I thought it fitting that I start writing my first blog post here, at Soda Peaks Lake, in the Gifford-Pinchot Wilderness. After hiking up 3 miles and 2,500 ft of altitude, I’m now surrounded by tall Doug Firs, two inspiring peaks, and an amazingly beautiful lake. I am so thankful for all of this, an incredible reminder of why I am called to do work around the connection between ecology, economy, and theology.
For this first post, I thought I would tell the story about how I came to be involved in this internship. I hope it inspires new thoughts and ideas on how we can respond to the world around us.
Last Spring, through the encouragement of Solveig Nilsen-Goodin, a leader in the Wilderness Way Community (my faith community), I took a class called Organizing in the Biocommons (OBC), which brought together ecology, economy, and theology. It was an enlivening class for me, filled with information to integrate into my life, new relationships with exciting people, and spiritual experiences that left me feeling more whole.
During the last class, we were asked (as we were asked each class), “are you talking about these things in your churches? If not, what might happen if you did?” My initial thought was, “yes, I am talking about it with Wilderness Way Community.” But then it came to me–the planting of a new seed. I shared with the group, “I am also a youth director at Central Lutheran Church. What might it look like to talk about this with the youth?”
Though the seed sat in the ground for a bit, it didn’t take much before a little water started some growth. After joining the teaching team for the OBC class this coming fall, Robyn Hartwig, one of the leaders, took the time to talk with me after a planning session earlier this summer. “Nathan, you know there are internships available through EcoFaith Recovery. What if you applied and wrote a youth curriculum for the OBC class?”
After a few hesitant feelings, I went home and couldn’t stop thinking about it. The next day I went out toForrestPark to get some clarity, and on my hike, the idea for a camp like experience for the Summer of 2013 was born. I went home and wrote the proposal that night, and was notified of the approval the following week.
So far, I’ve met with my mentor twice, done some research on economics and experiential learning with youth, and have had a few one-to-one meetings with folks who might support me in this process. I look forward to sharing how the process develops as we move throughout this year.
p.s. If you click the link in the upper left sidebar of any page at test.ecofaithrecovery.org, you can sign up to receive these Lenten reflections and subsequent blog posts directly to your email account. We welcome you to share them with others.