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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.