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Your LRC Synod Training Coordinator
Phoebe Morad




FEATURE STORIES

Central States Synod Gather for
 LRC Retreat

Central States Synod voted to become a Lutherans Restoring Creation synod in June 2015 and empowered the LRC Mission Table to begin working on ways to help congregations care for creation through worship, education, buildings and grounds, discipleship and stewardship, and education.  February 27 & 28 they hosted a retreat at Camp Tomah Shinga in Junction City, KS for over 20 people excited to help churches in their communities integrate eco-justice in their ministries.   
[Read More]




Northern Illinois Synod's 2nd "Greening Congregations"
Workshop 
At Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center on February 20, 2016 thirty people from 14 congregations gathered for a workshop on greening churches. Bishop Gary Wollersheim opened with devotions and also participated in discussions. From veteran green teams to budding groups, the participants learned from each other and shared resources throughout the day. "It was great to hear these success stories as we have been working on greening since 2008." - George Davis, Green Team Member

New England Synod's Bishop Hazelwood Connects with Catholics over Climate (and other) Changes
On the heels of the Pope's Encyclical encouraging caring for our common home, two religious leaders in New England came together this month in agreement that the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is a time to see how churches can work together to solve some of our most pressing justice issues: including the state of our planet and those least capable of adapting to increasing natural disasters and public health concerns.
Copy of Bilateral Letter from Cardinal O'Malley and Bishop Hazelwood's attached below.
Also pdf below: quick look at what NE Synod Congregations are already doing. 

Synod Assemblies across the nation resolve to clean up their energy investments, focus on caring for creation and encourage the ELCA to observe an Eco-Reformation in 2017.
Keep checking the Resolutions page for copies of passed resolutions, talking points and sample workshop presentations.

Southeastern Synod's Green Team proves to be a force to
be reckoned with!
The Southeastern Synod decided to enlist a caring for creation "task force" at their 2013 Synod Assembly and since then a small band of powerful people across several states have gained momentum. After meeting as a small group several times to set goals and asses personal assets, the team embarked on a two day retreat in March 2014 to brainstorm and educate themselves on the tools and challenges of this ministry. Just this June, their assembly passed a memorial to go to the 2016 Churchwide assembly asking for more investments in cleaner energy. Reaching out and sharing their resources at the South Carolina Synod Assembly, this team is passionate about sharing significance of the vocation of being a good steward to their brothers and sisters in Christ. They even created calendars with artwork from a variety of artists throughout their synod with daily reminders of basic steps we can take to care for creation. 
 
Carers for Creation Collaborate in the Northeast to Support the Earth and One Another
 Check out the list of assets all these people bring to the table and how many forces are represented here. See notes posted at the bottom from our January 2015 Gathering at Hartford Seminary. Watch out despair - this alliance remembers how to put hope in action!








Caring for Creation: An Environmental Workshop for People of Faith 
Lutherans Restoring Creation of the Northwest Pennsylvania Synod held a workshop on September 13, 2014 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Erie, Pennsylvania.
  The workshop was advertised for all people of faith.It was planned and organized by three people (Janet Bischoff, Dennis Groce, and Rev. Kenneth Laber) who had received LRC training in the previous couple of years at Gettysburg Seminary. [Read More]
 


Lutherans Call for Repeal of “Fracking Loopholes”   On the recommendation of a bipartisan task group, the Upper Susquehanna Synod Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) voted on June 20, 2014, to call for all environmental and public health exemptions on shale gas and oil drilling and its related processes, known as the “Halliburton loopholes,” to be repealed and all processes related to shale gas and oil extraction and processing to be subject to the Safe Drinking Water Act (1974), the Clean Air Act (1990) and Clean Water Act (1972). See entire Press Release attached at bottom.
ANOTHER Resolution Passed! Minneapolis Area Synod just passed this on Climate Change. 
Read Resolution & Rationale attached at bottom. 
What do we do to make sure our resolutions matter? To join the discussion be sure you are on the Synods Networking News to share ideas about what is happening in other regions. Email Phoebe Morad to be added to the list. 

