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Phoebe Morad

While on staff with Earthwatch Institute and recruiting educators for our research programs, I worked on my Masters in Public Affairs at night. I was certainly the only person in my UMass Boston cohort of Senate aspiring classmates to research a church as the focus of my capstone project. As an environmentalist growing up in the Lutheran church I have always been frustrated by the assumption that I’m a bit of a hippy because I respect nature and conserve resources. I decided to research factors which held my church back from making better decisions regarding our impact on the planet. After reading a lot of sociology and conducting a number of interviews with disparate factions in my church, I realized the lack of action 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.

Six years later, after making several small advances to a more progressive attitude in our church, I was invited to attend a Lutherans Restoring Creation training in Chicago. I got to meet the diaconical minister, Kim Winchell, whose work I referenced in my capstone research (she never expected anyone else to read her thesis, much less source it!). Since then I have been so grateful to find 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 session is supposed to do. While there are many other sources of information and direction in this movement, having a specific link to the religion of my ancestors roots me like nothing else could.

Phoebe Morad is the Synodical Training Coordinator for LRC. For information on training for synod representatives, click here