Category Archives: About Us

Katrina Martich

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.  In 2013, Auburn University’s Department of Biosystems Engineering (formerly Agricultural Engineering) honored Katrina with its Outstanding Alumna Award.  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 lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her husband and three rescued cats.  In her spare time, she volunteers at an equitherapy facility and enjoys hiking, working in the yard, and watching birds.  Contact her at 817-471-0520 or contact@katrinamartich.com

Johan Bergh: Luther as Environmentalist

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

Energy Stewardship

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.

 

Sarah Habermehl Locke

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.

Nick Utphall

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

 

 

 

Map of LRC Care for Creation Ministries

Explore our emerging LRC Green Teams, meet a “Green Shepherd” near you,  get help from someone who has experience saving money and resources as an Energy Steward, contact a church who has made a Covenant with Creation and support one another in your Action Plans, or find a local eco-faith group that can build bridges in your community.  Please feel free to contact any of these LRC liaisons for more information about the work they are doing!

For other ways to learn from and share with Lutheran creation care ministries in all their forms—like our connection calls—visit our connection page.

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Lutherans Restoring Creation’s YouTube channel

Visit our youtube channel to view videos uploaded and “liked” by LRC, and other videos of interest.

Videos uploaded by LRC also can be played here:

Everyone's Daily Bread

This was a presentation originally shared at the 2016 New England Synod's Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Assembly as a workshop on eating mindfully. Please feel free to use and share for your purposes and let us know what's going on in your faith community along these lines!

Dennis Ormseth

Dennis Ormseth served from 1991 to 2005 as pastor of Lutheran Church of the Reformation in St. Louis Park, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that emphasizes care of the earth as part of its mission. In retirement, he has served on the executive committee of Congregations Caring for Creation, an interfaith network promoting care of the earth as integral to spirituality and social justice in Minnesota congregations of faith. Holding a Ph. D. from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, Dr. Ormseth is also a graduate of St. Olaf College and Luther Seminary in St. Paul. He taught religious history and the history of Christian thought at Luther Seminary and Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, and was campus pastor for Lutheran students at Purdue University in Indiana. Article in the June 2011 issue of The Lutheran magazine about Lutherans Restoring Creation, featuring Dr. Ormseth.  dennisormseth@gmail.com

Praise for Dr. Ormseth’s Commentaries
“The good thing about what Dennis is doing is that there might be some people who would want to do kind of a green overlay on the texts, but Dennis is doing this from the assumption that care of God’s creation is one of the very bases of Trinitarian faith. This is not an extra little tidbit we could add, but this is in fact something that we have missed in our looking at the texts from the beginning. I use [the commentaries] as part of my sermon preparation along with other commentaries and reading the texts and doing the language study myself. So it’s just one more thing I look at.”

The Rev. Tom Mundahl, Lutheran Church of the Reformation in St. Louis Park, MN

“I respect Dennis and a lot of his insights, so I want to pay attention to what he’s paying attention to. [The commentaries] stimulate my thinking and also my sermon preparation. I look at them most of the times that I’m preaching. I preach about the environment on occasion, and I try to weave this into both sermons and prayers. Dennis comes at the texts from an interesting angle or a different angle than a lot of other places, other resources do. And so it’s a good way to see both the richness of texts as well as to think through the wholeness of creation.”

– The Rev. Erik Strand, Edina Community Lutheran Church in Edina, MN

Kim Winchell, Deacon*, ELCA:

I am a life-long Lutheran and have been involved in a variety of ELCA efforts to promote the care of creation since the early 1990’s. Back then, my professional work was as a Medical Technologist [B.S. Univ. of Michigan, 1976], and I worked in a hospital laboratory for 24 yrs.

But my increasing passion for, and work in, faith-based environmental advocacy and organizing efforts [conferences, workshops, climate change work] ultimately drew me into what was (then) the diaconal ministry roster of the ELCA. I remember having a feeling akin to Jeremiah’s “fire in my bones,” and that “earthkeeping ministry” was something I just had to do. I earned my M.A. in Pastoral Ministry in 2004, and was called and consecrated as a Diaconal Minister for Earthkeeping Education & Advocacy in 2005, for the N/W Lower MI Synod of the ELCA. I served in that role, within my synod and beyond, from 2005-2013.

