Friday, August 28, 2009
The Passing of the Torch
by Clare Brauer-Rieke
As the summer wanes, those of us who are still on an academic schedule know that it is time to begin afresh in a year of new challenges and opportunities. The first of these opportunities for me, in which I delight, is to introduce myself to you as Earth Ministry's Outreach Coordinator for the 2009-2010 year.
A native Oregonian, I attended and recently graduated from Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA), where I studied Religion and Women's and Gender Studies. My interest in the intersection of ecological justice and faith, rooted firmly in both my upbringing as a pastor's daughter and in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, blossomed in my years as a university student. I felt the no-holds-barred freedom to ask whatever questions I wanted, regardless of the answers I was expected to already know: What is my role in the pursuit of ecological justice as a Christian? What are the consequences when we, as humans, place ourselves above and outside of our ecosystems? In what ways am I called to live life differently than I've been taught in a consumeristic, individualistic culture? Is there a fullness of communion with God, the rest of creation, and even with our human community that we cannot experience until we understand our place in this enormous, interdependent web?
The exciting opportunity to work with the Earth Ministry staff came to me through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. Called by LVC to live simply and sustainably, dwell in intentional community, and work for social justice, I knew that Earth Ministry was a remarkable organization in which I could do just that. I look forward to this year not as one that will answer all of my questions, but as one in which I can engage with faith communities in asking them together. It is a blessing to be granted the opportunity to support and work alongside individuals, families, and congregations in our common calling as God's hands and feet in this world. It is my hope that as hands we may begin to heal our broken relationships with the rest of creation, and that as feet we stand grounded, connected, in the earth from which we were formed. I look forward to working with you all!