Category Archives: Adult Forum and Bible Study

Henry Huntington

henryphuntington at gmail dot com
23834 The Clearing Dr.
Eagle River, AK  99577
(907) 696-3564

Current Position/Vocation/Location
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.

Workshop/Lecture/Presentation titles

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

https://oceanconservancy.org/people/henry-huntington/

https://www.arcus.org/researchers/35712/display

https://www.nps.gov/subjects/tek/henry-p-huntington.htm

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

 

Finding Ways to Work Alongside Grief and Anguish

Thanks to all who joined the August 2020 Connections Call to share experiences with and resources on how to keep moving acknowledging the inevitable grief we experience as humans.  Listen in on the call (click here) and see below the various readings,  next steps, and tools that were referenced during the call.

SHARED ON THE CALL

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:

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

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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Bibliography of Ecology and Faith

Biblical

Bauckham, Richard. The Bible and Ecology: Rediscovering the Community of Creation (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2010).

Bauckham, Richard. Living with Other Creatures: Green Exegesis and Theology (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2011).

Bredin, Mark. The Ecology of the New Testament: Creation, Re-Creation, and the Environment (Colorado Spring: Biblical, 2010).

Davis, Ellen. Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Earth Bible Series edited by Norman Habel and Vicki Balabanski for Sheffield Academic Press.

Fretheim, Terence. God and World in the Old Testament: A Relational Theology of Creation (Nashville: Abingdon, 2005).

The Green Bible (New York: HarperCollins, 2008).

Habel, Norman and Peter Trudinger, editors. Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008).

Hiebert, Ted. The Yahwist’s Landscape: Nature and Religion in Early Israel (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009).

Horell, David G. The Bible and the Environment: Towards a Critical Ecological Biblical Theology (London: Equinox, 2010).

Horell, David, Cherryl Hunt, and Christopher Southgate. Greening Paul: Reading the Apostle in a Time of Ecological Crisis (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2009).

Marlow, Hillary. Biblical Prophets and Contemporary Environmental Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

Rhoads, David. “Who Will Speak for the Sparrow: Eco-Justice Criticism of the New Testament” in Literary Encounters with the Kingdom of God: Essays in Honor of Robert Tannehill, edited by Sharon Ringe and Hyun Chul Paul Kim (New York: T & T Clark, 2004) 64-89.

Rossing, Barbara. “River of Life in God’s New Jerusalem: An Ecological Vision for Earth’s Future” in Rosemary Radford    Ruether, and Dieter Hessel, editors. Christianity and Ecology (Cambridge: Harvard University Press Center for World Religions, 1999) 205-224.

Simkins, Ronald.  Creator and Creation: Nature in the Worldview of Ancient Israel.  (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994)

Walker-Jones, Arthur. The Green Psalter: Resources for an Ecological Spirituality (Minneapolis: Fortress, 209).

Theological

Boff, Leonardo. Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1997).

Boff, Leonardo. Ecology and Liberation: A New Paradigm (Maryknoll: Orbis1995).

Bouma-Prediger, Steven. The Greening of Theology: The Ecological Models of Rosemary Radford Reuther, Joseph Sittler, and Jurgen Moltmann (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995).

Cone, James. “Whose Earth is It Anyway?” in Earth and Word: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet, edited by David Rhoads (New York: Continuum, 2007) 113-126.

Edwards, Dennis. Breath of Life: A Theology of the Creator Spirit (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2004).

Hessel, Dieter, editor. Theology for Earth Community: A Field Guide (Maryknoll: Orbis Press, 1996)

Kidwell, Clara Sue, Homer Noley, George E. “Tink” Tinker. A Native American Theology (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2002)

McFague, Sallie. A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2008).

Mortensen, Viggo. editor. Concern for Creation: Voices on the Theology of Creation (Uppsala: Tro & Tanke, 1995).

Nash, James. Loving Nature: Ecological Integrity and Christian Responsibility (Nashville: Abingdon, 1991).

Nash, James A. “Toward an Ecological Reformation of Christianity?” Interpretation 50:1 (1996) 5-15.

