Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, USA
"Empowered by Christ's love, Gloria Dei reaches out as an inclusive, welcoming church through worship and social action." Its membership of approximately 310 exhibit diversity in age, gender, race, sexual orientation and economic background, and are served by one full-time pastor and eight part-time staff. In addition to welcoming all people in weekly worship and participation, Gloria Dei is committed to reaching out in service to its Central Hillside neighborhood and beyond. It is a founding congregation of several service organizations in Duluth.
Gloria Dei is an active member congregation of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). This synod includes 147 congregations and covers 13 counties in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota. Gloria Dei is known for its commitment to social justice and has been instrumental in introducing resolutions for shaping wider church policy and practice at its synod assembly. In 2008, Gloria Dei submitted a resolution calling congregations of the synod to grow faithfully and intentionally in the care of creation as individuals and congregations, and calling for the formation of a synod-wide Creation Care Team. Pastor Carlson defines "creation care" as "practices of individuals and faith communities that model a just relationship with the earth, its creatures and ecosystems, and all people. Such practices may be informed by science but grow out of a faith community's scriptures and are emphasized as part of its worship, reflecting its understanding of God's relationship to the world as, for example in Christianity, an ongoing relationship of creating, redeeming, and sustaining the world."
In January 2008, Gloria Dei adopted a resolution to accept responsibility as stewards of the earth and pledged to grow faithfully and intentionally in this responsibility as individuals and as a congregation. The Green Team was designated to oversee and facilitate the carrying out of this pledge, working with partnering committees for its fulfillment, and setting goals in these areas:
- Worship in ways that celebrate and foster care of creation.
- Educate adults and children in ecological issues and practices.
- Green the buildings and grounds of our facilities.
- Promote earth-friendly lifestyle of members at home and work.
- Encourage community involvement in caring for the environment.
Download the full case study below.
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