In 2018, we began the process of building this website here at lutheransrestoringcreation.org. We have kept our earlier site online for anyone interested in exploring it — most of the content has been moved over to this site. But if you are interested in searching through our old site, it’s available here: https://sites.google.com/site/lrcoldsite/
Pastor Sandi Olson Decker serves as Pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in King City, CA.
She and her husband, Chad, have two grown sons, Carson and Tristan. A 1990 graduate of the University of Oregon, Pastor Sandi is a native Oregonian with a deep dedication to her family and the Oregon Ducks. She has a deep passion for writing, animals, reading, travel, and good coffee.
After graduating from Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, she served settled calls in the Midwest and Central California. In addition to her years of ministry experience, Pastor Sandi previously worked in the the finance industry with responsibilities ranging from investor services, compliance law, marketing, administration and personnel.
Pastor Vance (62) is the Policy Outreach Coordinator for Elevate Energy. He is a native of Houston, TX. He attended Bethany Lutheran College in Lindsborg, KS where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics with a concentration in Mathematics in 1980. He continued his education as he graduated from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago (LSTC) in 1986 with a Master of Divinity degree. Immediately upon graduation from seminary, Rev. Vance served as the Pastor of St. Stephen’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on the Southside of Chicago in the Chatham Neighborhood for from 1986-2016.
Following his faithful and steadfast service at St. Stephen’s, Rev. Vance made his way to the Environmental Community as an Executive Policy Director for Faith in Place from 2016-2018. In this role, Rev. Vance was a prominent figure in proclaiming Environmental Justice and Ecological Transformation as a voice for the voiceless who continue crying out from the wilderness. He continues advocating for the economically disenfranchised and those who have been marginalized in the traditionally and overwhelmingly white environmental community.
After serving on the Illinois Climate Table and working with a diverse group of environmental leadership, Rev. Vance envisioned that the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act provided great hope and promise. He likes to see Ecumenical Interfaith Environmental Justice Communities engage in productive collaborative work. He was a part of the Chicago Climate Table Working group who helped shape and pass the FEJA – The Future Energy Jobs Act in 2016. He considers his time at Faith in Place as pivotal in his growth as Environmental Justice Advocate and Ecumenical/Interfaith Leader. He sees that primarily focusing on Workforce Development and Job Creation (where real people are connected with real jobs) has been a daunting task. However, Rev. Vance strives to focus on the historical trauma that has plagued environmental equity efforts in Environmental Justice communities. He dreams of expanding the scope of Workforce Development to include Returning Citizens and Foster Care Alumni as a high hope in present day legislation. He firmly believes that the passage of FEJA and the proposing of CEJA present a challenging implementation to the traditionally White Environmental Community.
Rev. Vance stands before the Traditional Environmental Community to say that Environmental Justice is not a passing fad and that the RDEI (Diversity, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) are not experimental theories but must be the core and central values that drive our work together. He is a member of the African Descent Lutheran Association and Recent addition to the Lutheran Care for Creation Organization.
A recent addition to the Elevate Energy Team as a Policy Outreach Coordinator. Serving as Pastor of St. Stephens Evangelical Lutheran Church on the South Side of Chicago for over 25 years before engaging in the intersection of Community Organizing and the Environmental Justice Discipline. He lives on the South Side of Chicago. He is the Father of Two Sons, Booker Jr. and Erwin. Erwin is married to Krystal and they are the parents of 3 children. Therefore Pastor Vance as he is affectionately referred to is the Grandpa of 3, Aniyah, Isaiah and Nia.
