New England Synod Pastor’s Latest Book Offers
Reformation Perspectives on Critical Ecotheological Issues
The Rev. Dr. H. Paul Santmire, retired NES pastor, is the author of a new book, Celebrating Nature by Faith: Studies in Reformation Theology in an Era of Global Emergency (Cascade). Santmire, who helped to write the ELCA 1993 Social Statement, “Caring for Creation,” has been a leader in the field of ecological theology and ethics since he published his first book in 1970, Brother Earth: Nature, God, and Ecology in a Time of Crisis (Thomas Nelson).
In this new volume Santmire proposes a fresh construct for the Christian’s life with nature, partnership, rather than stewardship. He offers a comprehensive study of Martin Luther’s rich theology of nature and a review of the contributions of the eminent American Lutheran theologian of nature, Joseph Sittler, along with discussions of works by other major Lutheran ecological thinkers of the last century and also the extensive impact of Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. The book concludes with an autobiographical chapter tracing Santmire’s more than fifty years of engagement with the theology of nature and ecojustice issues.
Ordained in the LCA in 1965, Santmire served in the NES as Assistant Pastor at University Lutheran Church, as Chaplain and Lecturer in Religion and Biblical Studies at Wellesley College, and as Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Hartford. He concluded his ministry as the Senior Pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Akron, OH, before his retirement in 2000.
2020 Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge
In an increasingly polarized world, biblical citations do not always serve their primary intent of reflecting God's love. Under the theme "The Bible – Word, Not Weapon," the 2020 Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge will address how Bible verses taken out of context can become weapons that discredit others or justify cruel treatment of those portrayed as different.
Presented by the ELCA, the annual Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge seeks to enliven the biblical engagement of the whole church by encouraging the development of faithful, innovative and effective ways to teach and learn Scripture.
This year the challenge will be comprised of four online events:
- Jennifer Garcia from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, Calif., will present "Sharing Our Faith in a Time of Social Distancing" on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 2 p.m. Pacific time.
- Taylor Berdahl from United Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg, Pa., will present "Biblical Responses to COVID-19: Lament, Bodies, Breath" on Monday, Oct. 26, at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.
- Karl Anliker from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago will present "Look for the Women: A Virtual Bible Study in Search of Hope" on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 2:30 p.m. Central time.
- Christopher Shealy from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Lenoir-Rhyne University, Columbia, S.C., will present "How Scripture Is Weaponized, and What We Can Do About It" on Friday, Oct. 30, 2 p.m. Eastern time.
The public is invited to attend these free online events, but registration is required for each of them. Registration information is available here.
Lombard Mennonite Peace Center online offerings
Multiple sessions of the following workshops will be available online from now through the end of the year. For a complete list of learning opportunities, including 90-minute webinars and multi-day seminars, please visit our website at https://lmpeacecenter.org/brochures/. Registration forms can be found on the brochures; otherwise, you can register online at BrownPaperTickets.
Conflict Transformation Skills: Although a normal part of life, conflict is usually seen as something negative. Acquire the knowledge and skills to transform conflict into a force for positive change and spiritual growth. Attend this 7.5-hour event online via Zoom on Oct. 23, Nov. 7, Nov. 21, and Dec. 5, 2020. Register as a group, using this CTS Discount Coupon, and save up to $50 per person.
Healthy Congregations: Could your congregation use a wellness check? Attend this 8-hour workshop and learn ways to minimize or prevent destructive conflict, manage negative reactivity, and help your church stay focused on its true mission and purpose. Attend this 8-hour event online via Zoom on Oct. 30, Nov. 13, or Dec. 8, 2020. Register as a group, using this HC Discount Coupon, and save up to $50 per person.
The last session of Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders for this year will be November 16-20. This outstanding 5-day event helps participants deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. The tentative dates for next year are March 1-5, May 3-7, June 21-25, August 2-6, October 4-8, and November 15-19, 2021. To receive a $200 tuition discount for the November 2020 session, register no later than October 16.
Leadership and Anxiety in the Church: Participants will look at the challenges presented by the rising levels of anxiety experienced in churches today, as well as the role that self-differentiated leadership plays in calming such anxiety. Works of fine art are integrated at various points to facilitate theological reflection. Attend this 7-hour event online via Zoom on Dec. 3, 2020.