What difference does environment make in a congregation's life and mission? A world of difference if understood and embraced, according to the authors of Church on Earth: Grounding Your Ministry in a Sense of Place.
Focusing on the congregation as place — an unique nexus for cultivating spiritual, social, and ecological relationships — has implications for the shape of a congregation's particular identity and vocation; for how it embodies and proclaims the Gospel in worship, education, evangelism, and service. A sense of place offers new possibilities for connecting Word and Sacrament more intimately and integrally with the daily life of parishioners and for enriching the congregation's outreach to the surrounding community and world. Concrete examples for what this means in a particular congregation are provided from the experience of Madison Christian Community, an innovative ecumenical partnership of Advent Lutheran Church (ELCA) and Community of Hope (UCC) in Madison, Wisconsin.
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Peter Bakken has extensive experience in environmental studies and holds a PhD in theology. He is currently the coordinator for public policy for the Wisconsin Council of Churches. Peter is a member of Advent Lutheran Church.
Jeff Wild was ordained in 1980 and has served as pastor of Advent Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin since 2001.
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