Lutherans Restoring Creation
Training Events for Synodical Eco-Justice Leaders
Mobilize synod representatives to train congregations: 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.
Three measurable goals related to the Training Event.
1. Active participation and commitment by synod representatives in the training events.
2. Training of six new congregations by those trained from each participating synod.
3. Synod-wide Creation-Care Event in each of the participating synods
LRC Training Events: So far, LRC has held three workshops covering twelve synods. Here is a brief report of each.
Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Center, IL, 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).
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 received at the first training workshop2010 in. There was much enthusiasm and positive feedback from this training event.
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.
Projected Workshops: Plans are in process for holding the following workshops sometime during the next calendar year.
South Central Wisconsin and nearby Synods. We are projecting a one-day training event in 2013 for synod leaders the South Central Wisconsin Synod. We will invite other nearby synods to participate. There continues to be a strong commitment on the part of LRC and the South Central Wisconsin Creation-Care committee. We are in process of developing the necessary organizational leadership to bring this event to fruition.
Pennsylvania Synods: This training will take place on January 25-26, 2013 at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. Phoebe Morad of the New England Synod is organizing this event and is working with a consulting group in Pennsylvania to recruit participants from each of the PA synods and to cooperate in planning and carrying out the workshop.
Washington State. We are on target to hold a training event for the ELCA synods in the state of Washington in the fall of 2013 or winter of 2014. Members of the Oregon Synod who participated in the LRC training event in 2010 have committed to giving leadership for this event. Brian Brandt of the Oregon synod is point person to get the personnel in place to make this happen. We are currently seeking someone to take organization responsibility for this workshop.
Long Term Training Workshop Plans: LRC is making a long term commitment to make available Creation-Care training for all synods of the ELCA. If all goes as planned, we will have training to more than one-third of the sixty-four synods by the end of 2013.