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:
Climate Justice and the Church – Power Point Presentation
Larry is a professor of chemical engineering at Kansas State University (see bio here) and an integral member of the Central States Synod LRC Mission Table.
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.
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.
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.
Back in 2006, I was certainly the only person in my UMass Boston cohort of Senate-aspiring public policy classmates to research a church as the focus of my case study. As an environmentalist growing up in the Lutheran church, I had always been frustrated by the assumption that I’m a bit of a hippy because I respect nature and conserve resources. In academic settings it was always unnerving to feel a need to muffle my faith in fear that it cast me as some sort of sheep following a herd. But, wasn’t it church communities in history that have influenced huge progress in the public sphere? Reformation, Liberation Theology, Civil Rights…
I was led to do a research project investigating the “social capital” of my congregation and tried to determine what factors were preventing my relatively liberal church community from simple changes like: ending the use of Styrofoam cups at coffee hour. After reading a lot of sociology and conducting a number of interviews with disparate factions in my church, I realized the lack of progress often came from simply having no catalyst. So, there was my calling: stop feeling isolated as the token “tree-hugger” and work to integrate some of my awareness into existing missions of the congregation, make it part of our faith conversation – not a guilt-trip or response to outside political pressure.
Six years later, after trying to instigate some changes in group behavior from my corner of the ring, I was invited to attend a Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC) training in Chicago. I got to meet then diaconical minister (now Deaconess), Kim Winchell, whose work I referenced in my master’s research (she never expected anyone else to read her thesis, much less source it!). Since then, I have been so grateful to discover a whole network of fellow Lutherans who see this work as critical to our mission in caring for one another as God’s gifts. The inspired writings of theologian, David Rhoads, gives legitimacy and focus to our work. The opportunity to meet with one another across the country refreshes and empowers us, just as every worship service is supposed to do. While there are many other parallel faith-based organizations within the larger eco-justice movement, LRC offers a unique invitation for Lutherans to connect and empower one another to be proud “green sheep” in their congregations and help those who may not yet understand our collective vocation to care for God’s good creation.
A decade after meeting the founders of this grassroots movement I am honored to be its Executive Director as LRC moves into the next chapter of it’s existence. With a foundation of materials from theologians, educators and clergy our network is now prepared to ensure these treasures are used to help people connect and empower their congregations to live their faith into the world… for the sake of the world.
Ruth is ELCA’s Program Director for Environment and Energy. She has had careers in chemical engineering, as a corporate legal counsel, and brings legal specialties including environmental law and climate change. She is married to Chuck Moore. They have two children and two grandchildren. She enjoys travelling; spending time with family and friends; and particularly planning large family gatherings. She continues to beinvolved with Christian education leadership in her church. Her other volunteer work includes chairing a young adult and youth leadership summit in southern Virginia. She is a member of the board of Creation Justice Ministries and a member of ACT Alliance’s Climate Change Group. She has given speeches or various environmental and climate change subjects.
Jim has worked for both regional and national public accounting firms and was certified by the Massachusetts Board of Accountancy in April of 1989. Jim has also worked in the private sector as an Accounting Manager and as a Controller. With over thirty years of experience he brings a wealth of knowledge to LRC. His first LRC event was in 2011 at a New England Synod green team event. As a member of House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Hingham, MA his leadership has always incorporated the sacred needs of the earth when President of the church council. His spiritual connection to the natural world is also mirrored in his mentorship of confirmation classes at Calumet Lutheran Ministries every summer.
I’m a progressive attorney spending most of my time ensuring that workers who’ve been taken advantage of by their employers receive fair compensation. I also have extensive experience as an organizer, having played a leading role in organizing NYC protests against the Keystone XL Pipeline, and in organizing the faith community’s participation in the 2014 People’s Climate March in NYC and the 2016 March for a Clean Energy Revolution in Philadelphia. I’m a longtime member of Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church in Manhattan, the Metro NY Synod’s Environmental Stewardship Committee, and 350NYC, a local affiliate of 350.org, the worldwide grassroots organization fighting climate change. I try very hard to take seriously the commitment we make in the offertory prayer to “dedicate our lives to the care and redemption of all that You have made.”
I have been involved with caring for creation from a very young age helping my Dad out with the family farm in upstate NY from 1963 – 1975. Most recently, as Executive Director of the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center (LOMC) in Illinois, I am responsible for not only caring for LOMC’s 640 acres that God has entrusted me with but to educate other leaders in the ELCA on how they can be better stewards of what God has given them. My real passion is helping youth discover their role in caring for creation.