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Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago Report

Green contacts:
Klaus-Peter Adam  kpadam@lstc.edu

Barbara Rossing   brossing@lstc.edu

Ben Stewart          bstewart@lstc.edu

LSTC is the Green Zone:
From students initiating an ink cartridge recycling program to professors requesting assignments on recycled paper, everyone participates creating a place dedicated to practicing care for the earth in its geographical space and its communal life.

A committee comprised of students, faculty, and staff meets regularly to carry out projects relating to the care for creation. The goal of the seminary as a Green Zone is to transform this community's life through the following areas: worship, education, lifestyle, building and grounds, public witness. There is a Green Zone Committee and regular meetings and programs.


The seminary graduates students who know that care for creation is an integral part of their Christian commitment that the church is called to be responsible partners in earth-keeping, and who also have training and resources to give leadership in their parish settings.



Lutheran School of Theology declares "Earth Year at LSTC: 2009-2010"

For more than 20 years, LSTC has been one of the greenest seminaries in the United States. It will deepen and share that commitment with the church through activities focused on care of creation during "Earth Year at LSTC" starting in August 2009.

Click here to read about it.

About LSTC and Creation Care:

LSTC has been active for 20 years in the development of our seminary as a Green Zone, defined as a place where the land, buildings, and community are earth-friendly. For our efforts, LSTC was identified as a Lead Institution by the organization Theological Education to Meet the Environmental Challenge (TEMEC). We were also recognized in the magazine Sojourners as a seminary in the forefront of environmental ministry.

The concept of the Green Zone involves an effort to be holistic in our approach, so that care for creation becomes part of the ethos of our entire seminary and our community. This involves innovations in 1) worship, 2) education, 3) building and grounds, 4) personal lifestyle of community members, and 5) public ministry/ political advocacy. Under the facilitation of David Rhoads (New Testament) and now Klaus-Peter Adam (Old Testament), there is a Green Zone Committee each year oriented to developing activities, actions, and programs for LSTC as a Green Zone.

1) Worship.

• “Blessing of the Animals” on St, Francis Day (October 1).

• Fall week of worship devoted to the environment that includes an opportunity
for community members to adopt a personal “Covenant with Creation.”

• Earth Week worship with special services and programs.

• Confessions, litanies, intercessions and hymns throughout the year.

• Greening of the chapel program with extensive presence of trees and plants.

• Continuous-flow baptismal font that is solar-powered.

• Seeking funds for large banner: “Let all Creation Praise God”

2) Education

• Course Offerings such as “Nature in the Bible,” “Greening Your Congregation,”
and “The Future of Creation." Eco-component of other courses, such as Constructive Theology and Public Ministry.

• An Environmental Ministry Emphasis.

• Field education opportunities, such as environmental internship projects and
placements in an environmental agency through the Urban CPE Program.

• “Graduates Night” in which the Green Zone provides dinner, an educational
program, and distribution of materials for parish ministry.

• Public Lecturess for the community each semester/ film showings.

• Occasional workshops on Greening the Congregation.

3) Building and Grounds

• Comprehensive recycling program for living units and main classroom buildings

• Retrofitting of lights in main building/ Compact fluorescent bulbs throughout

• No pesticides on lawn.

• Currently engaged in LED-certified remodeling in our main building

4) Personal Lifestyle of Community Members

• We encourage members to adopt a personal “Covenant with Creation"

• Distribution of pamphlet “Greening Your LSTC Apartment”

• Occasional opportunities for retreats

• Provide “Stewardship of Creation: Thirty Days of Devotions.”

5) Public Ministry/ Political Advocacy

• Offer occasional professional leadership conferences on Caring for Creation

• Sponsor a website, The Web of Creation, which provides ecological resources
for communities of faith (www.webofcreation.org).

• Sponsor the Green Congregation Program that offers training workshops.

• Provide manuals for congregations: The Green Congregation Training Manual
and The Environmental Guide for Churches, Their Buildings and Grounds. 

• Circulate petitions and offer letter-writing opportunities over environmental legislation.

• Participate in the Green Seminary Initiative (www.greenseminaries,org) designed to foster care for creation in all denominational seminaries through a network of contacts.

• The Web of Creation works to develop Green Synods within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America under the aegis of the Lutheran Earthkeeping Network of the Synods now transformed into Lutherans Restoring Creation at www.lutheransrestoringcreation.org.

Other Aspects of the program:

• LSTC pays for two workers each year to give leadership to the Green Zone

• As a student organization, the Green Zone Committee is eligible for about $600.00 a year for Green Zone activities.

• Fostered the publication of Earth and Word: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet, edited by David Rhoads (Continuum Press, 2007).


Report of Activities for 2006-2007

Meetings: Green Zone committee meetings were held once a month during the months of September, October, and November. At these meetings approximately six to eight students and faculty gathered to discuss how LSTC continues its journey as a Green Zone seminary.

Blessing of the Animals. In early October, the Green Zone group planned a blessing of the animals during an LSTC chapel service. This is one of the most popular events that Green Zone plans for the community. The event was well received by LSTC students, families, staff, and faculty members.

Inconvenient Truth. In October Green Zone sponsored a showing of the film on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth. This event was attended by approximately 30 LSTC students and their families plus members of other seminaries in Hyde Park.

Covenant with Creation. Green Zone sponsored a worship service in October that gave LSTC members an opportunity to make a covenant with creation to identify actions they will take on behalf of creation. During J-Term, Green Zone planned a chapel worship service.

Public Lectures. The focus of Green Zone during the spring semester revolved around planning two major lectures for the LSTC community. The first lecture on “Global Warming” was delivered by Dr. Raymond Pierrehumbert from Geo-Physics Department of the University of Chicago. The second lecture was held during earth week in April and was presented by Dr. Dwight Hopkins of the Divinity School at the University of Chicago on “Ecological Justice/ Environmental Racism.” This lecture was attended by over 120 people.

Senior Dinner. Dr. Pierrehumbert’s lecture followed LSTC’s Green Zone dinner for graduates in all programs. This dinner provides students with resources that will assist their ministry in ways that affirm creation.

Earth Week. Green Zone planned worship for the LSTC community during Earth Week in April. The major worship service on Wednesday was “The Greening of the Cross.”

Green Zone Workers: Ron Strobel and Heidi Murken served as the Green Zone workers for this year. Dan Durbin and Jason Chesnut will serve as Green Zone workers for the 2007-2008 academic year.



Web of Creation

© 2009 Green Seminary Network.