Youth Volunteers Improve Energy Efficiency at Koinonia

How many young people does it take to screw in a light bulb? What sounds like the start to an overused joke was in fact a serious question last weekend when high school youth recruited by Metropolitan NewYork Synod's Environmental Stewardship Committee volunteered to help improve energy efficiency at Koinonia Camp. Led by Pastor John Flack of Christ, Floral Park, and Brandon Chenevert, staff member at Koinonia, the team of ten youth spent two days making simple improvements to the camp's facilities that will save both energy and money in the long term. [Read More]

Tales from a Green Sheep

About a dozen and a half Lutherans converged on Singmaster House at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg for a two-day seminar on caring for God’s creation. We shared hopes and dreams - we talked about worship, education, advocacy, buildings, and grounds - we developed plans, as individuals and within our synods - good Lutherans that we all are, we talked and ate - and we worshiped together.  [Read More] 


"Let's keep on keeping on living as we want the world to be!"
Nancy Urban, LRC New England Synod


New England Synod Takes the Challenge
At the New England 2013 Assembly, June 7-9, voters agreed to urge the restraint of hydraulic fracturing and request an eventual divestment of church funds from fossil fuel companies. LRC Synod Trainer, Nancy Urban, was also there to challenge everyone passing by to see how "cool" their congregation was with a game giving points to those who have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Beyond winning a delicious piece of Fair Trade chocolate as an reward for playing the game, we learned as a community that we are ready to take on the most meaningful challenges of caring for creation. While progress was made on paper and good conversation, it must be seen how the actions of our members and congregations enact the good intentions of these statements. See full versions of what was voted on at the bottom of this page.

Climate Change Revival - New England Congregations Unite
The weekend that Boston's Copley Square re-opened after the devastating Marathon Bombings brought healing and refreshment in many forms. A large gathering of ecumenical environmental groups gathered for worship and networking all day of April 27th. LRC was one of many featured groups at a poster session. New England ELCA Bishop Hazelwood was part of a panel discussion commenting on critical nature of climate change as a social justice issue. Read more.


Nurturing a Network and Celebrating a Season of Creation

The mission of the Northwest Minnesota Synod Creation Care Team is “to nurture a growing network that inspires our congregations and their members to live out God's call to be stewards of the earth for the sake of the whole creation.” At their first retreat in February, the Team did just that.  Read More

Many Voices Come Together to Make Big Reverberations

Twenty-nine Lutherans from across Pennsylvania and beyond gathered at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA, the last weekend in January to become LRC trainers.  They were empowered to return to their synods and congregations with the tools, connections and renewed faith to restore creation.  Read more.




NETWORKING:
SYNOD CONTACTS AND REPORTS
 
Find out who are the "green sheep" in your region and how to connect with them: call Phoebe at 617-599-2722. 

 
Submit a Report on what your synod is doing for creation care.


A Speakers Bureau has been gathered to represent a number of informed leaders in the ELCA capable of serving as conference speakers, panel participants, and workshop leaders for events sponsored by congregations, synods, seminaries, ministeriums, colleges, and other agencies of the church. [Learn More]

RESOURCES FOR GREENING YOUR SYNOD 
 You may download these resources, print, adapt, and reproduce for your use.
  • LRC Manual for ELCA Synods (pdf listed at bottom of page)
SIX ECO-RESOURCES FOR SYNOD CONVENTIONS
1. Host a Presentation or Workshop:
  • Power Point templates for "Greening Your Congregations" and "Introduction to Lutherans Restoring Creation" (or feel free to make your own),
  • Print samples of our resources, encourage conversation and networking, and record everyone's name, passions, and contact information to stay engaged with each other. Use the resources listed HERE (or ask to be invited to our Dropbox account with a LOT more information). Contact Phoebe Morad at pheebscongo@gmail.com.  
2. Care for Creation Worship:
3. Propose resolutions:
4. Staff a display table or booth with information:
5. Use Environmental "best practices" at your synod assembly


