Connie Barclay

My name is Connie Barclay, member of First Lutheran in Decorah, IA. Currently I serve as the chair of our Green Team/Property Committee. My awareness of the need to nurture our precious earth is a confluence of events and opportunities over the last decades. I am employed at Luther College, which is highly committed to green practices and takes pains to inform and educate its community of the need to reduce our carbon footprint. Working with two passionate educators, Professors Jim Martin-Schramm and Ruth Kath, I have been involved in the planning of several greening conferences and events. I also serve as co-editor of the colleges and universities page of Lutherans Restoring Creation.

My work on the Green Team began as a result of First Lutheran hosting one of the first Cool Congregation workshops, sponsored by Iowa Interfaith Power and Light. Following in the footsteps of good leadership which had already completed an overhaul of our HVAC system and a large insulation project, our Green Team has continued to identify areas where we can improve energy usage and inform our members of the need for personal commitment to Creation Care. We participate in the Energy Stewards Initiative which helps us track our energy usage and aided us in earning an Energy Star certificate in 2012.

At home, my husband and I have changed many habits and continually look for ways to improve our energy usage and reduce waste. We became avid locavores after reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Our freezers are brimming with produce and meat which we have either grown ourselves or purchased at the local farmers market. While it is easy to become discouraged at the world’s indifference, we continue to see care of creation as an opportunity to practice our faith on a daily basis.