Though I am currently on leave from call, I was fortunate to have been a voting member at the ELCA 2016 Churchwide Assembly. In that capacity, I participated in moving forward a resolution to call for the choice of fossil-fuel-free investment options in ELCA investments and pensions. Over the years I have also written several reflections, articles, and the small group study guide, Awakening to God’s Call to Earthkeeping (2007). I have felt so very blessed to be able to share my passion for tending and mending creation with others, especially through the work of Lutherans Restoring Creation, as we all work together to more faithfully answer God’s call to earth-keeping.

*By action taken at the 2016 CWA, the ELCA has changed the name of the lay and diaconal rosters to now be termed “Deacons” and “Ministers of Word and Service.”

Richard J. Perry, Jr.

Richard J. Perry, Jr., professor of church and society and urban ministry, has been on the faculty of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago since 1996. After his ordination in 1977, Perry served Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church, Gary, Ind., for three years. His experience in urban and multi-cultural ministries was honed as director of inclusive ministries for the North Carolina Synod of the Lutheran Church in America, and as director for Black ministries for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). In 1999, he co-chaired the International Planning Committee for the Conference of International Black Lutherans held in Wittenberg, Germany, where he presented the paper “Justification and Racial Justice.” He was also a presenter at the first consultation between African and African-American Lutheran Theologians in Harare, Zimbabwe; and chaired the working group on racism in the church and society at the Lutheran World Federation’s Seventh Assembly in Budapest, Hungary.

H. Paul Santmire

H. Paul Santmire has been a leader in the field of ecological theology and ethics for more than forty years. Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), he has served as a teaching theologian, churchwide activist, and parish pastor. He is the author of Brother Earth: Nature, God, and Ecology in a Time of Crisis (1970), The Travail of Nature: The Ambiguous Ecological Promise of Christian Theology (1985), Nature Reborn: The Ecological and Cosmic Promise of Christian Theology (2000), Ritualizing Nature: Renewing Christian Liturgy in a Time of Crisis (2008), Before Nature: A Christian Spirituality (2014), and Behold the Lilies: Jesus and the Contemplation of Nature (2018). He was one of the theological writers of the ELCA’s 1993 social teaching statement on the environment, Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice. Paul has been a critical voice for ecojustice and the celebration of nature since he first completed his Harvard doctoral disseration on Karl Barth’s theology of nature in 1966 and subsequently became a champion of ecofeminism at Wellesley College, where he served as Chaplain and Lecturer in Religion for twelve years. He is eager to continue to support the commitments of a new generation of church ecojustice advocates and activists.

Keith A. Mundy 

With more than twenty years of experience in stewardship ministry, Keith A. Mundy currently serves as Assistant Director for Stewardship Ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  For more than ten years, Keith has served ELCA congregations and synods by engaging leaders in the formation of healthy and missional congregations.  This ministry has included earthkeeping and caring for creation as part of a holistic understanding of being a steward. In his own words, “I think of myself as a servant of Christ with a passion for God’s creation and growing faithful stewards.  As we continue our faith walk, we become more aware of how God is calling us to act justly and walk humbly with God in caring for creation.”

David Rhoads, LRC Founder

David Rhoads, professor of New Testament, joined the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago faculty in 1988. He previously was professor of religion at Carthage College, Kenosha, Wis., where he was named teacher of the year for 1973-74. He has written numerous articles, and is the author of Mark as Story and The Challenge of Diversity, two well-known texts. In 2004, he published Reading Mark, Engaging the Gospel. In 2005, he published From Every People and Nation: The Book of Revelation in Intercultural Perspective, a book that brings together many voices reading the Book of Revelation from their place and mining its meaning for different social locations. In 2007, he edited a collection of sermons from well-known environmentalists in the faith community, Earth and Word: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet. He is a passionate advocate for eco-justice and environmental ministry, and coordinates both the environmental ministry emphasis and the biblical studies emphasis. He is married to the Rev. Sandra Roberts. They live in Racine, Wisconsin, where they raise two grandchildren.

