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.
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., 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.
Paul Santmire has been a leader in the field of ecological theology and ethics for more than fifty years. Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), he has served as a teaching theologian, churchwide activist, and parish pastor. 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.
Of Celebrating Nature by Faith, United Lutheran Seminary professor of theology, John Hoffmeyer, has written: “No theologian alive in the United States today has contributed more to a Christian theology of nature than Paul Santmire. This book brims with insights gathered and honed over more than a half century of prodding and equipping others to rise to the challenge of a cosmically capacious and materially grounded theology capable of meeting the ecological crisis facing our world today.”
Paul’s has been a critical voice for ecojustice and the celebration of nature since he first completed his Harvard doctoral dissertation 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.
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, 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 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.
We are honored that Pr. Tillman was on Lutherans Restoring Creation inaugural Board of Directors from 2017-2020. For an update on his work in the world, check out these stories from the church community he is blessed to be a part of since at Saint Philip’s Lutheran Church in Baltimore, MD:
Louis R. Tillman IV serves as senior pastor at St. Philip’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Baltimore, the oldest African American Lutheran Church in North America. He is a graduate of Carthage College, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and Air University. He is a board-certified chaplain accredited through the National Association of Veterans Affairs Chaplains and at the time of his ordination was the youngest African American ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
“Being involved with LRC renews my commitment to the caring of Creation and also gives me the opportunity to be immersed in current issues that are impacting both urban and rural areas and to be that voice, and bring these public issues theologically to the Seminaries as well to the laity.” While Pitts earned her M.Div. from Lutheran School of theology at Chicago she co-founded Seminarians for Justice, a student social justice group dedicated to utilizing our academics towards practical theology with involvement with the community outside its walls. Pitts also worked for several summers at Lutheran Outdoor Ministries in Illinois. She joined 35 faith leaders at a workshop in June 2016 at Union Seminary in New York on the science of climate change, resistance to fossil fuel infrastructure, environmental justice, and climate communication, including training from former Vice President Al Gore. You can read her work via her blog: and see her interviewed as part of the video series, EarthBound.
Rev. Mark Peters is currently serving as pastor at French River Lutheran Church in Duluth, Minnesota. (Read about his path to get there here.) He has served on the Board of Lutherans Restoring Creation since inception (2017) and was part of the original Steering Committee who convened in 2015.
Mark was the Executive Director for the Lutheran Coalition for Public Policy in Minnesota (LCPPM) from 1995-2013. Mark’s advocacy and education efforts at LCPPM focused on the passage of mercury reduction, renewable energy, local control, children’s environmental health (biomonitoring and health tracking – often referred to as tracking toxins) and Global Warming. A significant part of this work has been to establish and provide faith-based resources to congregation creation care teams in faith communities. Mark also manages his family farm in Wisconsin that has recently been awarded the Wildlife Habitat Stewardship Award for Richland County, Wisconsin for conservation practices and is a lifelong hunter and fisherman.
Mary has been engaged with LRC throughout its formation. Mary was director of environmental education and advocacy for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Washington Office from March 2006 to January 2016. During that time, she served as the North American representative to the Climate Change Advisory Group of the ACT Alliance, a global network of faith-based relief and development organizations; as president of the board of Creation Justice Ministries, formerly the National Council of Churches eco-justice program; and on the executive committee of the National Farm Worker Ministry board. Prior to joining the ELCA, Mary worked for a number of secular environmental organizations, serving as vice president of the Earth Day Network, legislative director for the League of Conservation Voters, and staff attorney with the National Audubon Society’s endangered species program and its trade and environment program. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Stanford University and a juris doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. She is a member of the bar in California and the District of Columbia. Mary is currently at Mercy Investment Services as director of shareholder advocacy.
Behold the Lilies, by the Rev. H. Paul Santmire, draws from the riches of the author’s long-standing work in the theology of nature and ecological spirituality, especially from his classic historical study, The Travail of Nature (1985), and from his Franciscan exploration in Christian spirituality, Before Nature (2014). In this new volume, Santmire maintains that those who would follow Jesus are mandated not just to care for the earth and all its creatures but also to contemplate the beauties of the whole creation, beginning with “the lilies of the field.” His first-person reflections range from “Scything with God” to “Rediscovering Saint Francis in Stone,” from “Taking a Plunge in the Niagara River” to “Pondering the Darkness of Nature.” Behold the Lilies offers brief spiritual reflections that can be read in any order, over a period of time. This accessible primer will be welcomed not only by those who have already identified themselves with the way of Jesus but also by others who are searching for a contemplative spirituality attuned to global ecological and justice issues.
Russ Senti served as the inaugural Board of Directors President of Lutherans Restoring Creation from 2016-2021. Russ has been involved with caring for creation from a very young age helping his Dad out with the family farm in upstate NY from 1963 – 1975. As the retired Executive Director of the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center (LOMC) in Illinois, he enjoyed caring for LOMC’s 640 acres that God has entrusted and educated other leaders in the ELCA on how they can be better stewards of what God has given them. His real passion is helping youth discover their role in caring for creation. That continues as he is happing “living the dream”, retired in Texas and frequently spending time with his grandchildren exploring God’s good earth.