henryphuntington at gmail dot com
23834 The Clearing Dr.
Eagle River, AK 99577
Arctic Science Director, Ocean Conservancy (2017-)
Owner, Huntington Consulting (1996-)
Relevant Publications by Speaker
Huntington, H.P., S.L. Danielson, F.K.Wiese, M. Baker, P. Boveng, J.J. Citta, A. De Robertis, D.M.S. Dickson, E. Farley, J.C. George, K. Iken, D.G. Kimmel, K. Kuletz, C. Ladd, R. Levine, L. Quakenbush, P. Stabeno, K.M. Stafford, D. Stockwell, and C. Wilson. 2020. Evidence suggests potential transformation of the Pacific Arctic Ecosystem is underway. Nature Climate Change 10:342–348. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-0695-2
Huntington, H.P., M. Carey, C. Apok, B.C. Forbes, S. Fox, L.K. Holm, A. Ivanova, J. Jaypoody, G. Noongwook, and F. Stammler. 2019. Climate change in context—putting people first in the Arctic. Regional Environmental Change 19(4):1217-1223. DOI: 10.1007/s10113-019-01478-8
Huntington, H.P., P.A. Loring, G. Gannon, S. Gearheard, S.C. Gerlach, and L.C. Hamilton. 2018. Staying in place during times of change in Arctic Alaska: the implications of attachment, alternatives, and buffering. Regional Environmental Change 18(2):489-499. DOI 10.1007/s10113-017-1221-6
Huntington, H.P., L.T. Quakenbush, and M. Nelson. 2017. Evaluating the effects of climate change on Indigenous marine mammal hunting in northern and western Alaska using traditional knowledge. Frontiers in Marine Science 4:319. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00319
Huntington, H.P., A. Begossi, S.F. Gearheard, B. Kersey, P. Loring, T. Mustonen, P.K. Paudel, R.A.M. Silvano, and R. Vave. 2017. How small communities respond to environmental change: patterns from tropical to polar ecosystems. Ecology and Society 22(3):9.
Huntington, H.P., R. Daniel, A. Hartsig, K. Harun, M. Heiman, R. Meehan, G. Noongwook, L. Pearson, M. Prior-Parks, M. Robards, and G. Stetson. 2015. Vessels, risks, and rules: planning for safe shipping in Bering Strait. Marine Policy 51:119-127.
Traditional knowledge, science, and conservation in our seas: we’ll never know everything but we’re going to act anyway
Conserving abundance in the Arctic, or, how to avoid what has happened everywhere else
Faith & Understanding: climate change in Alaska and beyond Download (click) Sample Talk Outline
Some things I can’t explain, or, Why more social science studies are needed to understand human-environment interactions in the Arctic
Unknown knowns: recognizing how much we actually know when it comes to conservation and climate
“Can you send me a thermometer or something?” Functions and attributes of community-based monitoring
Current Personal/Public Activity relating to ecology
A career in Arctic research and conservation
As much time outdoors as possible!
Annual electronics recycling event at our church, Joy Lutheran
Links/Websites/Blogs highlighting work
Summary Quote from Speaker
“I can connect my faith to my work because it is important that we take care of creation. It is also important that we learn to understand and love one another, which means spending time outside of our comfort zones and being willing to question our ideas by looking at them from a different perspective.” Henry P. Huntington
On Monday, July 20th, 2015, the White House recognized twelve people of faith as “Champions of Change” for their efforts in protecting our environment and communities from the effects of climate change.
Among them was Steven Beumer, an active member of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Winter Park, Florida. He has led St. John to make changes through new energy efficient roofing and LED lighting. He also organized a regular worship service in April dedicated to Earth Day. Additionally, Beumer organized hands-on environmental projects such as labeling storm drains in the neighborhood to prevent trash from going into the lakes, and litter clean up on public streets near the church. Further, Beumer has worked with other faith communities to find their environmental footing within their own faith context.
In his statement on the “Champions of Change: People of Faith Acting on Climate” web page, Steven writes:
“When I was child growing up one of my favorite pastimes was getting a big book of connect the dot puzzles and working away on them. It was amazing to see the dots turn into dogs and fire trucks. Our faith communities have many “dots” imbedded in our traditions that address many issues. The environment is one of them. People of faith all share a great reverence and awe for what God has created.
“As we work to connect those dots in our respective faith traditions we see the illusion of our separation fade away. We become closer and bound together as we can celebrate our love of God’s creation—and rejoice in our work to protect it. People of faith share a unique perspective on the environment. We are not a social club, political group or secular advocacy organization, but our very existence is bound up in our oneness as a product of God’s creation. It is most important to take the moral initiative, to shine a light on the need to cherish and protect the sum total of the wonderful parts that make up all creation—people, plants and animals that grace every corner of our amazing planet.”