Alycia Ashburn

Alycia grew up in a tiny prairie town in southwestern Minnesota, where she fell in love with nature and learned the importance of community engagement and public service. Alycia has made a career out of her greatest passion: empowering and equipping people of faith to be strong advocates for environmental stewardship and policy. She was instrumental in getting LRC off the ground and facilitated the first several Train-the-Trainer workshops throughout the country. Much of her time now is spent trying to usher her nature-loving toddler daughter into a better world. She also works to make the future brighter through her role with Ohio Interfaith Power & Light as an outreach coordinator and as a board member for the Center for Spirituality in Nature.

Gilsong Waldkoenig, Gettysburg Seminary

waldkoenig@ltsg.edu
Gettysburg Seminary
61 Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 338-3029  Office

Current Position/Vocation/Location

Professor of Church in Society, Gettysburg Seminary

Director, Town and Country Church Institute (TCCI)

Relevant Publications by Speaker

·       “Ecological Restoration and Scenes of Grace” in Journal of Lutheran Ethics 15:2 (Feb 2015). http://www.elca.org/JLE/Articles/1073

·       “From Commodity to Community: Churches and the Land They Own,” The Cresset LXXVII:5 (2013). http://thecresset.org/2013/Trinity/Waldkoenig_T13.html

·       “Scenes and Means of Grace,” Dialog: A Journal of Theology (Winter 2011).

Workshop/Lecture/Presentation titles

The Holy Earth, Rural Churches and Ecological Stewardship

Appalachia: Environment, Strife & Resilience

Outdoor Ministry, Environment and Post-Christian Society

Current Personal/Public Activity relating to ecology

GreenFaith Fellow, 2011

Faculty advisor to Gettysburg Seminary Green Task Force and sustainability efforts

Seminary Stewardship Alliance participant

Washington Theological Consortium, Certificate in Theology & Ecology, participating faculty

Organizer & teacher: “Environment & Religion in Northern Appalachia” immersion experience

Links/Websites/Blogs highlighting work

https://vimeo.com/91113288 invitation to “Environment & Religion in Northern Appalachia”

https://vimeo.com/91113288 “Ecological Restoration & Scenes of Grace” presentation

http://tinyurl.com/pal6685 Washington Theological Consortium Certificate in Theology & Ecology

https://townandcountrychurch.wordpress.com/ Town and Country Church Institute (TCCI)

Summary Quote from Speaker

“I look at the life and ministry of the church in light of rural and environmental histories in hopes to spur critical assessment in mission, encourage respect for creation, and remind that Christ is present.”  Gilson Waldkoenig

 

Aana Marie Vigen, Loyola University Chicago

avigen@luc.edu
Loyola University Chicago
Dept. of Theology, Crown 309
1032 W. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 508-2342 Office

Current Position/Vocation/Location

Associate Professor of Christian Social Ethics, Loyola University Chicago

Relevant Publications by Speaker

·       “For the Health of All: Human & Ecological Well-Being.” Invited chapter. In Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril, edited by James Martin-Schramm and Lisa E. Dahill, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, Forthcoming, Fall 2016.

·       “Living and Dying: Ethical Challenges in Health Care and Bioethics.” Invited chapter. In Religious and Ethical Perspectives for the Twenty-First Century, edited by Paul Myhre. Anselm Press, 2013: 88-111.

·       “Loving God and the Neighbor: Protestant Insights for Prevention and Treatment.” Invited chapter.  In Prevention vs. Treatment:  What’s the Right Balance?, edited by Halley Faust and Paul T. Menzel.  Oxford University Press, 2012: 312-341.

·       “Pre-4th Fireworks: Stanley Cup, Voting, Marriage, and a President’s Plan for the Climate.” Invited Guest Blog Post, June 27, 2013 (226 views), online: http://livingformations.com/2013/06/27/pre-4th-fireworks-stanley-cup-voting-marriage-and-a-presidents-plan-for-the-climate/

·       “Farming in Hell’—the New Normal?” Op Ed written with Nancy C. Tuchman. Sojourners Magazine 41, Number 10 (November 2012): 10-11; online: http://sojo.net/magazine/2012/11/farming-hell%E2%80%94-new-normal

·       Ethnography as Christian Theology and Ethics.  Co-authored/edited with Christian Scharen. London: formerly Continuum/T&T Clark now Bloomsbury, 2011.

·       God, Science, Sex, Gender: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Christian Ethics.  Co-edited with Patricia Beattie Jung.  Champaign, IL: University of IL Press, 2010.