Rasmussen, Larry. “Waiting for the Lutherans,” Currents in Theology and Mission 2009 (37) 86-98.

Ruether, Rosemary. Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1992).

Santmire, Paul. The Travail of Nature: The Ambiguous Ecological Promise of Christian Theology (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985)

Santmire, Paul. Nature Reborn: The Ecological and Cosmological Promise of Christian Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2009).

Sittler, Joseph. Evocations of Grace: The Writings of Joseph Sittler on Ecology, Theology, and Ethics, edited by Peter Bakken and Steven Bouma-Prediger (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000).

Southgate, Christopher. The Groaning of Creation: God, Evolution, and the Problem of Evil (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2008).

Tillich, Paul. “Nature and Sacrament,” in The Protestant Era. Translated by James Luther Adams (Chicago: Chicago University press, 1948).

Wallace, Mark. Green Christianity: Five Ways to a Sustainable Future (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010).

Wallace, Mark. Finding God in the Singing River by Mark Wallace (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005).

Welker, Michael. Creation and Reality (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999).

Ethics

Berry, R. J. editor. Environmental Stewardship: Critical Perspectives—Past and Present (New York: T & T Clark, 2006).

Bullard, Robert, editor. The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution (San Francisco: Sierra Club, 2005).

Graham, Mark. Sustainable Agriculture: A Christian Ethic of Gratitude (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2005).

Hessel, Dieter and Rosemary Ruether, editors. Christianity and Ecology: Seeking the Well-Being of Earth and Community (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000).

Jenkins, Willis. Ecologies of Grace: Environmental Ethics and Christian Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

Martin-Schramm, James. Christian Environmental Ethics: A Case Study Approach (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2003).

Martin-Schramm, James. Climate Justice: Ethics, Energy, and Public Policy (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2010).

Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia. Healing a Broken World: Globalization and God (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2002).

Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia. Resisting Systemic Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013).

Northcott, Michael. Environment and Christian Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

Northcott, Michael. A Moral Climate: The Ethics of Global Warming (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2007)

O’Brien, Kevin J. An Ethics of Biodiversity: Christianity, Ecology, and the Variety of Life (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2010).

Rasmussen, Larry. Earth Community, Earth Ethics (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1996).

Ruether, Rosemary. Women Healing Earth: Third World Women on Ecology, Feminism and Religion (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1996).

Weaver, Jace, editor, Defending Mother Earth: Native American Perspectives on Environmental Justice (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1996).

Wirzba, Norman. Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).

Worship and Spirituality

Bingham, Sally, editor. Love God, Heal Earth (Pittsburgh: St. Lynn’s Press, 2009)

Clinebell, Howard. Ecotherapy: Healing Ourselves, Healing the Earth (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996).

Cosmic Grace, Humble Prayer: The Ecological Vision of the Green Patriarch Bartholomew I. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003).

Frohlich, Mary. “Under the Sign of Jonah: Studying Spirituality in a Time of Eco-Systemic Crisis,” Spiritus 9 (2009) 27-45.

Habel, Norman, Paul Santmire, and David Rhoads, editors. The Season of Creation: A Preaching Commentary (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011).

Holbert, John. Preaching Creation: The Environment and the Pulpit (Eugene: Cascade Books, 2011).

Hamilton-Poore, Sam. Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for God’s Creation (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2008).

Lathrop, Gordon. Holy Ground: A Liturgical Cosmology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003).

Maathai, Wangari. Replenishing the Earth: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World. New York: Doubleday, 2010.

McDuff, Mallory, editor. Sacred Acts: How Churches are Working to Protect Earth’s Environment (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society, 2012).

Moseley, Lindsay, editor. Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation, edited by Lindsay Moseley (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 2008).

Rhoads, David, editor. Earth and Word: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet (New York: Continuum, 2007).

Roberts, Elizabeth and Elias Amidon, editors. Earth Prayers From Around the World (San Francisco: HarperSan Francisco, 1991).

Santmire, Paul. Ritualizing Nature: Renewing Christian Liturgy in a Time of Crisis (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008).

Simpler Life, Compassionate Life: A Christians Perspective (Denver, CO: The Morehouse Group, 1999).

