WHAT: Creation, Church, and You: Earth Keeping Practically Speaking
WHEN: Saturday, March 30, 2019, 9 AM to 3:30 PM
WHERE: Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Brainerd, MN
PURPOSE: Encourage and equip congregations with refreshing perspectives and practical strategies for making earth stewardship integral within the ministries they already have:worship, education, congregational life, building and grounds, and community engagement.
PRIMARY SPONSOR: NE MN Synod EcoFaith Team
CO-SPONSOR: Lutheran Advocacy-Minnesota
As Bishop Aitken wrote, “Luther taught that we imperfect, sacred vessels are able to bear real down to earth love. The Spirit itself resides in us, as does Jesus himself. Take the faith, love, and hope already in you, and get in on the good deeds God has planned for you to do in this world of caring for all of creation.”
Keynote Presenter – Rev. Dr. David Carlson, originally from Denver, he holds theological degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and Luther Seminary. “Earth Stewardship and the Missio Dei: Participating in the Care and Redemption of All God Has Made” is the title of his Doctor of Ministry thesis, which he defended in 2016. Pastor Dave believes the church in general and Lutherans in particular are well suited to help society address ecological needs and challenges, and that congregations are ideal settings for modeling the kind of earth stewardship needed for a more sustainable world. He is also the pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Duluth and co-chairperson of the NE MN Synod EcoFaith Leadership Team.
This presentation will invite participants to grow in understanding local earth stewardship as a vital component of participating in God’s mission today. Rooted in scripture and Lutheran theology, we will explore how congregations can take steps to integrate creation care practically into all areas of ministry.
11:00-12:00 pm Breakout Session
12:45-1:45 pm Breakout Session 2
We need each other’s experience. Please bring yours! Here are the options . . .
1. Worshiping the God of All Creation
With the whole creation, we worship the God of all creation, who became a part of creation in Jesus Christ for the sake of the healing of creation. How can the way we worship in our congregations be centered around God for, with, and in the whole creation? This break-out session will explore how sacramental practice, preaching, music, prayer, and worship space can reflect the God of all creation who became a part of creation. We will introduce the Season of Creation, a distinct season of the church year with its own three year lectionary cycle, and sample creation-oriented liturgies.
2. Education to Inform Faith for the Whole Earth
This break-out session will present ideas about how education in many forms can be used in your personal and congregational ministry to reflect a God that cares for the whole creation. These forms can include Sunday School and/or confirmation, Bible study, Lutheran Outdoor Ministry, adult forums, Sunday Green Tips, and more. Diane Jacobson, a Luther Seminary Professor emeritus will lead the session. You’ll hear about specific ministries from congregations in our Synod, have an opportunity to share your ideas and experiences, and brainstorm about ways we can work together across our Synod.
3. Congregational Life as Care for the Whole Earth Creation
Did you know that more members of our congregations have adopted green practices at home than in their congregations? How can your congregation’s daily and weekly activities do less harm and provide more care for the earth? How can we be stewards of the earth in our simplest activities, such as coffee fellowship? When we encounter resistance to change, how can we gently move through it? This break-out session will also look at how relationships, outings, and storytelling can transform congregational life as a community that experiences its relationship with the whole Earth creation.
4. Inside Out: Using Your Church’s Building and Grounds for the Whole Creation
The land outside your church building can say just as much about who we worship as the building itself. Your church’s building and grounds not only provide space for us to gather and to welcome the community, but also new opportunities for creative stewardship and mission. Learn how churches are saving thousands of dollars through energy conservation techniques, installing solar power and working for community solar gardens, cultivating community gardens and orchards, creating pollinator gardens and Monarch Butterfly Way Stations, creating outdoor prayer labyrinths and walking paths, refitting their church kitchens as community kitchens, and more. Many of these ideas will relate to homes, businesses, etc. as well as churches.
5. Engaging the Community in Care for the Whole Creation
Daily, we see the results of brokenness. Earth has been impacted by humanity’s selfishness and bad choices damaging land, water, air, and atmosphere, in addition to our many human and non-human neighbors. Through God’s love in Jesus, relationship is restored. Touched by God’s love we are called to work for restoration and healing in all relationships within and between our communities and all of God’s creation. Join us in identifying the communities in our lives and considering the various ways we can engage those communities in the healing of creation.
Worship – Worship is the center of everything we are and do as God’s church, so the climax of the Summit will be a vibrant service of Word and Sacrament using the Earthkeeping Liturgy of Dakota Road.
| 9:00 a.m. – Registration and coffee|
9:30 a.m. Welcome/Introductions 9:30-9:45
9:45 – 10:45 a.m. Keynote speaker, Dave Carlson
11:00-12 Breakout session I
12-12:45 p.m. Lunch
12:45-1:45 p.m. Break-out session II
2-2:30 p.m. Caucuses in sanctuary
2:30 p.m. Worship
3:30 p.m. Leave for home
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you at the 2019 EcoFaith Summit, Creation, Church, and You!