March 30th Eco Faith Summit

JOIN US!

 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

 DESCRIPTION:  

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.

 Breakout Sessions

11:00-12:00 pm Breakout Session I 
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.

 Schedule

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 eccofaith@nemnsynod.org

http://www.nemnsynod.org/eco-faith.html

 Registrationhttps://nemnsynodecofaithsummit2019.eventbrite.com 

We look forward to seeing you at the 2019 EcoFaith Summit, Creation, Church, and You!

Ash Wednesday Reflections

Ash Wednesday Readings: Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

While learning Spanish, I was struck that the word in my Spanish bible for both righteousness and justice is the same: justicia! As it turns out, that is true in many languages, including Hebrew (tsedek). In each case, the words refer to right relationship. Right relationship with God; right relationship with our human and non-human neighbors; right relationship within and between people, communities, nations; and right relationship within and between all that God has created.

What a beautiful vision of how the world should be! Yet, we have not been faithful to God’s calls for right relationship. Where do you see the broken relationships in your community? Don’t just think about between individuals! Are all in our communities well? Do our various municipal, state, and federal government policies reflect a desire for of what is good for all, or do they only reflect the interests of a few? Where have things broken down in our nation? How have we broken relationships with God’s creation around us? Have we been eager to point out the brokenness we see elsewhere, but hypocritically neglected our own role in what is broken?

Take a moment this Ash Wednesday to reflect on all the different relationships and levels of relationships that should be “made right.” Pray for God to guide and lead you and all of us together into right relationship with God, with everyone and everything that God has created.

Clean Energy Climate Action Day

                Minnesota State Capitol · Christ Lutheran Church · Mar.13

Your voice is critical. The time for action is now.

At the capitol and back home.

Our future isn’t something to fear. It can be beautiful! 

Join students, neighbors, families, people of faith – we need everyone, including you!

Engage in opportunities throughout the day to learn, share, meet with legislators and let them know you want action on clean energy and climate change now. Participate in action stations, inter-faith worship, and a rally in the Capitol Rotunda to share your voice.

Gather resources and find allies who will help you amplify your efforts at the capitol and in your community.   Stay for the day or come when you can. Rally in the Capitol Rotunda at 2:00.

Schedule for Wednesday, March 13:

8:00 am            Homebase opens, breakfast treats available

8:30 – 12:00      Advocacy training and issue breakout sessions

12:20 – 12:40    Soil Carbon Cowboys film screening (12 minutes)

All Day              Legislator visits throughout the day

2:00                   Rally in the Capitol Rotunda

Christ Lutheran Church (across the street from the Minnesota State Capitol) will be home base. 105 University Ave. W. · St. Paul

Register at: http://bit.ly/MNEnergyDay

This day is building  on the incredible work of the
100% Campaign · Minnesota Can’t Wait · the Clean Energy Business community · and more  

Whether you’ve been before or this will be your first time, we need you!
Join us to be powerful together!

The 2019 Legislative Session is Here!

We’re so excited that session has begun!  Committees have been announced, legislators and constitutional officers have been sworn in, and now it’s time for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

In the coming week we will post our legislative priorities here, but in the meantime, please take a look at the legislative committees whose work coincides with LAMN’s priorities: hunger and poverty, care of creation and welcoming the stranger.  If any of these committee members are your legislators, now is a great time to write them a letter, set up a meeting or give them a call to encourage them to support affordable housing, protect God’s creation, and ensure that no Minnesotan lacks food, safety or the means to lead a dignified life. 

Don’t know who your legislators are? Enter your address on this page to find out!

Minnesota House Committees

(New members indicated in bold)

Housing Finance & Policy Division

Committee Chair
Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL) District: 66A
Vice Chair
Rep. Michael Howard (DFL) District: 50A
Republican Lead
Rep. Tama Theis (R) District: 14A
Members
Rep. Robert Bierman (DFL) District: 57A
Rep. Peter Fischer (DFL) District: 43A
Rep. Bob Gunther (R) District: 23A
Rep. Hodan Hassan (DFL) District: 62A
Rep. Kaohly Her (DFL) District: 64A
Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL) District: 61A
Rep. Brian Johnson (R) District: 32A
Rep. Tony Jurgens (R) District: 54B
Rep. Jeremy Munson (NR) District: 23B
Rep. Nels Pierson (R) District: 26B
Rep. Jeanne Poppe (DFL) District: 27B
Rep. Duane Sauke (DFL) District: 25B

