The Environmental Stewardship Team (EST) at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN (a congregation of some 6,000 people on a campus of three sizable buildings) was founded nine years ago.
Jim Malkowski, a retired naturalist who started a large nature/environmental center and served 21 years as CEO of two centers, is co-founder of the group and was its chairman until recently. He reports on the work of EST:
“A few of our achievements over the years have been co-sponsoring a wind generator on a co-campus with a high school, converting our 3 buildings to all LED lighting, an annual week-end devoted to a church-wide environmental messaging (called “Caring for Creation Weekend” – “C4C Weekend”) including exhibits, music, literature and a sermon.
“We have met monthly for nine years, formulated on-going 3-Year Planning Projections integrated into the church’s 10-Year Plans, and recently applied a $10,000 grant into a comprehensive recycling/composting program. We are now in our second year working toward solar energy for St. Andrews, conducting walk-through planning estimates from contractors. So, it’s been an active nine years.
“While we have the basic support of pastors’ leadership, we have yet to achieve comprehensive support to declare our church as a “Green Congregation,” a goal we continue to calculatingly pursue, vis-a-vis the Lutherans Restoring Creation Manuals. As the church’s EST, we are on the verge of much more fully integrating our work into the full mainstream of this Church’s worship and outreach. Truly, it is a “Lutherans Restoring Creation” movement.”