According to the White House, “These Champions have demonstrated clear leadership across the United States and around the world through their grassroots efforts to green their communities and educate others on the moral and social justice implications of climate change.”
The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. The event will be live streamed on the White House website.
I´m currently an administrator and professor for the study abroad program of Valparaiso University, (Praxis Center) located in Costa Rica. I teach classes about Central American history, politics, religion, ethnicity, environmental issues, sustainable development and also Comparative Healthcare Systems. In addition, I occasionally lead short term service learning experiences for U.S. universities. In light of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on my work with college students, I´m also getting certified as a medical interpreter, which I hope to be doing online in the near future.
I served for 21 years in ministry with Lutheran congregations in Costa Rica which were located in squatter´s settlements with primarily Nicaraguan immigrants. I´ve also been involved in initiatives with the Costa Rican Lutheran Church for the past 6 years about climate change and with an ecumenical group of church leaders seeking to educate local congregations about environmental issues.
In addition, I live in an intentional Christian community ( which seeks to be responsible stewards of the environment through a variety of local projects in our neighborhood. I bring a perspective about how climate change is affecting vulnerable communities in Central America, and also some of the solutions and mitigation efforts that are being implemented in the region.
Check out the educational presentation Heidi has uses in sharing the connections between faith and climate justice:
Pastor, Heart of Illinois Lutheran Parish (First Lutheran, Lee, IL and Immanuel Lutheran, Compton, IL)
Creation Care has been a lifelong passion of mine and I am thrilled to stretch my network of fellow stewards of Creation beyond the walls of my own congregation and the borders of my synod. I participate and am active in a number of secular organizations that tend to the environment and am happy to bring the perspective of a “concerned person of faith” to these tables, but relish chances to gather with others whose motivation to care for the land and critters and skies around us comes from a theological perspective. To do so with people throughout the country feeds me, helps me grow in my own understanding and actions and offer the same to others.
As a grassroots movement, Lutherans Restoring Creation aims to support and advocate Creation Care work throughout ELCA communities. At our June 20, 2020 Board of Directors meeting we officially recognized the significance of Presiding Bishop Eaton’s 2020 Earth Day message (read in full here).
“…thanks Bishop Eaton for her Earth Day message and her lifting up of Lutherans Restoring Creation.”
excerpt from Minutes of June 20, 2020 LRC’s Board of Directors’ Meeting
We are eager to grow together with church-wide offices in this critical ministry as Creation Care Ambassadors and Coaches flourish, more Congregations sign Covenants with Creation and the emerging ELCA Sustainability Table guides collaborative and action-based progress.
The Rev. Sarah Locke and her son share how Caring for Creation expresses our Freedom in Christ:
Pastor Christyn serves as our Board President as of March 2021. Among her many talents, she serves a critical role in creating the online worship services we offer (see here).
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.
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.
Atonement Lutheran Church - Overland Park, KS
From Lawrence Ryan
In honor of the Redwoods of John Muir Woods
For those who advocate & steward well for the Earth!
With love for the North Shore of Minnesota!
Thanks to the people of Creation Keepers Ministry at St. Andrew’s Lutheran, Columbia, MO
Your stories, your wisdom, your dedication, your friendship.
Big Bend National Parks
For my Grandchildren
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.
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
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.
Pastor Dan, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fairfax, Va
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:
Katrina Martich is a speaker, trainer, and consultant, who helps organizations find holistic approaches to today’s environmental challenges. To this task she brings over twenty years of practical experience as an environmental engineer in public and private sector positions. In addition to running her own environmental consulting company, Katrina has been an adjunct instructor for The University of Texas at Arlington and completed an internship with the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy. Katrina grounds her approach to environmental challenges in the justice tradition of the Abrahamic faiths, with a focus on personal and business practices that allow all people and life to thrive in this world.
