The Eco Faith Network Encouraging Creation-Caring Congregations and Individuals
The Eco Faith Network is a growing network of ELCA Lutheran congregations and their members in northeastern Minnesota with a mission to live out God's call to be stewards of the earth for the sake of the whole creation. The Network’s goal is to be a catalyst for encouraging creation care awareness and actions throughout the Synod’s 133 congregations.The Eco Faith Network accomplishes this mission through:
Social media, see the Network’s FACEBOOK PAGEfor weekly Green Tips, timely news articles, event announcements, and more. “Like” the page to stay informed.
Micro-grants for congregations and community creation care projects. GRANTS PAGE.
A dedicated Leadership Team of pastors and ELCA members with a wide range of experience, energy, and expertise guide the Network’s actions and activities around a common purpose of nurturing earth stewardship as integral to all faith practices.
Eco Faith Climate March at Synod Assembly 2017 Cragun's Resort
As emphasized in the ELCA social statement Caring for Creation, click here, creation care is central to living out our Christian mandate for Earth stewardship. The Eco Faith Network of the NEMN Synod (formerly the Creation Care Team) was established by action of the Synod Assembly in 2008 recognizing "creation care is integral to the marks of discipleship, lived out in the faith practices of worship, service , study and witness as a vital component of the church's identity and vocation today."
“The human being is, as God’s steward, accountable to God and responsible for its fellow creatures.”
~Douglas John Hall~ "The Steward: A Biblical Symbol Come of Age"
"God’s entire divine nature is wholly and entirely in all creatures, more deeply, more inwardly, more present than the creature is to itself."
“Creation is not a stage or a backdrop on which human redemption is carried out. We have screened creation out of much of our reading of the Bible, where the natural order is an integral part of that which God is seeking to redeem and bring to fulfillment.”
~David Rhoads~ “Reflections on a Lutheran Theology of Creation: Foundations for a New Reformation”
Becoming a Creation Care Congregation:Starting a Creation Care Team
Gather a small group of interested people (3 to 10) to serve as a Creation Care Team. Choose a name: Green Team, Creation-Care Committee, Earth-Keeping Team, EcoFaith Team. Inform/involve the pastor(s)/staff as to your interest and commitment. Engage the leaders of your congregation to build allies and support moving. If need be, request authorization from the church council to go forward. Seek to engage the whole congregation through worship, special events, adult forums, or weekly green tips. Develop an Action Plan for integrating creation care into five areas of the church:
1) Worship; 2) Education for all ages; 3) Congregational life; 4) Building/grounds; 5) Community action.
Make suggestions/ give resources to appropriate committees to carry out the Action Plan and support those committees in carrying out an action or a program. For an example of an action plan, see Gloria Dei Lutheran/ Duluth Green Team page
Promote with members your identity as a congregation that cares for creation. Meet regularly to follow the Action Plan and to develop new projects. Consider a congregational project to benefit the community/city of location. Seek out community leaders already working on eco-justice and partner with them. Find structural ways to assure the ongoing life of the Green Team each year. Refer to the many congregational resources available, network with other teams in the NE Synod. Become an active participant in the NE MN Synod EcoFaith Network.
Excerpted from: “Getting Started and Keeping if Going” from Lutherans Restoring Creation.