Health and Human Services Policy Division

Committee Chair
Rep. Rena Moran (DFL) District: 65A
Vice Chair
Rep. Kelly Morrison (DFL) District: 33B
Republican Lead
Rep. Debra Kiel (R) District: 01B

Members
Rep. Tony Albright (R) District: 55B
Rep. Jeff Backer (R) District: 12A
Rep. Kristin Bahner (DFL) District: 34B
Rep. Heather Edelson (DFL) District: 49A
Rep. Peter Fischer (DFL) District: 43A
Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL) District: 45B
Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL) District: 26A
Rep. Diane Loeffler (DFL) District: 60A
Rep. Alice Mann (DFL) District: 56B
Rep. Anne Neu (R) District: 32B
Rep. Nels Pierson (R) District: 26B
Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL) District: 64B
Rep. Kristin Robbins (R) District: 34A
Rep. Joe Schomacker (R) District: 22A
Rep. Jennifer Schultz (DFL) District: 07A

Health and Human Services Finance Division

Committee Chair
Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL) District: 26A
Vice Chair
Rep. Alice Mann (DFL) District: 56B
Republican Lead
Rep. Joe Schomacker (R) District: 22A

Members
Rep. Patty Acomb (DFL) District: 44B
Rep. Dave Baker (R) District: 17B
Rep. Robert Bierman (DFL) District: 57A
Rep. Hunter Cantrell (DFL) District: 56A
Rep. Mary Franson (R) District: 08B
Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R) District: 18B
Rep. Barb Haley (R) District: 21A
Rep. Laurie Halverson (DFL) District: 51B
Rep. Rod Hamilton (R) District: 22B
Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein (DFL) District: 41B
Rep. Diane Loeffler (DFL) District: 60A
Rep. Rena Moran (DFL) District: 65A
Rep. Jeremy Munson (R) District: 23B
Rep. Mohamud Noor (DFL) District: 60B
Rep. Liz Olson (DFL) District: 07B
Rep. Jennifer Schultz (DFL) District: 07A
Rep. Nick Zerwas (R) District: 30A
Ex-Officio
Rep. Lyndon Carlson, Sr. (DFL) District: 45A

Energy and Climate Finance & Policy Division

Committee Chair
Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL) District: 63B
Vice Chair
Rep. Jamie Long (DFL) District: 61B
Republican Lead
Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R) District: 16A

Members
Rep. Patty Acomb (DFL) District: 44B
Rep. Dave Baker (R) District: 17B
Rep. Robert Bierman (DFL) District: 57A
Rep. Greg Boe (R) District: 47B
Rep. Michelle (Shelly) Christensen (DFL) District: 39B
Rep. Pat Garofalo (R) District: 58B
Rep. Laurie Halverson (DFL) District: 51B
Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL) District: 61A
Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL) District: 67A
Rep. Shane Mekeland (R) District: 15B
Rep. Jason Rarick (R) District: 11B
Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL) District: 36A
Ex-Officio
Rep. Lyndon Carlson, Sr. (DFL) District: 45A

Minnesota Senate Committees

Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Finance

Committee Chair
Sen. Torrey Westrom (R) District: 12
Vice Chair
Sen. Mark Johnson (R) District: 01
Ranking Minority Member
Sen. Kari Dziedzic (DFL) District: 60

Members
Sen. Rich Draheim (R) District: 20
Sen. Kent Eken (DFL) District: 04
Sen. Nick Frentz (DFL) District: 19
Sen. Michael Goggin (R) District: 21
Sen. Andrew Lang (R) District: 17
Sen. Dan Sparks (DFL) District: 27
Sen. Bill Weber (R) District: 22

Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Policy

Committee Chair
Sen. Bill Weber (R) District: 22
Vice Chair
Sen. Michael Goggin (R) District: 21
Ranking Minority Member
Sen. Foung Hawj (DFL) District: 67

Members
Sen. Gary Dahms (R) District: 16
Sen. Kent Eken (DFL) District: 04
Sen. John Hoffman (DFL) District: 36
Sen. Jason Isaacson (DFL) District: 42
Sen. Mark Johnson (R) District: 01
Sen. Andrew Lang (R) District: 17
Sen. David Tomassoni (DFL) District: 06
Sen. Torrey Westrom (R) District: 12

Health and Human Services Finance and Policy

Committee Chair
Sen. Michelle Benson (R) District: 31
Vice Chair
Sen. Scott Jensen (R) District: 47