Speerstra, Karen. The Green Devotional: Active Prayers for a Healthy Planet. (San Francisco: Canari Press, 2010).

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

Taylor, Sarah McFarland, Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007).

Torgersen, Mark. Greening Spaces for Worship and Ministry: Congregations, Their Buildings and Creation Care (Herndon, VA: The Alban Institute, 2012).

Wild, Jeff and Peter Bakken. Church on Earth: Grounding Your Ministry in a Sense of Place (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2009).

Wirzba, Norman. The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).

The poetry of Wendell Berry, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Mary Oliver, and Gary Snyder.

 

Environment

Abram, David. The Spell of the Sensuous (New York: Random House, 1996).

Berry, Thomas. The Great Work: Our Way into the Future (New York: Bell Tower, 1999).

Berry, Thomas. The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and Religion in the Twenty-first Century (New York: Columbia University, 2009).

Berry, Thomas and Brian Schwimme, The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era—A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos (New York: HarperCollins, 1992)

Brown, Lester. Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (New York: W. W. Norton, 2008);

Coleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything (New York: Broadway Books, 2009)

Diamond, Jared. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. (New York: Penguin Books, 2005).

Hawken, Paul. Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice and Beauty to the World (New York: Penguin Books, 2007).

Goodenough, Usala. The Sacred Depths of Nature (New York: Oxford, 1998).

Jones, Van The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems (New York: HarperCollins, 2008).

Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (New York: HarperCollins, 2007).

Korten, David. The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2006).

Louv, Richard. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (Chapel Hill: Algonquin Press, 2008).

McKibben, Bill. Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (New York: Henry Holt, 2007).

McKibben, Bill. Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough Planet (New York: Henry Holt, 2010).

Orcutt, Andrea. Restoring Earth, Community, and Soul: Creating the Social, Economic, and Relgious Transformations Required by Global Warming (Evanston: Earth Community Press, 2011).

Suzuki, David. The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre: 2007).

Swimme, Brian. The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos: Humanity and the New Story (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2004).

Tallamy, Douglas. Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain the Wildlife with Native Plants (Portland: Timber Press, 2011).

Wessels, Cletus. Jesus in the New Universe Story (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2006).

Weston, Anthony. Back to Earth: Tomorrow’s Environmentalism (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994).

Weston, Anthony. Mobilizing the Green Imagination: An Exuberant Manifest (Gabriola Islands, BC: New Society Publishers, 2012).

Wilson, E.O. The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006).

 

Ecological Primers

Golley, Frank. A Primer for Environmental Literacy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998).

Orr, David. Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World (Albany: Srtate University of New York Press, 1992).

Slobodkin, Lawrence. A Citizen’s Guide to Ecology (New York: Oxford, 2003).

Dashefski, Steven. Environmental Literacy: Everything You Need to Know about Saving Our Planet, The A-to-Z Guide (New York: Random House, 1993).

Fortey, Richard. Earth: An Intimate History (New York: Random House, 2004).

YOUTH: How can YOUR decisions impact your global neighbor?

While the following pledge form was originally poised to the hundreds of Lutheran youth attending the 2018 Gathering in Houston, these questions help people of any age recognize their impact and how many tools their are to make changes of habit that offer fulfilling prayerful actions to every step of their day.  To put the questions in context check out the walk through presentation: Your Day – Your Global Neighborhood.

As you consider the unintended impacts of our daily actions,  commit with hundreds of other youth to try a few things differently. Our collective prayers are being listened to – our collective actions are being felt:

Water discipleship tools – fresh from Vermont!

Vermont Lutheran Church partners with Interfaith Power & Light to Share the Various Ways to Revere Water:

In 2018, Vermont Interfaith Power and Light (VTIPL) joined with local organizations to create a model for watershed stewardship, based on the experience of Ascension Lutheran Church in South Burlington, Vermont.  The Reverend Dr. Nancy Wright, pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church, and Richard Butz, a member of the church, are co-authors of the manuals. Rev. Nancy Wright is also a chairperson of the New England Synod’s Lutherans Restoring Creation “Green Team”. 