Katrina has a degree in Agricultural Engineering from Auburn University and a Master of Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a consecrated deaconess by the Lutheran Diaconal Association, a licensed professional engineer in Texas and New Mexico, and a Certified Professional in Sediment and Erosion Control. Katrina serves on the ELCA Sustainability Table and as a LRC Green Shepherd within the Northern Texas – Northern Louisiana Synod. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her husband and three rescued cats. In her spare time, Katrina volunteers at an equitherapy facility and enjoys hiking, working in the yard, and watching birds.
To discuss ways Katrina can be of service to your congregation, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Download, read, and share widely this brief reflection from active disciple, Dr. Johan Bergh. In his piece, published in the Trinity Review (2013), Bergh relates the framework of grace and neighbor love with how we are to understand the role of public action in our church. Read more recent reflections on his blog: www.greengracepostings.blogspot.com
“God does not need our good works, but our neighbor does.” – Martin Luther
Download the six-page excerpt from Trinity Seminary Review here: Johan-Bergh-Published-Journal-Article-Luther-as-Environmentalist.pdf
Dr. Johan Bergh, ACC
Johan serves as Pastor for St. Philip Lutheran Church, Mt. Dora, FL., and is an International Coach Federation ACC Coach, ELCA Coach and Coach Mentor and ELCA Licensed Coach Trainer. He volunteers his service by coaching ELCA leaders and mentoring ELCA Coach-In-Training rostered leaders. He currently serves as Coaching Ministry Coordinator for the Florida-Bahamas Synod and serves on the ELCA Churchwide Coaching Ministry Team as well as a level II Natural Church Development Coach. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 2006 with a concentration in Discipleship and Leadership (M.Div., Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH 1981). His Bachelor of Science, Natural Resources, Environmental Interpretation (The Ohio State University) degree provides an environmental studies background for his current work as a Green Faith Fellow (www.Greenfaith.org)
He and his wife Janet have been married 39 years and have two adult daughters and two grandchildren. He enjoys golf, running, hiking, fitness exercise, reading, biking, spinning, and good friends!
-Life and Missional Coach: http://www.beinganddoingmatters.com
-Coaching Ministry Coordinator, Florida-Bahamas Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: http://www.fbsynod.com
Lutherans have had a tremendous history with being good energy stewards – but we have a LONG way to go. There is a broad range of steps to be taken that all make progress in the long run for the environment and for a congregation’s budget. Our houses of worship can either be a beacons of sustainability to our neighbors or a draw on the community’s power – what does God call of us?
- Find out if there is an Energy Steward you would like to contact within our ELCA networks in facilities and investments who could give you advise by looking at our Map (click here).
- Explore the FREE EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager program (which has more Lutherans registered users than any other denomination – so far). Check out (click here) their entire pdf guides here for free.
- Be inspired by reading about stories from the ELCA realm who have had great experiences saving energy while freeing up more money to be used in other ministries!
- Reach out to your local utility and/or regional Interfaith Power and Light for insight as to local support for energy savings and alternative choice options.
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Campus Minister, Jacksonville Campus Ministry
Sarah Locke is currently the campus minister for Jacksonville Campus Ministry in Jacksonville, Florida. Previously she served in various capacities at Jacob’s Porch (Ohio State’s Lutheran Campus Ministry), and Gamecock Lutheran (University of South Carolina’s Lutheran Campus Ministry). In 2012 she began seminary at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in South Carolina where she met her husband Daniel. They now both serve in Jacksonville as pastors and try to keep up with their son Bennet and husky Cooper.
I’m pastor of Advent Lutheran in Madison, Wis., a congregation paired with Community of Hope UCC as the ecumenical partnership Madison Christian Community (www.MadisonChristianCommunity.org). With a purpose of “living faithfully and lovingly with God, neighbor, and creation” the MCC practices a variety of environmental initiatives with solar panels, pantry gardens, prairie restorations, occasional honeybee residents, and more. I am a bike commuter, mediocre birder, inattentive gardener, and simple camper. I keep track of some of my words at https://utphall.wordpress.com/ nick@theMCC.net