Members
Sen. Jim Abeler (R) District: 35
Sen. Rick Draheim (R) District: 20
Sen. Chris Eaton (DFL) District: 40
Sen. Jeff Hayden (DFL) District: 62
Sen, Mary Kiffmeyer (R) District: 30
Sen. Matt Klein (DFL) District: 52
Sen. John Marty (DFL) District: 66
Sen. Andrew Mathews (R) District: 15
Sen. Carla Nelson (R) District: 26
Sen. Julie Rosen (R) District: 23
Sen. Melissa Wiklund (DFL) District: 50

Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy

Committee Chair
Sen. David J. Osmek (R) District: 33
Vice Chair
Sen. Andrew Mathews (R) District: 15
Ranking Minority Member
Sen. John Marty (DFL) District: 66

Members
Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL) District: 61
Sen. Michael Goggin (R) District: 21
Sen. John Hoffman (DFL) District: 36
Sen. Eric Pratt (R) District: 55
Sen. Julie Rosen (R) District: 23
Sen. David Senjem (R) District: 25
Sen. Erik Simonson (DFL) District: 07

Homes for All’s Legislative Kickoff – Reflection from Lori Haaland

Lutheran Advocacy – Minnesota is an endorsing member of Homes for All, a coalition of over 200 affordable housing advocates, social service providers, developers, and more. For the 2019-2020 legislative biennium, Homes for All has proposed its most ambitious agenda ever, an expansive vision for the future of Minnesota’s housing continuum that addresses everything from homelessness prevention to emergency shelter to rental assistance and affordable home ownership. Follow this link to learn more about the legislative agenda.

LA-MN supporter Lori Haaland attended one of Homes for All’s session kickoff events and offers her thoughts below:

On January 8, I attended Homes for All’s Metro Kickoff and it was a delight. It was wonderful to see the Minnesota state legislators and some of their staff honored as partners who actively support the mission of the group assembled.  They are critical partners, as are all the people working together to find effective ways to support affordable housing and end homelessness.

Two speakers stood out for me. First, a regional director of a nonprofit in northern Minnesota shared how geographical differences can affect housing; although affordable housing needs are the same across the state, the offerings of service to meet needs may look different depending on the location.

Second, a young Liberian man who had experienced homelessness shared his moving personal story, demonstrating that the work of Homes for All is critical and can effectively make a difference in peoples’ lives.  He described how his life has been, and continues to be, richly blessed with the fruits of those working to meet the needs of the homeless.

It was a very powerful event and I observed the diverse backgrounds of the attendees were – all of whom share a contagious, genuine passion around the issues of housing and homelessness in our whole state. I look forward to actively supporting the Homes For All agenda!

Merry Christmas!

My soul proclaims your greatness, O God, and my spirit rejoices in you, You have looked with love on your servant here, and blessed me all my life through. Great and mighty are you, O Holy One, strong is your kindness evermore. How you favor the weak and lowly one, humbling the proud of heart.

You have cast the mighty down from their thrones, and uplifted the humble of heart. You have filled the hungry with wondrous things, and left the wealthy no part. Great and mighty are you, O Faithful One, strong is your justice, strong your love, as you promised to Sarah and Abraham, kindness forevermore.

  – Mary’s Song (Magnificat) from Luke 1:46-55, from Holden Evening Prayer  by Marty Haugen

When you read the end of Luke 1, do you find yourself breaking into a song of praise like that of Mary? While deeply personal, Mary’s hymn of praise is also prophetic and political. She continues in the tradition of the Old Testament prophets, who called the people back into right relationship with God, with one another and with all of God’s creation. Mary describes a world of wholeness in which the powerful are not lifted above the powerless, and no one goes hungry while others have their fill—a wholeness to which Jesus, the child inside her, is the key.

At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of God’s love in human flesh: Jesus, the Messiah, who has come to heal our broken relationships. We see a glimpse of this in Luke 4, when Jesus announces his ministry as good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind and letting the oppressed go free. Jesus has come to make us whole again!

As Christians we are called to show and share love, just as Jesus has shown his love to us. We are called to be God’s hands, feet and voices in the world. We are called to love our neighbor and work as God’s instruments of healing wherever brokenness is found, whether that involves homeless people in need of shelter, children impacted by pollution, families struggling with hunger, refugees seeking asylum, or anywhere where our neighbor or our shared creation suffers.

Join Lutheran Advocacy – Minnesota as we answer God’s call to be instruments of healing. Help us work for justice and right relationship in our communities and God’s creation. Encourage elected leaders to promote policies that work toward justice in our government and our society. We need you in God’s work!