VTIPL has created two manuals, one with a Christian emphasis, Congregational Watershed Discipleship Manual: Faith Communities as Stewards of the World’s Waters (1st Christian edition) and another with an interreligious emphasis, Congregational Watershed Manual: Religious Communities as Stewards of the World’s Waters (1st Interreligious edition).

Each one of these inspiring and practical manuals is available by free download from the pdfs on VTIPL’s website (www.vtipl.org) and this website.  Alternatively, if you’d like one copy or multiple copies of the printed and bound manual(s), you can fill out and mail in the order form (attached below).  These are high resolution print copies, spiral bound to conveniently lie flat.  If you’d like to order one or more copies online, you can do this through the website of the organization Voices of Water for Climate (VOW).  VOW is working with VTIPL to take orders and distribute printed copies of the manuals.  Donations to VOW for printed copies will cover costs incurred, including shipping and handling.  The link to order online is below.

www.vow4climate.org/store 

(Email info@lutheransrestoringcreation.org if you are interested in going in on a bulk order with others!)

Blog from Lutheran Restoring Creation: Michael Ochs

This blog by Michael Ochs began in March 2011, and is adopted from his Creation Corner Column, appearing since 1997 in the print and on-line monthly ecumenical newsletter of the United Churches of Lycoming County, Williamsport PA.

Ochs earned a B.A. from Gettysburg College (1965), and a Master’s from Lock Haven University (1989), where he studied the international Green Party movement.

Be sure to “follow” if you’d like to be alerted when Ochs writes more! For recent and all past posts see his Blogspot page here!

Awakening to God’s Call to Earthkeeping

Download this free resource for a non-politicized, easy to follow path to help connect faith, eco-theology and the community we find at church.

Awakening_To_Gods_Call_To_Earthkeeping

A four-session small group study to encourage, empower, and equip Lutherans in their calling to care for creation; includes a leader guide.  Compiled by ELCA Deacon Kim Winchell, who was instrumental in the development of the Lutherans Restoring Creation movement, this is a timeless resource. and great first step to open people’s hearts and minds to what the environment has to do with church.

Water: “Living Water” Bible Study

•Opening Prayer:  Gracious God, we thank you for your many gifts, and especially for the gift of water that sustains all of life.  Bless us as we hear your word, like a spring to our lives of faith.  Amen.

 

•Reading: Psalm 104:10-15.  Read aloud three times, hearing from different voices.

•Discussion:

-How are God, water, and life interrelated?

-We often think of God’s act of creation as complete, but this psalm acknowledges that God continually creates and sustains life.  What evidence do you see of this today?

-How do you think this passage speaks to problems of water contamination?

•Reading: Psalm 107:33-38.  Read aloud three times, hearing from different voices.

•Discussion:

-What does this passage have to say about water and life?

-Is this image hopeful?  Why and/or why not?

-How does this psalm speak to us today?

•Reading: John 4:7-15.  Read aloud three times, hearing from different voices.

•Discussion:

-Imagine walking to a well to draw water each day.  How might this affect our understanding of water?

-In verse 9, the author explains the division between Jesus and the woman at the well: “Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.”  With regard to water, how is the world divided today?

-Why do you think Jesus uses the image of water to describe faith?

-Brainstorm further biblical references to water.  What do these images have to say about the human relationship to the world and to God?

Closing prayer: Loving God, you quench our thirst with the waters you have created. Sustain those without a secure source of water, and protect streams, rivers, wetlands, lakes, and oceans, and especially (local body of water or waterway), from harm.  We thank you for the gift of water, especially the living water of your Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

Transportation: “On the Way” Bible Study

Opening Prayer: Gracious God, we have gathered here from many places. Thank you for safe travels. Bless this time together. Amen.

Introductory discussion: Much of Jesus’ ministry took place on the way from one place to another. Thus, transportation is an important aspect of the Gospel stories.

What might inhibit us from thinking about transportation as an opportunity for living out our faith? (Isolation in cars? Transportation as simply a means of getting from here to there? Competition for road space? Stresses of traffic? “Road rage”? Etc.)

Reading and discussion: Read Luke 24:13-32 (The Road to Emmaus).

