Congregations Caring for Creation

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cong caring for creation.jpg
Church furnace room in Clinton, MN- ECONAR GeoSource Geothermal Heat Pump

Today I received a Lenten e-mail update from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) on Climate Justice: Climate Change and Economics. The article talks about what churches can do to reduce carbon footprints, save energy, etc...

I have zero (0) bragging rights- but am deeply proud to belong to (having stumbled upon) a congregation that, without fanfare, happens to be one of the most environmentally progressive churches I know of. It's in Clinton, Minnesota on the South Dakota border- population 401.

I first fell in love with this church for a small thing- a 2 inch by 5 inch laminated note on the church kitchen refrigerator door. It said:

"It is a Trinity Church policy that NO plastic foam products can be used at church functions. Effective July 11, 1989."

Years before others began calling for an end to styrofoam, this church simply outlawed it. Now granted, it may have been passed by a church council "man" who didn't have to wash the ceramic coffee cups (I washed my first coffee cups yesterday in fact). But, for the two years we've been enjoying the smell, taste and companionship of Trinity Lutheran church coffee and no "Lutheran Brotherhood" styrofoam cups have graced our tables.

What's more, I stumbled upon the row of Geothermal heat pumps in the basement-- installed 10+ years ago when oil was about $8 per barrel and no one was thinking energy conservation. Leadership, foresight, and long term environmental and financial stewardship all tucked away together in a church basement furnace room out on the prairie.

It seems to me a quiet practicality and stewarding of resources that, in fact, make life more pleasant. As a part of creation myself, I appreciate drinking coffee from a real cup on Sunday mornings. Talk about congregations for creation.

9 Comments

Good for Trinity Lutheran! Our church tried the no styrofoam for awhile, but for some reason went back to using paper or styrofoam quite often. That, and the architecture of the high "ceiling" ...I want to position clouds of some sort of insulating material above the sanctuary, but no one asked me. ( And geothermal, your dad was way ahead when he decided to install that in the house we built in Dodge Center 35 years ago, and here I sit with all electric heat.) Our snow is melting, driveway's muddy...slow melt is much appreciated. Love to all, Mama

I am sure you are aware of the ELCA statement on Creation Care at http://www.elca.org/ELCA/Search.aspx?q=social+statements+creation+care
Last winter some us studied the entire workbook. It is a wonderful study. We had lots of good discussions. Our congregation also uses only paper, unless someone sneeks in some foam. We are inserting a World Water Day bulletin insert this weekend.WWD is March 22nd....snow is slowly disappearing..I can now back out of my drive without sneeking slowly out to check on traffic. Love to all of you, Take Care. Bev

Way to go church!!!

Random(?)Thoughts(?)of the Insomniac
1.Did you hear that the counties with the highest per capita income in the US are clustered around D.C.?
2. Asked a couple of people their thoughts about the Supreme Court's ruling that allows big corporations to finance political messages. Both gave impassioned answers ending with "the end of civilization as we know it."
3. Bob Newhart had an album out (around the time that you were born). On one of the bits, he said that if there hadn't been a Lincoln, Madison Avenue would have had to invent a Lincoln. He goes on with his side of a phone conversation instructing some schmo on what to wear,(a shawl, not a cardigan),having envelopes on hand to write his speeches on, coming up with a funny answer to people that were complaining about Grant's drinking.

Wow, the people running this church in the begining must have been so forward thinking. I mean geothermal heating, thats just coming to the fore now!

Trane Heat Pumps

I'd be curious about the folks who were at the beginning of this church- in the 1870's. I think they spoke Norwegian- there's a lovely, old Norwegian Bible in the church. I imagine that today's members hold some of the values of their Scandanavian ancestors.

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on March 8, 2010 4:54 PM.

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