The Greening of Lutheran Social Ministry Organizations

Message from Dave Rhoads, Director Lutherans Restoring Creation (1-3-12).

Thank you for accessing this site, and thank you for the care for creation concern you express and the actions you take on behalf of Earth. The good news of the Gospel resides everywhere in creation. Creation is a gift to all living forms. Living and non-living things are gifts to each other. And we humans can be aware of this giftedness of creation and offer gratitude and praise to God daily for the life and goodness of creation.

We at Lutherans Restoring Creation are dedicated to providing resources and encouragement for Lutherans to embrace our biblical vocation “to serve and to keep” God’s creation. Despite discouragements, we are motivated by God’s enduring grace and everlasting love for creation.


LRC Work with Social Ministry Organizations

Look for an article on Green SMO’s in the January 2012 issue of The Lutheran. Here is a summary of that article: link.

For several years now we have been working to address care for creation at Lutheran Social Ministry organizations: hospitals, homes for the aged, orphanages, social service agencies, and many more. These agencies are dedicated to serving the most vulnerable in our church and in society.

There is every reason to believe that these agencies are also committed the health of the planet, not only in terms of the preservation of vulnerable animals, plants, and ecosystem but also in terms of the unhealthy conditions of our planet that affect human life, such as polluted air, water, and land along with the devastating effects of climate change. Many of these institutions and agencies already have “green teams” and have taken actions that demonstrate care for all Earth-community

Brad Roos, Director of Zion Development in Rockford Illinois, has been taking the lead in LRC efforts to green Lutheran SMO’s Here are some things LRC is doing.

·         Working with Lutheran Services of America to green their gatherings

·         Staffing an LRC booth at annual LSA meetings

·         Participating in a round-robin series of conversations at the 2011 LSA convention in Milwaukee

·         Sponsoring a workshop on “Greening Your SMO” at the 2012 LSA convention in Pittsburgh

·         Gathering information from Lutheran SMO’s for an article on greening SMOs. This article will appear in the January 2012 issue of The Lutheran.

In addition, we have been populating the SMO subsection of this LRC website (see “Social Ministry Organization” on the sidebar) with resources for SMO’s in various areas of the life and ministry of organizations. Here is a list of those resources and actions on our website:

·         Green Reports from Lutheran Social Ministry Organizations

·         Comprehensive Environmental Visioning

·         Lower Energy Costs, Reduce Carbon Footprint

·         Greening Your Office

·         Plan Meetings and Events that are Green

·         The Healing Power of Nature

·         Biblical and Theological Foundations for Earth Care

·         Nurturing Earth-Care among the Staff

·         The Chaplain’s Corner

·         Lutheran Services of America

·         Internet Links to Further Resources

·         Share a Report of your Greening Actions

Under each of these categories, you will find ideas and suggestions for incorporating care for creation into the life of the institution. We hope you find these resources helpful.

            We ask your assistance in continuing our efforts. Please encourage SMOs with which you are affiliated, by asking them about their commitment to care for creation and by encouraging them to continue their efforts. If you offer leadership in an SMO, please send us a report of greening steps you have taken at your agency or institution. Send a report to Brad Roos at Also, let us know in what ways we can be of further assistance to you in these endeavors.


Please contact me if you have questions, comments, or requests and if you have a desire to contribute time or money to the work of LRC.