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Pilgrim Lutheran Church

For the past twelve years, members of Pilgrim Lutheran Church have been organizing inspired action around climate change. Today, the Caring for Creation team is blazing ahead to address climate change at the organizational, systemic, and individual level. Pilgrim’s relationship with MNIPL is longstanding and strong thanks to their participation in many MNIPL programs and teams and generous support. Pilgrim members have been active in Be The Spark workshops, Divestment Team initiatives, and the MNIPL/St. Paul Interfaith Network (SPIN) sponsored series, ‘Actions at the Intersections,’ in addition to mobilizations such as the People’s Climate March and Tar Sands Resistance March.

A Community Power grant from the Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board helped to jumpstart action; Pilgrim hired a short-term coordinator to organize events around sustainable waste management and toxicity reduction. Through a series of four events, covering everything from harmful chemicals to composting, members learned practical ways to reduce their waste. A major building remodel challenged Pilgrim members to think beyond zero-waste systems about long-term carbon neutrality. Now, Forest Stewardship Council certified wood flooring supports their feet, a long-lasting and non-petroleum based metal roof covers their heads, recycled pews turned into chairs provide comfort during services, and low-VOC paint and carpet keeps the air happy and non-toxic.

Pilgrim members also voted to have their congregation’s endowment fund be fully divested from fossil fuels over the next five years. Current efforts are also focused on spearheading the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to divest after a divestment resolution passed at the synod in St. Paul, MN.

The Caring for Creation team infuses their work on climate change into the life of their congregation. Sustainability tips and book reviews are highlighted in the newsletter, while movie nights and book discussions engage members in meaningful conversation. In living up to their name, Pilgrim members are also connecting sermons with a series of pilgrimages throughout the city. The Green Line Pilgrimage, for example, gave members the opportunity to learn about and use environmentally-friendly mass transportation.

Pilgrim continues to explore and act on climate change in the context of a collective journey, having heartfelt conversations, passionate disagreements, and giving gentle encouragement - all in a safe environment. Interested in learning more about Pilgrim Lutheran Church’s efforts to address climate justice issues? Read more on their website!