TRAINING WORKSHOPS

LCR is committed to training a small group of leaders from each of the ELCA synods to bring care-for-creation more deeply into congregations in their synod and in the life of the synod as a whole. The one or two day training workshops include information about the degradation of the environment and the related issues of human justice. The workshop offers congregational resources and strategies for congregations in worship, education, building and grounds, discipleship at home and work, and public ministry and advocacy. Synods and congregations are a linchpin for significant work in caring for creation. LRC has completed three training workshops for representative leaders from 12 synods.

The Training Workshop Plan: LRC has developed a working agreement with participating synods. The bishop of each synod and a representative of the synodical creation-care committee sign a document of agreement.


LRC agrees to:

· Provide training for 3 to 5 representatives of the synod

· Covers all expenses for trainingeco-faith

· Offers a grant of $500.00 to the synod to plan and carry out an eco-faith event for their synod


Each synod agrees to

· Send representatives will participate in the training event

· Who in turn will train six new congregations in their synod in creation care

· Who will host an eco-justice event planned by them for all interested congregations sometime in the year following the workshop.


The aim is to train synodical representatives who will in turn train congregational leaders.  


See the List of Resources made available to participants at the Training Event
  
If you would like to explore training for leaders in your synod, contact Phoebe Morad, pheebscongo@gmail.com

Past Workshops:

Southeastern Synod Green Team 
Care for Creation Retreat, March 7 & 8th, Woodstock, GA (see brochure attached below) Report and Photos

Chicago, October 2010. On October 1-2, 2010, LRC sponsored a two-day training session at the Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Center in Oregon, IL. Five synods in the ELCA: Greater Milwaukee, Louisiana Texas, Gulf Coast, New England, Oregon, and Southeastern Minnesota. The program was organized and led by Alycia Ashburn along with members of the LRC steering committee. Twenty-five people from the representative synods participated in this event (fifteen under 35 years of age). See the Agenda.

Mid-Atlantic Synods. Mar-Lu-Ridge Retreat Center, MD, November 2011. On November 4-5 of 2011, we repeated the training with nineteen leaders representing six Mid-Atlantic synods at Mar-Lu-Ridge Conference Center in Jefferson, MD: New Jersey, Southeastern Pennsylvania, Upper Susquehanna, Delaware-Maryland, Metro-Washington, and Virginia-Western Maryland. This was led by Alycia Ashburn, Mary Minette, as well as Brian Brandt and Phoebe Morad, who attended the first training workshop in 2010. There was much enthusiasm and positive feedback from this training event. List of Participants     See the Agenda

Twin Cities, MN, March 2012. In March 2012, LRC sponsored a one-day training event in the Twin Cities for leaders from two synods: Minneapolis Synod and St. Paul Synod. This was a unique training event in that it was a hybrid between a training event for synodical leaders and a workshop for creation-care team representatives of congregations. Twenty eight people gathered representing eleven congregations in these two synods. They were trained to initiate new teams or to strengthen those already existing. At the same time, leaders of the synod were trained who have made a commitment to seek out eco-justice leaders in other Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin synods and take responsibility to train them for their synod. See Notes from the Workshop.


Pennsylvania Synods: January 25-26, 2013 at the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.  Read a report of the workshop

Northeastern Regional Gathering/Reunion: August 8-10, 2013 at the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. Read response from attendee, Lousia Rettew from St. John's in Sweet Air MD.

Metro-Chicago Synod

Between Economy and Ecology: April 6 2013 A stewardship workshop for seminarians, pastors and leaders in ELCA congregations at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. <learn more>  Schedule included.

 

  
 
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