Minutes for LRC Seminary Initiative Conference Call October 4, 2012

LRC Seminary Initiative:  

Minutes for Conference call 10-4-12 (see in bold)

NEXT MEETING THURSDAY NOVEMBER 8 AT 4:00 (ET)

 

Steering Committee members:  Lisa Dahill (facilitator, TLS): Mark Brocker (PLTS); Dan Brunner (George Fox); Samuel Giere (WLS)Shauna Hannan (LTSS); Cynthia Moe-Lobeda (Seattle U.); Richard Perry (LSTC); Nelson Rivera (LTSP); Barbara Rossing (LSTC), Jim Schaal (LSTC), Kathryn Schifferdecker (Luther Sem); Jim Martin-Schramm (Luther College), John Spangler (LTSG); Gil Waldkoenig (LTSG)

 

On the call: Mark Brocker, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Barbara Rossing, Jim Schaal, John Spangler, Dave Rhoads.

 

1. Introductions and prayer. From Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for God’s Creation by Sam Hamilton-Poore.

 

2. Co-Chairs for 2012-2013 academic year: Lisa Dahill. Gil Waldkoenig had to withdraw due to other unexpected responsibilities. Therefore, we need a co-chair to work with Lisa during this year until John Spangler is available next year.  Please be in touch with Lisa if you are willing to be part of just a few “executive committee” members to give direction and plan conference calls with the entire steering committee.

 

3. The name: LRC Seminary Initiative or Lutheran Seminary Initiative? Participants agreed with the first and noted that it allows us to include persons from non-Lutheran Seminaries and Canadian Seminaries. They liked “initiative” better than “network” as being proactive. They suggested we always spell it out as Lutherans Restoring Creation Seminary Initiative—so people get to know LRC.

 

4. The composition of the steering committee. OK. And they recommended that each seminary representative on the steering committee designate another person to serve as partner and back-up so that if one person cannot be on the phone call, the other might. Mark Brocker e-mailed afterward with a suggestion from Alicia Vargas that PLTS add a student on the steering Committee, along with Mark. I like it!!

 

5. First goal is that each seminary has a green team and reports the status, composition, and plans for 2012-2013. [Stories, case studies, interesting news for LRC web site]. Please do so to Dave Rhoads ASAP. [Are Green Teams in place at every seminary, who are the contacts, and does each have a faculty, board member, administrator, faculty and students?]

Gettysburg: First green team meeting is scheduled, focus on composting, Blessed Earth Alliance.

LSTC: Environmental Ministry emphasis has met and has a strong group; setting up solar panels as gifts from senior classes, green zone workers, new composters, blessing of the animals.

PLTS: Mark has contacted Christopher Evans and Alicia Vargas as on-campus representatives. Will report on developments.

It was suggested that reps from each seminary send a half-page report listing meetings, members of green team and plans for the year. Dave will request these.

 

6. Certification programs update. Blessed Earth Seminary Stewardship Alliance & GreenFaith Seminary Certification Program are emerging networks. Brunner & Waldkoenig will attend a BE SSA conference in September and report to this committee. Same individuals were GreenFaith Fellows and will be able to report GreenFaith Seminary Certification developments when they take next steps.

John Spangler reported on the Blessed Earth Alliance meeting at Asbury Seminary: range of seminaries represented, good speakers, and seed grants for variety of projects. Barbara will contact Matthew Speeth about new participants. More at next meeting from Dan Brunner and Gil Waldkoenig. 

 

7. Next meeting time: Thursday November 8 at 4:00 ET. AGREED. Put it on your calendar!!

 

8. Other items to discuss and assign leadership.

·         Challenge to seminaries – goals benchmarks. Compare Presidents Climate Commitment among colleges/universities http://rs.acupcc.org/ No discussion

 

·         Disciplines profiles for LRC web site. Ecological hermeneutics in biblical studies, environmental ethics in theological ethics, eco-theology, ecological spirituality, environmental history and religion. Dave suggested we can send messages and requests to the entire faculty at each seminary by having steering committee reps pass them on to their faculty.