Prayer: God of love, help us to reflect your light in a world that sometimes seems dark. Wonderful Counselor, teach us how to be your instruments of justice, peace, healing, and love in this time and in this place. Prince of Peace, grant us your peace, and may a song of praise to you always be on our lips.

Advocacy Update: November 2018

Advocacy Update: November 2018

Homes for All Coalition: Meetings galore!!!  Never have there been so many proposals to consider for the coalition’s collaborative agenda! LA-MN Director Tammy Walhof, serving with the Homes for All Policy Team, engaged by listening to proposal presentations, evaluating proposals, and helping cull them to a more manageable list. One colleague thinks the team spent around 30 hours in that process!

Environmental Coalitions: LA-MN is part of Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP), the MN 100% Campaign, and the State Climate Table. Tammy, in leadership positions with both the MEP Energy Cluster and the Climate Table, has worked hard to bring more unity and common focus to the array of groups and coalitions. She will be turning over her MEP Cluster leadership to others, allowing more time with churches throughout Minnesota actually addressing issues.

Continue reading “Advocacy Update: November 2018”

Candidate Forum and Debate Roundup

Election Day is already this Tuesday! We hope you’re informed on the issues that matter as you head to the polls, and one great way to do that is to listen to candidates answer questions and debate the issues. Below is a roundup of candidate debates and forums over the past few months in Minnesota.  Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the issues you care about–and make sure to go vote!

It’s Time to Vote!

Have you voted yet? Election Day is November 6th but early voting in Minnesota is already happening! This is an important election year and your voice matters, so make a plan to vote, talk to your friends about voting and help get others to the polls! Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know to vote in Minnesota.

Am I registered? Is it too late to register?

In Minnesota, you can register on Election Day, so if you aren’t registered already, it’s not too late! Check your registration here and register online, on paper or at your polling place on Election Day. You will need to show proof of address to register.

Do I need an ID to vote?

You do NOT need an ID to vote if your registration is current and active, but if your registration is not active, you will need to show proof of address to register. Visit mnvotes.org to learn more about the types of ID required to register.

Where do I vote?

Early voting by mail: You must apply to vote early by mail, which you can do online. Be sure to leave time to receive and return your ballot on or before Election Day. Ballots received after Election Day do not count!

Early voting in-person: All county elections offices in Minnesota allow early voting in-person. Depending on where you live, your city or county may have other in-person early voting locations as well.

Voting on Election Day: Enter your address into this Polling Place Finder to find out where you can vote on Election Day.

What are my rights as a voter?

This sheet goes over all your rights as a voter. Make sure you understand your rights as a voter and that your friends and loved ones know their rights, too!

I have other questions about voting

Visit the Secretary of State’s website to explore any and all questions about voting. Or contact us at LAMN if you have questions. Don’t sit this election out!

Advocacy Update: September 2018

Lieutenant Governor Candidate Forum

Lutheran Advocacy-MN actively promoted Homes for All’s gubernatorial forum. Both major-party lieutenant governor candidates, Donna Bergstrom and Peggy Flanagan, have housing and low-income experience. More than 500 people attended in person or by livestream.  Another 150+ have watched online. If you haven’t seen it, watch the forum!

Lutheran Advocacy – Minnesota highlighted as Homes for All Partner 

LA-MN is honored to be the first partner featured on Home’s for All’s blog as it begins highlighting the work of coalition partners.  Learn more about our work on housing and how you can participate.

Questions for State Legislative Candidates

Election season is heating up!  Do you know where your state legislative candidates stand on issues that matter?  Here are some questions you can ask candidates before election day to make sure you’re making an informed decision!

On clean energy:

Minnesota’s legislature voted nearly unanimously to pass the 2007 Next Generation Energy Act. Governor Pawlenty signed it into law. It set a standard of 25% renewable energy to be reached by 2025 (30% for Xcel Energy), and encouraged energy efficiency. The law has helped Minnesota add many businesses and jobs, reduce prices with low-cost renewables (15% below national average), cut energy consumption by 1%/year, and dramatically lower emissions from power plants.

What would you do to continue Minnesota’s transition to renewable energy?

How would you support clean energy businesses and jobs?

On housing:

Across Minnesota, there isn’t enough affordable housing. High housing costs contribute to increased hunger rates. Families in minimum wage jobs must work 71 hours/week to afford a two-bedroom apartment. 450,000 Minnesota households are cost burdened.

What would you do legislatively to increase levels of safe affordable housing?

How would you protect existing affordable rental housing?

What would you do to prevent and end homelessness?