covenants signed will be posted on our map and Goals Met/Events Hosted can be shared here.
  • NOTE: a Covenant isn’t necessary to start a Creation Care Ministry in your area – just one way. Look at our Upcoming Events to see many expressions of how you can get involved.

What do we know (and do) about Carbon Pricing?

Oceans: Vast & Fragile

This past fall,  Lutherans Restoring Creation helped facilitate an Ocean Leadership Training event at the New England Aquarium along with the aquarium’s educators and Creation Justice Ministries.  We started as a group of strangers coming together with a common concern for the ocean.  We spent the day together exploring the miraculous diversity of life as we explored exhibits, awestruck at images from unknown worlds amoungst seamounts just a few miles from the coast we stood on, and lifting our voices about the significance this all has from faith perspective.  Tools were shared with each other: personal experiences, data from social behavioral research, techniques for reaching out to the public sphere, and the prophetic information gathered by the world-renowned marine researchers.  For more information about how to talk about the significance of oceans to climate (and for the immediate well-being of the soul), explore the Creation Justice Ministries site (here). 

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