St Luke Presbyterian Church
In his remarks on climate change during a sermon featured on Al Gore’s 24 Hour Climate Reality Project, Reverend Gwin Pratt says, “St Luke has a vision statement. One of the core values in that statement is this: We are connected, the world is our home, and anything that happens to any part of creation happens to us all.” Solar, permaculture design, energy efficiency, and youth leadership development are among a few of the many actions St Luke Presbyterian is taking to live out that mission. Their multifaceted approach embodies the three legged stool, which encourages holistic responses to climate change that engage practical, structural, and spiritual changes in a community.
When you arrive at St Luke, you are greeted by a permaculture garden, rain gardens dotting the landscape, and glittering solar panels saluting the sun. The impressive, 96-panel solar array with locally-produced panels by tenKsolar in Bloomington provides nearly 75% of the building’s electricity needs. The permaculture garden produces tons of food which is donated to food shelters. The rain gardens collect water runoff to keep the watershed free of pollutants and chemicals, in addition to helping educate people in the surrounding area about watershed management.
Once inside, the community of St Luke is buzzing with energy. Over the past three years, youth have been leading the way at St Luke, hosting potlucks, facilitating discussions and advocacy trainings, as well as taking a divestment resolution to the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. Like so many faith communities, St Luke’s has a deep commitment to developing and caring for their youth, which in turn has come to mean caring for the earth they will inherit.
Young and old are walking together considering, “how can we continue to live out our calling as people of faith to create the just and sustainable world we know is possible?” We can’t wait to see the prophetic ways they continue to answer that question.