 

·         Bishops Ready Bench on Environment – involve them in this group No Discussion

 

·         Deans and presidents meetings – get the agendas, get on the agendas No Discussion

 

·         Facebook page for LRC – get students to jump-start John Spangler will bring this up at their green team meeting with students at Gettysburg to see if they want to spearhead this. Jim Schaal at LSTC has a student worker dealing with social media and will see if that person could assist. All agreed it would be an LRC site focused on seminaries but perhaps done in a way to engage alumni and others? Dave suggested we need five or more people committed to visiting the site and posting comments regularly. All of this exploratory.

 

·         Meeting again in person – money to do so; grant-writing No Discussion.

 

From Lisa Dahill:

·         Here's a possible additional item for the agenda: to pursue whether anyone would be interested in applying for a Wabash Center grant together, on teaching ecology (and theology/spirituality) in seminaries. I talked to Paul Myhre about this in July or August and he encouraged me to find a group of colleagues and apply for a grant. I thought this group might be a good place to start. Dan Brunner, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, and Barbara Rossing expressed interest with a desire to contact all faculty to see if others are interested. They asked if Lisa might take initiative on this, contact faculty through the steering committee (by asking them to pass on a message to faculty), and set up a call with those interested.

 

From Dave Rhoads:

·         Funding sources: Gettysburg Seminary devoted offerings for a period of time to LRC, then sent us a check for the amount. I wonder if other seminaries could devote an offering for a day or week or month (however it is done and what seems appropriate). This could then in turn be devoted to the work of the LRC Seminary Initiative as a source for programs, projects, and gatherings. People seemed to think this might be a good idea to explore. Barbara was going to check this out with Ben Stewart at LSTC.

 

9. Dave Rhoads closed the meeting at 55 minutes in with a blessing by Norman Habel.

 

SEE BELOW FOR ALL ITEMS FROM THE AUGUST MEETING IN COLUMBUS

 

Minutes from the Steering Committee that convened after the LRC Pre-session to the 2012 Convocation of Teaching Theologians

8/14/12

 

Present: David Rhoads, Lisa Dahill, Jim Schaal, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Mark Brocker, Barbara Rossing, Dan Brunner, Jim Martin-Schramm, Gil Waldkoenig (recording), Dave Rhoads

 

Chairperson Discussion – Lisa Dahill and Gil Waldkoenig will co-chair for 2012-13 academic year.

 

The Steering Committee will meet again by conference call to determine priorities and choose steps. The conference call will happen this fall on OCTOBER 4 at 4:00 PM EST.

 

Items named for consideration at the first conference call:

-          Are Green Teams in place at every seminary, who are the contacts, and does each have a board member, administrator, faculty and students?

-          Blessed Earth Seminary Stewardship Alliance & GreenFaith Seminary Certification Program are emerging networks. Brunner & Waldkoenig will attend a BE SSA conference in September and report to this committee. Same individuals were GreenFaith Fellows and will be able to report GreenFaith Seminary Certification developments when they take next steps.

-          Meeting again in person – money to do so; grant-writing

-          Disciplines profiles for LRC web site. Ecological hermeneutics in biblical studies, environmental ethics in theological ethics, eco-theology, ecological spirituality, environmental history and religion

-          Challenge to seminaries – goals benchmarks. Compare Presidents Climate Commitment among colleges/universities http://rs.acupcc.org/

-          Bishops Ready Bench on Environment – involve them in this group

-          Deans and presidents meetings – get the agendas, get on the agendas

-          Stories, case studies, interesting news for LRC web site

-          Facebook page for LRC – get students to jump-start

 

Meeting adjourned with much hope for support and collaboration across the several institutions and departments of ELCA-related theological education.

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