The Care for Creation training effort is a partnership between Lutherans Restoring Creation, EcoFaith Recovery, the Oregon Synod of the ELCA, and participating congregations. Lutherans Restoring Creation initially trained four pastors to serve as trainers in Oregon: Brian Brandt, Aimee Bruno, Matthew Eagan, and Robyn Hartwig. After the first congregational training event held in Beaverton on November 20, 2010, enthusiasm for the effort was so strong that the team quickly expanded to ten members. To help you get acquainted with our training team, here is some information about some of our presenters:

Mr. Doug Boleyn is a member of St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Gladstone. Doug has been involved in solar energy since the mid ‘70’s, when he built his first solar home in Gladstone. He worked for 22 years in energy efficiency and solar energy for Portland General Electric Company, then established his own solar consulting firm, which he ran for 10 years. In 2002, he started work with the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, providing consulting, presentations, and workshops to congregations on how to save money, energy, and Creation. He currently works as a solar program manager for the Energy Trust of Oregon. He and his wife, Emily (a Lutheran pastor’s daughter!) live in their second low-energy solar home in Happy Valley, and are blessed by their two daughters and four grandsons.

The Rev. Brian Brandt, Ph.D., recently concluded seven years as pastor of Central Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon. His doctorate in Christian Ethics, his grateful awareness of God’s presence in creation, and his moral concern about the “geocide” of planet Earth guide his work on creation spirituality and care for creation practices in church settings. In 2008-10, he designed and implemented Central’s “Creationtide” worship season, four consecutive autumn Sundays devoted to care for creation themes. Now on leave from parish ministry, he’s working on a book related to Creationtide – a model integrating cosmology and care for creation in various aspects of the Christian life: biblical interpretation, theology, worship, spirituality, and ethics. Pastor Brandt is presently helping the Lutherans Restoring Creation program to engage more churches in making care for creation the organizing theme of ministry.

Ms. Katherine Brick’s home congregation is Calvary Lutheran Church in Hillsboro. She is currently in seminary and assigned to St. Andrew in Beaverton as her teaching parish congregation. Through taking a year-long course on Theology and Stewardship of Creation, she has felt called to be an advocate for Earthkeeping in a wider arena than her own personal efforts. With pastors from her two congregations being on the Oregon Synod training team leading the first Care of Creation training workshop at St. Andrew, an obvious pathway opened. As a team member, she hopes to find ways to translate theory and theology into facilitating concrete action.

The Rev. Aimee Bruno serves King of Kings Lutheran Church in Milwaukie. Aimee enjoys gardening, canning, sewing, camping, and thrift-store shopping. She is married and has three cats. She acknowledges that having three cats may not be that good for creation, except that they are creation. She is focused on how congregations can encourage their folks to apply what they learn about care for creation at home and work.

Dr. JillMichelle Cosart finds joy & peace living in the harmony of faith, music, & nature—seeing God’s goodness in creation, especially in Oregon! Before seminary JillMichelle’s professional work was in academia–music history, ethnomusicology & ‘cello– & her church work in worship & education. When not at work or church, she tended her “open back-yard garden,” where a fruit flower or herb treat & ‘place in creation’ story welcomed visitors. She hopes to continue her community garden ministry in future congregations. Now a seminary graduate and ELCA “approved candidate” awaiting call, JillMichelle appreciates the welcome of ecology- & grace-minded friends made at Central & other faith communities. She serves the ELCA as a Partner in Evangelical Worship. Her passion is for the merger of worship life & living out praise to God with ALL creation, & restoring-creation stewardship!

Ms. Robin Fladebo is a member of Central Lutheran Church in Portland. She recently earned a BS in Environmental Science from Portland State University and an MBA in Sustainable Business from Bainbridge Graduate Institute. She cares deeply about the health of the planet and the just distribution of resources that were given by God for all beings, for both present and future generations. Robin enjoys reading and beading, cycling and spending time outdoors. She lives in Portland with her husband, Steve Lebahn.

The Rev. Robyn Hartwig serves St. Andrew Lutheran Church of Beaverton and EcoFaith Recovery of Oregon. She is passionate about starting small groups that deepen community and foster spiritual recovery from consumerism’s addictive and devastating effects upon our lives and the life of our Earth home. This year’s groups have included seven “Simply in Season” small groups in Beaverton (including one cooking class for children), a GreenSpirit group in NE Portland, and the founding of metro-Portland “Table Talks” through which lay and ordained leaders offer support to one another in their varied areas of eco-spiritual leadership. In her free time Robyn reconnects with the natural world through hiking, drumming and growing sprouts which are now taking over her kitchen!

Mr. Steve Lebahn is a member of Central Lutheran Church in Portland. Born and raised in Minnesota, Steve moved to Oregon in 1999. Steve has a firm belief that the church and faith based community needs to take an active role in order to solve the issues around environment, climate change and social justice. Steve is an avid cyclist who also enjoys hiking and camping. You can also frequently see him in the kitchen as he enjoys cooking. Steve and his wife, Robin Fladebo, live in southeast Portland with their dog Jackson. They have one son who currently lives in Chicago.

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