Why do you think the disciples fail to recognize Jesus?

What does it mean to meet Jesus on the way from place to place?

How can we understand the meaning of this story in light of car culture?

Reading and discussion: Read Luke 10:29-37 (The Good Samaritan). Jesus regularly taught with parables like this one.

Why do you think the priest and the Levite neglected to help the suffering man? (On the way to an important engagement? No time to spare? Social expectations?)

How can we understand the meaning of this story in light of car culture? How might we identify the neighbor given current transportation habits?

Reflection: What would it take to be faithful on the way from place to place?

How might we reconsider our transportation habits to provide for more opportunities to encounter Christ, to encounter the neighbor?

Do we have nonhuman neighbors? How does our mode of transportation affect how we encounter them?

Closing Prayer: Gracious God, we thank you for your vast creation, of which we are a part. Hold your creation in mercy and love. Amen.

 

 

Justified by Land and Faith

Christian Faith and Environmental Ethics: Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac and Luther’s Freedom of A Christian

A timeless reflection shared by Marcia Bunge at Luther College in 1994 . Here Bunge relates the writings of revered conservationist, Aldo Leopold with the Doctrine of Creation and Justification from the Lutheran/Christian traditions.

click here to download

 

 

 

Resources for Creation Care Congregations

The goal of the LRC program is to incorporate creation care into the full identity and mission of your congregation and to foster an ethos in which everyone considers creation care to be part of your life together and your witness to their community. Therefore, choose actions and programs that contribute to this goal.

As you work your creation care congregational program, you may want to expand the choices for the action plan to make bolder plans, to draw upon particular assets, and to address local needs and opportunities.

LRC Self-Organizing Kit. This manual, available here on this site, or as a download, has many ideas for eliciting the full participation of the congregation as well as some principles for pursuing creation-care. There is also an excellent manual for congregations developed by students at Luther College, with many ideas and resources.

An Expanded Action Plan. The congregational self-organizing kit includes a much fuller action plan following the same categories as in your action plan: worship, education, building and grounds, personal discipleship, and public witness/policy advocacy. You will find there more choices and links to more resources. Explore the site for additional ideas.

Renewing your program and taking advanced steps. The manual includes many ideas for maintaining a vital creation care program and for taking it to the next level. If you find that the actions in the action plan have been exhausted by your efforts or you want more choices, consult the ideas in these sections, which come at the end of the manual.

Stories. For ideas and inspiration from others, spend some time on this site to see what programs and projects have been carried out by other Lutheran congregations.  Check out the ever-growing list of contacts on the Creation Care Ministries Map and look for local inspiration.

Theological foundations. There are reflections for each of the five areas (advocacy, building/grounds, education, personal discipleship worship), identifying the biblical, theological, and ethical foundations for choosing programs and taking actions in each area of the action plan. These are helpful for study sessions or adult forums.

Professional coaching support. As the ELCA has offered coaching support for years as members work on stewardship programs, a Caring for Creation specialty program is in development. If your green team is at a point that they have some goals, but don’t know how to put it anything into action, you are likely in need of some coaching sessions to set some mile-markers along the way.

Be creative. We encourage you to develop your own resources for this program. And we hope you will share them with us! so that we can energize and inspire other congregations to join this effort to restore creation.

 

 

Youth Gather and We All Grow!

Back in the summer of 2018 hundreds of youth and group leaders visited our Lutherans Restoring Creation space in the Interactive Educational Area during the National Youth Gathering in Houston.

Every visitor was asked to spend about 5 minutes walking through a “tour” of their typical day and consider how their daily decisions impacted their global neighbors. 

Thank you Notes to GOD – for all the gifts given to us that we don’t have to pay for.

We don’t have to let it end there though!  Get your youth group (or adult forum, or bible study, or family…) to read through the tour with pledge form in hand (or on screen) and find solutions in a prayerful way of living.  If you use our online form we can stay on touch with you and let your synod leadership know what you’re aiming for.

Click here to download the “walk through” program – share it as a power point or print it out to pass around. Pledge form in pdf form can be downloaded here (let us know how it goes!) 

