The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Lutherans restoring creation

Movement is grounded in theology

One Sunday morning in 2010, retired pastor Dennis H. Ormseth visited Pilgrim Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minn. To his surprise, Pilgrim conducted a service to bless animals on a day other than the typical Sunday on or near Oct. 4, St. Francis Day.

Ormseth enjoyed the sermon Pilgrim's pastor, Carol J. Tomer, gave to the animals. It got him thinking: Wouldn't it be great if that kind of acknowledgment of care for creation could be possible every Sunday?

So Ormseth called his friend David Rhoads, director and co-founder of Lutherans Restoring Creation — a grassroots movement within the ELCA to foster care for God's creation in all expressions of the church's life. Ormseth pitched an idea to Rhoads: publish weekly commentaries on the Sunday common lectionary texts through the lens of caring for creation.

Rhoads, a retired ELCA pastor, loved the idea and believed, like Ormseth, that no one else in Lutheran environmental circles was doing something similar. Last December, Ormseth began writing weekly commentaries on the regularly scheduled Sunday texts, committing to doing so through November 2011. They are published on the LRC website.

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