Tag Archives: board of directors

Heidi Ann Michelsen

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

Pastor Jeff Schlesinger

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.

Christyn Kochmann

Christyn is a second-generation ordained ELCA pastor and first-generation environmental activist. Her experiences at a Lutheran summer camp in Ohio led her to seminary in Berkeley, California, where she met her husband and also her love for environmental stewardship. She’s especially passionate about using modern media and Christian theology to share the good news of caring for creation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese language and philosophy from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Camp Tomah Shinga (ELCA), Junction City, KS, and has previously served as a Bishop’s Associate in the Central States Synod.
Christyn’s current call is as a hospital chaplain outside of Kansas City, where she also serves as co-pastor alongside her husband in an ELCA redevelopment congregation.

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.

Phoebe Morad, Executive Director

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.


Rev. Dr. Barbara R. Rossing

As professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, she loves to teach and preach about the Bible, including the Bible’s role in public life. An avid environmentalist, Rossing is involved with environmental initiatives at the seminary. She served as pastor of a congregation in Minnesota, director for Global Mission Interpretation for the American Lutheran Church, pastor at Holden Village Retreat Center, Chelan, Wash., and chaplain at Harvard University Divinity School. Rossing has lectured and preached widely, including synod assemblies and global mission events for the ELCA, as well as ecumenical theological conferences. She has served on the executive committee and council of the Lutheran World Federation (2003-2010), and chaired the Lutheran World Federation’s theology and studies committee. As a public theologian her media appearances have included “CBS Sixty Minutes” as well as The History Channel, National Geographic, Living the Questions, and numerous print and radio interviews. She is also an active member of our eco-reformation speakers bureau.

Ruth M. Ivory-Moore

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 Davidson, Board Treasurer

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.

Pat Almonrode, Board Secretary

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.”

Russ Senti, Board Chair

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.