The two most requested tools for Youth Groups to use as follow up to this discussion starter:

Story of Stuff 20 minute video. (Ask your group what challenges they have with their “golden arrow.”)

Know No Trash Program

 

Devotional resources for use with the Bible and nature

The Green Bible (Harper Bibles, 2008). New Revised Standard Version that highlights in green print all passages related to nature throughout the Bible. Wonderful for personal devotion. Excellent introductory articles on Bible and Ecology by N.T. Wright, Barbara Brown Taylor, Brian McLaren, Matthew Sleeth, Pope John Paul II, and Wendell Berry.

Green Bible Devotional: A Book of Daily Readings (Harper Collins, 2009) A book of sixty daily readings, each of which is based on a “green-letter” passage in the Bible. Meditations and prayers follow the themes of water, air, land use, animal protection, human health, and responsible stewardship.

Stewardship of Creation: 30 Days with Nature (Prepared by students at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago) With daily Bible passages and reflections for personal use. Download, copy, and fold as a booklet to be distributed to congregations as shared devotional material.

Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer with God’s Creation Edited by Sam Hamilton-Poore (Upper Room Books, 2008) An excellent collection of scripture passages, hymns, prayers, blessings, and quotations for forty days of devotions for personal use. Good resource also for opening and closing meetings.

 

 

Creation Care Congregation: Public Witness/Policy Advocacy Ideas

Public Witness/Policy Advocacy: “Church exists to serve the world”

Hands-on project. Learn what environmental projects are happening in your area and what organizations are sponsoring them. Recruit members of your congregation to partner with them in the effort. Restore a habitat, clean up trash, plant trees.

Informational forums. Learn what environmental organizations are in your community and invite a representative of one or more to present a forum on their program. Promote the ways that your congregation can support their efforts. If you feel called to speak on climate change, there are tools available to help you communicate about the issue effectively according to behavioral science studies. Go to ecoAmerica’s Blessed Tomorrow site for a Moving Forward guide and consider taking their course to train others ineffective climate communication.

Legislative forum. Invite the head of the Lutheran Public Policy office in your area to preach and present a forum at your congregation. Or invite a local official familiar with local state and regional issues around the environment. If there is a critical issue in your area, plan a forum for information and conversation about it.

Action alerts: Invite members to sign up to receive action alerts via e-mail from ELCA e-Advocacy Network: http://www.elca.org/en/Our-Work/Publicly-Engaged-Church/Advocacy/Get-Involved. The process for contacting legislators is made very simple.

Partner with other faith communities. Join with others seeking to green their congregations. If no such organization exists, start one by asking the green team of one or more other congregations to meet with you and share ideas. Or, if you have been active for several years, offer to mentor another congregation in becoming a creation-care community.

These ideas are also shared in our congregational self-organizing kit. For more details, visit this page.

Creation Care Congregation: Personal Discipleship Ideas

Discipleship at home and work: “Love your neighbor”

Personal Covenant with Creation: Plan a worship service in which members can identify the Earth-friendly practices they are willing to commit to at home and work. Use a brief ritual that makes these commitments a stewardship offering. Our online form helps you save paper and participants will be sent a copy of what they pledged. Use the link at our site under Personal Discipleship and those eager to make change can be connected with other members of ELCA churches across the country.

Conduct a workshop on making your home Earth-friendly. Use the material available in the Comprehensive Environmental Guide for Congregations, Their Buildings and Grounds as a guide to inform members about the areas of greening they can do.

Support groups. Excellent for change of habits and accountability for “eco-recovery.” Use Simpler Living, Compassionate Life [www.earthministry.org].

Devotional resources: Recommend creation-care resources to members for personal devotions, like this “Stewardship of Creation: A Thirty Day Discipline.” Ask people to sign up to follow a discipline with a resource for a season of the church year.

A retreat in nature. Take a walk outside the next nice day after worship. Lead a retreat for people to get closer to the natural world. For guidelines, see http://www.letallcreationpraise.org/retreat-on-awe-and-mystery

These ideas are also shared in our congregational self-organizing kit. For more details, visit this page.