·       Women, Ethics, and Inequality in US Healthcare: “To Count Among the Living”.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006; revised paperback ed. 2011.

·       “‘Heal the Sick’: Why Public Health Care is a Christian Duty.” Op Ed.  (July 15, 2009): online: http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2009/07/heal_the_sick_why_public_health_care_is_a_christian_duty.html

Related Workshop/Lecture/Presentation/Keynote Titles

A Lutheran Responding to Pope Francis and his Urgent Call to Action on Climate. (Public Presentation 2015)

Embodying Justice:  Fighting for Health, Healing, & Hope. (Keynote, 2014 Lutheran Studies Conference, Pacific

Lutheran University)

U.S. Healthcare Inequalities: The Moral Claim They Make on People of Faith. (Keynote, Trinity Lutheran

Seminary, Columbus, OH 2007)

God, Suffering, and Human Health/Healthcare. (Weeklong Workshop/Continuing Ed. Series, Christikon, an ELCA Camp 2014)

Authentic Discipleship. (Sermon 2014)

The Ugly Face of Inequality in Health & the Beauty of Daring to Do Something about It. (Presentation for

Undergraduates 2013)

A Mediation on What Matters. (Presentation for Undergraduates 2013)

How a ‘Curious Garden’ Grows. (Sermon 2012)

Links/Websites/Blogs highlighting work

http://luc.edu/theology/facultystaff/vigenaanamarie.shtml

http://livingformations.com/2015/08/10/the-hair-reflections-by-a-white-parent/

Summary Quote from Speaker

“Climate Change is the scientific, economic, social, public health, educational, and justice of our time. There is no other ‘perfect storm’ that threatens our collective future the way it does.  Critical times like these—turning points in history—call for dynamic, hope-filled action.  And people of faith—across all vocations, political views, and life trajectories—have vital roles to play.  For my part, my vocation as a Christian and as a public scholar is rooted in two aims:  First to elucidate the integral relationships connecting human and ecological well-being/suffering; and


Dr. Benjamin M Stewart, The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

bstewart@lstc.edu
The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 E. 55th St.
Chicago, Il 60615   (773) 256-0769

Current Position/Vocation/Location

Gordon A. Braatz Associate Professor of Worship and Director of Advanced Studies, The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Convener, Ecology and Liturgy Seminar, The North American Academy of Liturgy

Relevant Publications by Speaker

·       A Watered Garden: Christian Worship and Earth’s Ecology. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress (2011)

·       “The Place of Earth in Lutheran Funeral Rites: Mapping the Current Terrain.” Dialog 53, no. 2 (June 1, 2014): 118–26.

·       A Forgotten Body of Knowledge? The Earth as Tutor in Prayer. Let’s Talk: Living Theology in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod. Volume 18, no. 2 (Easter 2013)

·       “Baptismal Water in Lutheran Worship and on the Earth: A Living, Sacramental Landscape” in Eco-Lutheranism: Lutheran Perspectives on Ecology, edited by Shauna Hannen and Karla Bohmbach. Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2013 87–99

·       Edited volume: Liturgy 27.2, theme issue on Liturgy and Ecology, February 2012,

·       “Committed to the Earth: Ecotheological Dimensions of Christian Burial Practices.” Liturgy 27.2 (February 2012).

·       “Water in Worship: The Ecology of Baptism,” The Christian Century 8 Feb. 2011 v. 128 n. 3.

Workshop/Lecture/Presentation titles

Liturgical times and seasons: a sacramental approach to creation. Presentation

Natural burial as a spiritual practice. Presentation

Beginning a natural burial ministry. Workshop

Baptism and a Christian Spirituality of Water. Presentation

Praying with the Natural World. Presentations for children and adults

Links/Websites/Blogs highlighting work

twitter: @bstewLSTC

Biographical profile

http://www.lstc.edu/about/faculty/benjamin-stewart/

Summary Quote from Speaker

“Rather than knowing the earth as the ecologically unchanging “ground floor” of the entire cosmos (one-half of the universe), we are now coming to know the earth as it actually is. The earth is a relatively small living creature, in many ways like us: fragile, created good, in need of healing, part of a living community, alive, and mortal.”  Benjamin M Stewart, from  A Watered Garden: Christian Worship and Earth’s Ecology