Responding to God’s call in Genesis 2 to “till (Heb: serve) the earth and keep (Heb: care for/protect) it,” the EcoFaith Network (EFN), an initiative of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA, exists to call and equip individuals and faith communities in becoming “watershed disciples” through:

Developing and supporting a growing network of earth-stewards
Promoting education and learning; creating and sharing resources to grow awareness of and care for the environment
Identifying opportunities and encouraging advocacy through public policy, community action, and individual change

“We won’t save places we don’t love. We can’t love places we don’t know. We don’t know places we haven’t learned.” — Baba Dioum, Senegalese Environmentalist

Year-Long Calendar: Lent and Easter Resources

EcoFaith Network leaders have produced resources for theological reflection under the theme of “Nurturing Life in the Waters of Creation.” These resources are available for congregational or personal use during the seasons of Lent and Easter. In addition to offering worship suggestions, these resources offer educational and action ideas, as well as participatory events.

Lent and Easter Actions
Lenten and Easter Education and Action Resources
Lenten and Easter Worship Resources
Draft Bulletins for Holy Week

Faith and Clean Energy Campaign

Dear Minnesota Policymakers,

“We work together so that all might live in just and healthy neighborhoods” is a central goal of the Minneapolis Area Synod, the region in Minnesota I oversee as bishop. I believe the greatest challenge to the health of Minnesota communities is climate system change. It affects growing seasons, water quality, relationships with Indigenous communities, weather patterns, species extinction, and migration. A current legislative option provides an alternative future – a bill that commits Minnesota to 100% renewable and equitable energy.

Our planet is changing dramatically. The consensus of scientists is that the changing climate is due to human actions, specifically related to the use of fossil fuels.[1] The ELCA acknowledges that we have fallen short in our work for creation justice.[2] With that confession, we have a critical choice to make. Will we champion the systemic changes needed to transform our unsustainable energy economy? Will Minnesota move forward on clean and equitable energy?

I believe this future is in reach and I call on you to help create the clean and healthy neighborhoods that all Minnesotans deserve. Minnesota is creating renewable energy faster than the current Renewable Energy Standard. In 2017, Minnesota was already at 25% renewable energy, with renewables being the second largest source of energy production.[3]

I call upon the Minnesota legislature to continue with that momentum by implementing 100% renewable energy by 2050. In its social teaching the ELCA calls us to create “appropriate regulations and policies that help reverse environmental destruction.”[4] Minnesota is well-prepared for making this next bold step of switching 100% of our energy to renewable sources.

It is with hope for a better future that we come to this work. The ELCA’s “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice” statement asks that as “the Holy Spirit renews our minds and hearts, we also … reform our habits and social structures.” In that spirit, I call on you to support our shared work to reverse the effects of climate system change.

I urge you to support 100% renewable energy in the state of Minnesota to create a clean and equitable future.

I have invited pastors and deacons of our synod to join me in sending this letter to you. Together, we promise to continue to raise the conversation around climate system change within our congregations and our neighborhoods. I hope you will join me in working for 100% renewable energy in Minnesota.

In hope,

Bishop Ann Svennungsen

[1] See IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, 2014

[2] See the ELCA social statement, “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice.

[3] Mike Hughlett, “As Price Drops, Renewable Energy surges to Second Place in Minnesota,” Star Tribune. March 1, 2018.

[4] See the ELCA social statement, “Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All.

100% Campaign Sign-on Letter

Rostered ministers are invited to sign on to a letter from Bishop Svennungsen to legislative leaders advocating for an increase in Minnesota's renewable energy standard to 100% by 2050.

Congregations Connecting on Energy

Energy Themed Worship Tool Kit
Pentecost Pinwheel

Our Watershed Moment: Communities Connecting to Waters of Life

EFN is leading “Our WatersheEFN Icond Moment” initiative, engaging communities of faith in dialogue and action around water, spirituality, and eco-justice. For Christians, the opportunity to “gather at the river” was a way to celebrate and inspire the community of faith. They took a sacred rite outdoors to a place rich with meaning, and baptized new initiates into the life-giving waters of the nearest watershed.

The Minneapolis Area Synod, as part of Our Watershed Moment, encourages congregations to offer public Gather at the River events, where education, worship, and sharing inspire new generations of faith leaders to appreciate the wonder of creation and work for its flourishing.

In addition to these events, EFN has created an Our Watershed Moment Toolkit that you can download below. The Toolkit is a thought-filled collection of resources to help communities connect more deeply to the watershed in which they live, and to serve and care for water.

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Memorial for the 2016 Synod Assembly
Our Watershed Moment Toolkit
Connect with our organizer